Ken Larsen’s Story

“The resources that came from Be the Change Earth Alliance and their Student Leadership in Sustainability (SLS) program offered a wide variety of activities. In our class, we worked with the topics of Acidic Oceans, Saving Water, Ocean Wise, Water Privatization and Oil during our Water Systems unit, and GMO’s, Organics, and Health during our “Body Systems unit” […]Students became more aware of the school environment and took more initiative to take care of it (picking up garbage, recycling, taking better care of school resources like textbooks and PE equipment, etc).”

We are a middle-secondary school from grades 7 through 12 and I teach grade 8 science/math. There seems to be a growing disconnect with school activities and everyday life and I was determined to integrate more material on personal health and the health of our environment into the curriculum. The HSN grant allowed me to access the resources to make this happen.

During a professional development day in October, I was exposed to Be the Change Earth Alliance and their Student Leadership in Sustainability. After seeing their presentation I decided this resource would work well in providing students with opportunities that bridge the gap between curricular content and real world application.

The resources that came from Be the Change Earth Alliance and their Student Leadership in Sustainability (SLS) program offered a wide variety of activities. In our class, we worked with the topics of Acidic Oceans, Saving Water, Ocean Wise, Water Privatization and Oil during our Water Systems unit, and GMO’s, Organics, and Health during out Body Systems unit.

The discussions with students that followed assignments, investigations and reflections were a powerful indicator that they were taking the information and making changes in their lives (or at least challenging themselves with changing their preconceptions on how their world works).

One of the biggest stumbling blocks was when students were confronted with information that conflicted with their preconceived world views and beliefs. When the information collected during their research did not mesh with the current values and beliefs, a lot of discussion and sometimes frustration resulted (for example, when talking about the health of our body and environment and how alternative lifestyles such as vegetarianism could be beneficial to both, while eating meat could be detrimental). These stumbling blocks proved to be great opportunities for discussion that inevitably led back to doing more research and focusing the inquiry further.

I believe we did increase school connectedness in the sense of taking more ownership within the school. Students became more aware of the school environment and took more initiative to take care of it (picking up garbage, recycling, taking better care of school resources like textbooks and PE equipment, etc).


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.