The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: a different strategy for a different time

….the rise of political parties whose platforms thrive on nationalism, protectionism and xenophobia, strayi further & further away from traditions of tolerance & inclusiveness in democratic societies….

The requirement for global citizenship to be part of the education system is an imperative in a changing world. Our young ones deserve our thoughtful preparation for the issues set up on our watch.

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/blog2017/week19_2030agenda

Working out loud

You’ve got to love what digital connection and social tools can do.

I recently reached out on LinkedIn to broaden my professional learning network and connected with Ciarra Greene at Portland University, Oregon.  I asked Ciarra about global education and her reply set me thinking.  I had an ‘aha’ moment.  She gave me the missing dots to connect so many ideas rushing about in my head. Ciarra mentioned place-based learning and whilst I understood the concept I had not heard that name.

Place-based learning immerses students in local heritage, cultures, landscapes, opportunities and experiences, using these as a foundation for the study of other learning areas across the curriculum.

I immediately thought of My Place by Nadine Wheatley and the wonderful offerings for learners relating to PLACE.  I’ve wandered from my original pathway!

Ciarra is connected to the Nez Perce tribe, who are an Indigenous people of the plateau, living in the Pacific northwest region of the United States.

Indigenous tribes in the USA are in the news right now, battling Trump’s directive to the Army to continue laying the Dakota Access pipeline across sacred sites with the threat of contaminating drinking water.

What if learners in the United States exchanged their understandings of the traditional cultures of indigenous tribes with learners in Australia and their understandings of the traditional cultures of our First People, the Aborigines?  What if the identity and indeed existence of these indigenous tribes was being threatened?  What if environmental issues are being exploited?

I think Ciarra and I are learning just in the same way we want our young learners to learn-through collaboration, communication and deep thinking.  Through technology, our learning has shot past the four walls of the classroom and entered the biggest ‘classroom’ that is our world.

How amazing!

 

It’s Real

More people are on the same page and acknowledge climate change is real. Climate change is not some mythical creature flying over rainbows.

It’s real.

Education is going to be part of climate action so that every person on the planet is aware of what climate change is and what needs to be done to achieve quality air, water and land across the planet.

The A in STEAM and climate change. 

We are hearing much about STEM but I’m advocating for the rightful inclusion of the Arts and a place for STEAM.

I am wanting to hear from schools where leadership and educators have supported their learners to respond artistically to the issues surrounding climate change.  This may be in the form of the visual arts, music, theatre, dance, literature and or cinema.

Hoping to be proven wrong, it is my feeling that educators do not highlight climate change in the curriculum.  It’s not a hot topic (pardon the pun).  Traditionally slotted into the curriculum under Science and Geography, many educators are insufficiently informed, too fearful of tackling what they see as a controversial topic or both.  The links to many issues of global significance can be traced to the warming of the planet.

In the sphere beyond the classroom I’ve come across a group called CLIMARTE and a theatre troupe called ClimActs.

CLIMARTE’S mission is to harness the creative power of the arts to inform, engage and inspire action on climate change.  Climarte will present their ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2017 festival which will run from 19 April to 14 May 2017. 

ClimActs is an Australian theatre troupe playing a role of peaceful protest to support demands for social justice and human rights.  Using striking spectacle as well as satire to communicate and educate on the urgency of climate change, each act has been carefully created to address an aspect of the climate debate. For instance, the Climate Guardians represent selfless and fearless care and guardianship, the Coal Diggers epitomise the recklessness and insatiable greed of vested interests.

The Climate Guardian Angels in peaceful protest at the COP21 talks in Paris 2015

 

School leaders and educators, don’t forget the A in STEAM and broaden the opportunities for young people to find their voice and respond to the concerns of their generation.

Don’t forget to contact me if your school is already taking this approach.

