It is a pleasure to write this post for Compass Education blog. Each time l reflect on what l learned during the training, l get inspired to think creatively in pushing the boundaries of ESD further. The grade level I teach was learning about migration and megacities for an IB MYP I & S unit. My colleagues and l decided to tweak the unit slightly and that was when the training l undertook became more beneficial to the class as we incorporated the Compass tools and focused on sustainable development as a global context exploration for the unit.
What l discovered about my students during this unit was heartwarming. They were highly engaged and creative about finding sustainable solutions. Based on what transpired, l was convinced that our students are passionate about the SDGs and if guided properly, they would love to collaborate, think creatively and take action in implementing innovative solutions aimed at addressing some of the global challenges confronting the planet.
The unit was given a deep dive through the use of research and digital tools (given that our students are tech-savvy and the school has a 1:1 policy). Students were guided through different historical migrations, the industrial revolution and the impact of megacities on the environment. Highlights of the unit included opportunities for students to draw their own migration map, to collaboratively research and present in class on megacities around the world, research on environmental challenges of megacities and finally a brainstorming activity to unearth innovative solutions to address these challenges whiles working in groups. Students analysed concepts using the Sustainability Compass, and engaged with the Iceberg model in critically analyzing and proposing solutions to challenges within the school, local community and the world at large. Also, the students used different digital tools such as jam board and mentimeter.com to illustrate their work whiles in other activities, they artistically drew on sticky notes, A4 and post–it board papers/sheets.
On the issue of the Iceberg model, l introduced the model as a problem-solving tool in class. After reviewing the different components of the model, l guided the class in applying it. To enhance students understanding, we used the model in analyzing and proposing solutions to the contamination of the Ganga (Ganges) river in India. In subsequent lessons, I tasked students in identifying challenges within the school, the community or globally and to apply the Iceberg model in analyzing and finding solutions to the identified challenge.
Students had different opportunities to reflect on their work and understanding individually and collectively and l couldn’t be more proud of my learners as a teacher while reviewing their reflections. They engaged, collaborated, researched and had fun while exploring how they could innovate solutions to environmental challenges using the Compass tools.
I am grateful to my facilitators – Elaine Reimann and Mark Mains for their guidance and encouragement.
It has been a real success facilitating this unit and l am happy to share the ideas, resources and reflections with other colleagues.