Do you think that social responsibility is better taught:

domingo, 21 de marzo de 2010

Teaching for a better world

David Hick's Teaching for a Better World

Includes a programme for teachers on Preparing for the Future:
  • Thinking about the future
  • Futures in education
  • Changing the future

Reflecting on individual responsibility and learning

Should incentives be used to encourage individual responsibility? (this entry is part of a larger journal entry)

Perhaps incentives are connected to priorities....are we more likely to do something if there is a reward for it? Definitely, but to what extent should we be rewarding behaviours in the classroom and how? I would rather that someone do something because they are really truly interested and not because they might receive something in return. However, this is where it becomes getting someone interested, or helping them find their interests, becomes difficult.

When i think about my social responsibility course - students can be quite free in chosing study topics that interest is a broad, transversal subject....but simply telling students that they can choose a topic of their choice for a certain project isn't enough...often students don't know what interests them...or simply find it easier to do what their classmates are doing.

So perhaps the big question is how do we discover our own interests? i just asked my husband...and he says by doing a lot of different things!!!! something to consider no doubt when developing curriculum.

viernes, 26 de febrero de 2010

Talk about changing our mental models...

Reflection on enduring understanding

Why should students take the course? What is the purpose?
So that they see the world through the eyes of diverse actors. So they understand what role they play in society. So that they understand the capabilities and limits of participating as an individual in society. So that they see the benefits of collaboration and working together.
So what? Why do they need to see the world through the eyes of diverse actors?
So that they understand the true impact of their actions. Doesn´t mean they will do anything about it, change the way they act. So that they feel empowered to act in society. So they are better equipped to work with diverse actors.
So what? Why do they need to know it for their profession?
So that they empower their colleagues, institution. Because ultimately all professions depend on natural resources and people for their operation and long-term survival. Because technology will not save us. Because their profession is in danger of not having the resources it needs to survive, of being susceptible to a major disaster. So they can create more interesting solutions. So they can better use limited resources and learn from the experiences of others.
So what? How is it going to help you?
I will be able to have better relationships with my stakeholders, potentially leading to mutually beneficial alliances.Be innovative. Improve actions.
So what? Why is it important?
My stakeholders can have a positive or negative impact over my profession. My employers will be more likely to hire me if I have a clear understanding of social responsibility. I will feel more confident in my actions if I understand the root causes and have the skills necessary to develop solutions. Ultimately, I will better decisions.

Enduring Understanding: Students will learn that social responsibility is about understanding the effects of their decisions and actions on society and the role of all stakeholders in the development or change of society, that the only way to truly understand the profoundness of effects is to put themselves in others shoes and identifying the strengths they can bring to the table, that ultimately, making better decisions is about predicting and planning for social, environmental and economic benefits, participating in mult-stakeholder processes, monitoring decisions and learning from experiences.

What is the big idea of your course?
That students understand what it means and are motivated to actively participate in society in a responsible manner.

What lasting knowledge do you want your students to take with them from your course?
  • Decisions have many complex and profound effects on others, some of which will be positive and some of which will be negative.
  • It is impossible not to have an effect but it is possible to lessen the effect and improve the situations of those effected the most.
  • Improving negative situations requires multi-stakeholder involvement, training & empowerment, dialogue, negotiation, vision, leadership, facilitation, bottom up and top down processes.
  • Everyone has a role to play, however, acting responsibly is up to the individual. Individuals can make a difference, but they will be more effective if they act collaboratively with others.

martes, 2 de febrero de 2010

Facets of Learning & Social Responsibility

I was just reviewing the essential questions, in particular: Question starters based on the 6 facets of understanding (Fig. 5.3 in Understanding by Design) and I think that for my course, regardless of what level my students are at, the self-knowledge facet will be critical. Here I will be introducing questions such as:
  • what are the limits of my knowledge about ...
  • how are my views about ....shaped by...
  • what are my strengths and weaknesses
Since I am aiming to get students to go beyond retaining information to acting on what they have learned, I think these questions will be important in helping students realize how they need to change in order to act more socially responsible.

domingo, 31 de enero de 2010

Essential questions

Today i was reading about essential questions (chapter 5) and I felt that I do fall into some of the questioning traps that are mentioned, for instance, opening up with a really deep, profound question but not following up with activities that allow students to inquire the answers or similarly have many interesting questions but not having a clear intent. This meant that students were engaged in thinking about a topic but never really new why. One of my steps will be to start thinking about my current goals and objectives in terms of potential units and questions.

New goals draft 1

After undertaking my needs analysis, I have decided to give a bigger focus towards individual responsibility rather than focus solely on institutions.

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

· Differentiate the roles of actors in society

o Explain the roles of individuals, institutions, and nature

o Define the concept of stakeholders

o Define good citizenship

o Give examples of differing perspectives

· Explore the impacts of individual and institutional decision-making

o Describe current social, cultural and environmental indicators

o Analyze the impacts of economic activities

o Explain externalities

o Explain cumulative effects

· Propose low impact strategies for decision-making

o Describe quality of life

o Explain sustainable development

o Give examples of individual and institutional responsibility

o Develop a plan of action for a local issue.

· Analyze the role of participation in society

o Describe power relationships among individuals and institutions & the economy, society and environment.

o Describe the values associated with effective participation

o Justify their own views of effective participation and collaboration

o Plan an effective participative process