The New Plastics Economy and the classroom

In 2015, 193 countries committed to achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.  The extent to which that vision becomes a reality will in no small way depend on what is happening in today’s classrooms. Indeed, it is educators who hold the key to ensuring that the SDGs become a real social contract with citizens.

Today my discussion is about plastics.  The topic is enormous as is the issue for our planet. It’s too big for any one country to tackle and requires a global partnership.

There’s plastics and the ocean. Plastic pollution poses a threat to human health, kills and harms marine life, damages and alters habitats, and can have substantial negative impacts on local economies. Check out plastic pollution resources from World Ocean’s Day. 
Then there’s microplastics. Another useful resource is the UN Environment’s comprehensive six-minute video about the problem, including microplastics, and the role of global partnership efforts can play in the solution.

Students could pose questions from a viewing of this video and discuss actions they and their families could take. Could they create a community awareness program for their school?

Students might find this challenge from the Ellen Macarthur Foundation an exciting opportunity posed to scientists, designers and other innovators. Perhaps they could look at the award winners and discuss the results. Could they see themselves in the position of the those who took on the challenge?

Finally, here’s is a lesson from the World’s Largest Lesson on redesigning plastic packaging.

 

For secondary students,  this could be adjusted for younger learners and provides open ended, project based opportunities to enhance global competences towards global citizenship.

Marilyn Snider can be contacted at marilyn@bethinkglobal.com.au

Her website is Bethink Global

 

 

 

 

 

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

Aha Hardy

Many months ago I came across a TED talk by Elora Hardy.  I marvelled at her attitude to designing stuctures in bamboo.

Magical houses made of bamboo   Take a look at this inspiring TED TALK
Elora Hardy’s designed her dream house was when she was nine.
She shares the potential of bamboo, as both a sustainable resource and a spark for the imagination.

Elora’s housebuilding a sustainable future

Then months later a friend was inspiring me with talk of our proposed visit to Bali and a visit to Green School.  We checked out a TED talk about this unique school built by John Hardy but still the penny hadn’t dropped.

You know when you have that AHA moment.  Well that happened!!

John is Elora’s father.

 

 

 

 

Action-the LOUDEST words-knitting nannas against gas       

As Knitting Nannasteachers we work towards our learners thinking through issues and forming morally just, ethically balanced views garnered from diverse perspectives.  We teach from the local aspect to the global view appropriate to the development of the learner.

I share this action-from a group of ladies who will not be silenced, who along with their shared passion of a grass roots craft (pardon the pun) are not afraid to voice their concern for the planet and the welfare of the grandchildren.

Knitting Nannas ask ALP for answers; get long yarn not worth knitting

Saturday, May 21, 2016  by Pip HinmanSydney

The Illawarra Knitting Nannas Against Gas (IKNAG) held a knit-in outside the office of the federal deputy leader of the ALP, Tanya Plibersek, in Sydney on May 16.

IKNAG’s Annie Malow contacted Plibersek with two questions asking for “yes” or “no” answers.

The first was: Do you support a ban on CSG mining in drinking water catchment? The second was: Would you move legislation for such a ban?

Plibersek was not in her office, but two of her staffers came out offering the Nannas several balls of wool — all the wrong colours.

Malow said: “We know how busy she is campaigning … but really, she left us 1.5 pages of waffle words about ‘gunnas’ and half policies. It was a long, long yarn not worth knitting.”

The Knitting Nannas annoy all politicians equally.

It is election time. We are asking all the candidates very simple questions. Pollies, if you don’t answer the question the first time, you will get to have another go. If you fail to answer thereafter, we will publicise that you refused to answer the question. Whether the electorate then takes that as being a refusal to answer or just darn plain ignorance is yet to be seen. The questions aren’t hard. The answers aren’t hard. And we, the public, aren’t stupid, and are as sick as all get out of being treated that way. If you have problems with the grammar of the above sentence, please write it down with the appropriate corrections and send it to your local MP.  Their ghasts will be flabbered

Knitting nanas against gas

The publishing of these views do not necessarily support any political party or alliance.

 

For the love of trees

Loved tree 1loving tree 2100 yr old tree lost

 

On one walk this week I came across these trees.  The first two photos showed a love and respect for trees and their importance in the lives of the families living nearby. Continue reading

Global Education-what IS it?

from NGV exhibition

from NGV exhibition

 

Global education is a concept with a diverse number of understandings.  Even the term ‘global education’ has different viewing platforms from global learning to global competencies from global citizenship to education for sustainable development. Continue reading

Education for Sustainable Development Part two

India tile

How can sustainability enhance the learning areas in curricula?

My favourite picture storybook is The Short and Incredibly Happy Life of Riley  (Thank you Nuella.) You MUST read it.  The message I took away was live simply so others can simple live. (Thank you Gandhi.)

A curriculum that has sustainable futures at its core will be a dynamic and value enriched program of learning. The ways in which we can meet our current needs without diminishing the environment or reducing the capacity of future generations to meet their own needs is what a sustainable future is about.

So as a learner and facilitator, I brainstormed all the concepts of a global curriculum centred around the functions of sustainability – cultural sustainability, economic sustainability, environmental sustainability and social sustainability …..so here goes…….needs and wants, human rights, politics, Millenium Development Goals, belief systems, value systems,  gender equity, poverty reduction, global cooperation, interconnection, human well being, peace, resolving conflict, partnerships, trade, water, forests, natural hazards and disasters, biodiversity, food security, endangered species, energy, desertification, effects of climate and its change, trading fairly, education,  identity, child Rights, Agriculture, ethical consumerism, migration, immigration,  refugees, population, intercultural understanding, cultural diversity, connections to the past, indigenous culture, global health…… phwew!! And that’s just for starters.

Write down these learning areas- Civics and Citizenship, Geography, Science, History, Technologies, Maths, The Arts, English, Health and Phys Ed, Languages and  Economics.

Now try and fit any one of the concepts above under just one learning area.  Can’t choose? That’s because sustainability and global learning cross all areas of the curriculum. A rich curriculum has interconnected learning.

The best way to work out where you can work with these concepts in your curriculum is to do a concept map.

Take a look at your existing curriculum. Could you enhance it and open the eyes of your learners a little wider by including a concept around sustainability?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Education for Sustainable Development Part one

Have you asked yourself, “What REALLY IS sustainability?”

A greenhouse nightmare

Since the late 1960’s, sustainability, which initially had an environmental focus, expanded to include economy and later social and cultural considerations.

In 1987 the approach to conservation brought together environmental conservation and development and so came the term ‘sustainable development’. This represented the first formal recognition that “development should meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”, suggesting development, progress and growth had to take account of their environmental impacts.

So wider ethical issues such as human rights, in support of values, justice and fairness are integral to education for sustainable development.  Intercultural understanding strengthens respect for equality.  Peace and resolving conflict foster the values of empathy and cooperation.  A rights based education encompasses the concept of education for sustainable development and reinforces the awareness that we share a common destiny with others. (OHCHR 2006).

Sustainability has become a vast social, political, economic and educational concern. The UN has devoted a decade to Education for Sustainability. The Australian Curriculum considers sustainability important enough to be delivered across the curriculum.

Watch out for more posts on this topic.

Part 2 “In what ways could sustainability enhance the learning areas in my curriculum?”

Part 3 “How could I amplify sustainability throughout my school?”

Cartoon by Nicholson from “The Australian” newspaper: www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au – See more at: http://nicholsoncartoons.com.au/reproduce-a-cartoon#sthash.eni7rgBN.dpuf