1. NAEE is encouraging everyone with an interest in environmental education to respond to the global Call for Action from the Global Environmental Education Partnership (GEEP).
2. Juliet Robertson asks: Do you worry about ensuring basic literacy skills are being taught when working outside? Then this is the course for you! Come and spend a busy, happy day with Juliet Robertson, exploring literacy outside. Together, we:
- Consider practical techniques for managing a large class outside, in any outdoor setting be this a concrete jungle or a nature haven.
- Look at ways of integrating literacy into our outdoor work so that it flows through all aspects of what we do, including recording our work and keeping expectations high.
- Focus on aspects of the creative writing process as well as spelling, punctuation and grammar.
- Use books as a springboard into reading outdoors, as well as other common forms of reading which happens outside.
- Think about simple, doable, cost-effective approaches to creating a literacy-rich school grounds or outdoor space that demonstrate there is life beyond a laminating machine.
More detail here.
3. The Organisation Mondiale Pour l ́Education Prescolaire –OMEP – began in 1948 for professionals working in the field of peace education, to meet social needs after the 2nd World War. In 2008 when Ingrid Pramling Samuelsson was elected World President the focus was changed more towards education for a sustainable development (ESD) – a field that had not formerly been on the agenda for early childhood. Following successful international workshops in this area, OMEP adopted the topic of ESD as a main issue in its 2010 World Congress – ‘Children, citizens in a challenged world’ and has now produced a book to contribute to practitioners’ everyday work with children in this important area.
4. The Frederick Soddy Trust was established in 1957. It aims to encourage interest in field studies by providing modest financial support for expeditions and fieldwork which include the ‘study of the whole life of an area with major emphasis on the human community’. The Trust and the GA work together to help primary and secondary schools fund geography field trips.
Every year a total of £2,500 is made available for primary and secondary schools. This is split into individual awards of between £250 and £850 depending on the merits of each project. The award is for a group of students between 5 and 18 years of age. There is no limit on the number of students in the group. Field trips can involve human or physical geography, but in view of the Trust’s objective to encourage the study of the whole life of an area with an emphasis on human geography, priority will be given to projects with a strong human element. More detail here.
5. LfS Scotland’s Youth Network for students and young professionals with an interest in teaching and learning about sustainability has been launched. There’s a short survey to identify ideas on useful activities to be organised.
Apparently, you are ‘youth’ if you are between 18 and 35 years old, but, with Scotland’s usual progressive inclusivity, it’s open to all. All you have to do is self-certify.
6. Bore Place is an organic dairy farm, vegetable gardens and kitchen. The organisers say it’s an ideal setting for pupils to immerse themselves in hands-on activities led by experienced tutors. Where better, they say, to learn about food and farming while developing critical thinking and valuable life skills. Click here for discounts.
7. A new report: “A review of Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship Education in Teacher Education“, that was commissioned as part of the second GEM report (Accountability in education: meeting our commitments), has now been published. It monitor progress towards the internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals for Education.
We know that teacher education can make an important contribution to raising understanding of SDGs within education, and the paper looks at how these considerations are approached in reality, as well as identifying shortcomings in the current situation, barriers to progress, and presenting important recommendations for the future. Click here to read the report.
8. CYCLES is a study of the lifestyles and experience of young people aged 12-24 in urban communities. It is coordinated by the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP) at the University of Surrey, and researchers from the University of Canterbury, NZ. It involves researchers in India, Bangladesh, South Africa, Japan and Brazil. It asks questions such as:
What conditions enable young people to live sustainable, fulfilling lives in cities? How do young citizens see their future? What best practices for city planning and community action can make the biggest sustainable difference? How can we help cities track progress and help young citizens flourish within the limits of a finite planet?
Click here for more detail and an introductory video.
9. The GA Rex Walford Geography Student Teacher Award recognises inspirational and innovative geography teaching practice (at primary or secondary level) developed by an individual during their period of ITE. It takes its cue from Rex’s remarkable contribution to geography ITE in the UK over many years. An idea of the high regard in which Rex was held can be gained from the many testimonials and memories on the GA website. We read of a man of unquenchable enthusiasm and optimism, and a highly gifted teacher. More information here.
10. Click here to read about the flight of Richard Louv and his family from Californian wildfires in 2003 which you may already have read in Last Child in the Woods. Painting by James Hubbell, Llan-Lael Foundation
Louv’s story (a metaphor for our times) begins …
“At first light, my wife Kathy woke up and walked outside to get the paper. She felt a wave of heat and looked up. The sky was amber and black and foul. “Something’s wrong,” she said, shaking my shoulder. Four hours later, we were driving out of Scripps Ranch as a blazing orange thing with its single burning eye stared down at our cul-de-sac. Our van was packed with the past —photo albums and children’s drawings, our kids’ baby clothes, pictures pulled from the walls. Binkley the Cat, in a cardboard box, harmonized with the sirens. “How can this be happening? The rug pulled out like this,” Matthew, our teen-age son said, the words choking in his throat. He was stunned, incredulous. He was sure that his world would end in flames. “It’s okay,” I answered, in a poor attempt to reassure him, “Think of it as an adventure. Hey, I grew up with tornadoes. We did this kind of thing every spring.” “Well, I didn’t,” he said. And he was right to say that. We drove east and north, keeping the rising cloud of smoke in our rear-view mirror. The traffic was bumper-to-bumper. …”