According to the SLS evaluation we conducted in the spring, 90% of blended teachers and 100% of distance teachers believe that students developed critical thinking skills and an understanding of sustainability issues and of the connection between personal actions and global issues, and that they involved their families. 63% agreed that students took personal action. The remaining 37% believed their students did take actions but had no way to prove that.
Students believe they increased the following skills: research - 93%, collaboration and group work - 100%, critical thinking - 89%, taking personal action - 96%, communication - 100% (Appendix 2, Figure 7) 70% of students also indicated they would continue with their environmental behaviour changes in the future. The remaining 30% did not indicate otherwise.
The following quotes from teachers and students are perhaps the best way to express the impact this project has realized already:
- “Students were surprised by their consumption habits … Many reported speaking to their parents”
Windermere Secondary, Corrie-Ann Clutchey
- “Students wrote individual letters to the premier or prime minister asking for specific action to be taken and for changes in legislation”
- “Students proudly modeled thrift store purchases and hand me downs… volunteered at the Salvation Army Thrift Store. Part of the grad fashion show featured Value Village items”
Vernon Secondary School, Susan Egan
- “many were excited to share what they had learned … [they] now had real things that they could do to make a difference on a personal level, many which they did during the action part of their project.”
Vedder Middle School, Chris Falk
- “all students experienced at least a minor, if not greater, shift in perspective.”
- “The challenge is to provide a meaningful inquiry experience and opportunity to learn in order to create a sustainable shift in students’ decision-making. I believe that Be The Change Earth Alliance’s Student Leadership for Sustainability program is a great way to assist in this endeavour.”
Saint Thomas More Collegiate, Ben Johnston
- "Throughout these projects I’ve learnt that every choice I make, even the smallest, all have an impact on the environment."
- “One major action I can perform is the act of rethinking”
- “To reduce the use of fossil fuels in my everyday life, I can carpool with people, walk and/or bike more often, and take public transportation.”
Quotes from Ben Johnston’s students
- “[BTCEA has] created very useful units to help us as educators to assist our students in exploring different perspectives and methods of action. Their Action Surveys are fantastic and taught me a lot about other action opportunities”
Aspengrove – from Nicole McDaid
- “The research had excellent, articles, and videos … and excellent critical thinking questions”
- “Many students commented that when they were challenged to make personal commitments to change their habits … it really pushed them to think about personal responsibility and ethical choices within a local and global food system”
St. George’s Secondary, Norm Kaethler
- “Many students became involved in tutoring the elementary grade students to be more waste-conscious, participated in Earth Day and became conscious of the many different ways to change personal habits”
Fraser Lake Elementary/Secondary, Lena Miller
- “Many students joined the school’s Environment Cub, getting involved in Rain Gardens, and presenting at local elementary schools. Two students held an Earth Day assembly … Two other students led an invasive species pull”
Seaquam Secondary, Delta, Michael Iachetta
Full evaluation report coming soon!