 

Marilyn Snider is an Australian global education activist who promotes a dynamic, self-directed approach where learners explore real world issues and challenges whilst delving into deeper and more satisfying conceptual understandings. Creativity, critical analysis and action are hallmarks of her work. www.bethinkglobal.com.au

 

 

Climate Change and the Curriculum

I had the privilege of writing the teacher notes for Guarding Eden by Deborah Hart.  Deb is climate campaigner and brings together the stories of twelve passionate Australian activists from all walks of life. Willing to deal with fall-out served up by the government, the courts and the media, these advocates inspire us to follow their lead.

This book would be a fine addition to the Senior Secondary Curriculum.  It heightens persuasive writing, analysis, critical thinking, moral and ethical understanding, and enriches English, Earth and Environment Science, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Guarding Eden

Guarding Eden

7 factors that influence globally minded teachers

You’ll be surprised!

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Those teachers who implement wide ranging global programmes are not influenced by their formal teaching programmes and curriculum influences but rather by these factors

 

  1. Family
  2. Exposure to diversity
  3. Minority status
  4. Global education course
  5. Intensive travel
  6. Having a mentor
  7. Professional service

Bethink Global offers a deeper understanding of global education through professional learning and is a support system in the amplification of teachers’ global perspective.  

http://www.bethinkglobal.com.au

Wanting our children to achieve global citizenship – do teachers have the skills to teach it?

5053661095_global_multicultural_xlarge

Research and experience tell me that parents, government leaders and business want young people to become active and responsible citizens of the world and to obtain jobs where interaction with people in other countries and from other cultures is productive and economically rewarding. Continue reading

How to build deeper learning

Asia Study Deeper Learning

What does it mean to educate learners for life and work in the global innovative age?

What is meant by global competencies?

What are some ways learners develop perspective and empathy?

The video  at https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/building-global-citizens-asis goes a long way to answering these questions.
Learning that is student centred, project based and authentic is the focus of a series of videos by the Asia Society.

I came across the Asia Society as part of my interest in global learning.  It is a leading educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context.   Asia Link, which is Australia’s leading centre for the promotion of public understanding of the countries of Asia and of Australia’s role in the region, is the key provider of information, training and professional networks. The Asia Society Center (sic) for Global Education and the Asia Education Foundation are the respective education arms of these two organisations.

http://asiasociety.org/

http://asiasociety.org/education/center-global-education

http://asialink.unimelb.edu.au/

http://www.asiaeducation.edu.au/

See also my blog post “How to Build Global Competence”   http://bethinkglobal.com.au/global-competence-building-part-1/

 

 

 

 

You’re never too young

Rafi's film screen shotThursdays are my day for sharing with my 3 year old grandson. Rafi loves to criss cross the city on a bus or a train, entertaining and proving to me that learning can be enormous fun.

Our outing to the National Gallery of Victoria became a partnership between director and producer.  At the OPEN HOUSE Tromarama for Kids, we discovered a bath tub of props and a number of iPads set up for movie making.

Rafi took his position, I moved his choice of subject and he shot enough frames to launch his movie career.  We experimented with a duck and a Babushka doll, both movies of which are now lying on the cutting room floor.

Take a look at Rafi’s first movie (don’t blink) and get along to the gallery for some creative film making. Who knows, you and Rafi might be the next stop animation star film producers.

Rafi’s video

Natural with numbers

Maths

So our learners aren’t learning Maths.  Time and time again I hear learners saying, when asked to respond to solving an equation by adding two numbers, “I plus them,” or when multiplying numbers, “I times them.”  When subtraction is required to solve an equation where two numbers are involved, I’d like a dollar for every time a learner says, “You minus them.”  An equation is referred to as a ‘sum’.   A ‘sum’ is the answer when you add numbers together.

A sense of number and what is done with numbers is difficult for many learners to internalise.  The transmission of the language of maths is so poor in many instances that I wonder if intervention is needed in order to not only break the cycle of inadequate language to describe mathematical operations, but to model strategical and block building concepts to teachers.  Perhaps maths mentors is the answer.