Sustainability Education Professional Development Workshop at International School Manila (ISM), 2013

Professional development

On August 31 through September 1, 2013,  Robert Steele, one of our most experienced Compass Education trainers, with the superb assistance of Tom McLean, Sustainability Coordinator for International School Manila (ISM), facilitated a two-day Sustainability Education Professional Development (PD) workshop for 26 teachers from all three schools (Elementary, Middle and High Schools) of ISM. The main objectives for this PD training were to introduce to the teachers some effective tools, methods, games and approaches for linking and incorporating sustainability into all levels of ISM’s curriculum in order to support ISM student development and empowerment to be change leaders.

Building a fast paced Pyramid

The two-day program was broken into four blocks focusing on 1) sustainability concepts and principals; 2) tools and approaches for sustainability teaching and learning, with most emphasis placed on using the Compass; 3) games and tools for systems thinking and sustainability planning including a fast-paced full ISIS Pyramid completed in two hours (with some systems games thrown in); and 4) time for participating teachers to think about how they can best support ISM’s own whole school sustainability journey.

According to participants’ feedback, highlights of the training program were the Common Dilemma Fishing Game, the System Iceberg for deeper analysis, the Compass, the Triangles systems game and the ISIS Pyramid.Teachers demonstrated their excitement over using the Compass model approach/ framework and ISIS tools in many contexts.Ideas included

  • Wellbeing committee to evaluate proposed changeimg_0269_work
  • ICare Homeroom
  • Freshman High School/ Berdesaco and service committee
  • Analyzing pictures in IB classes
  • Broaden students’ knowledge of what sustainability actually is
  • Enhance further thinking and making connections with terminology and big concepts, such as in units on professions or globalization
  • Evaluate art works; compare and contrast work in terms of history, culture, artistic movements and other aspects; this is a great visible thinking tool to help students connect their art work to the wider world
  • Curriculum framework in “Changing Our World”
  • Lens for analysing problems
  • Lens for analysing and assessing service learning projects such as CWW and Sat Service
  • Viewing units through the Compass can help to better frame tasks and make them more accessible for students
  • Reflection in the middle school CWW program
  • Plan a unit on environment for French 4
  • Apply some of the games in French classes
  • Use the video for a unit on poverty

Interactive games

Supporting Units of Inquiry through the Library

More complex images for older students

More complex images for older students

I try to go through Compass with all Junior grade levels as often as possible, but at least twice a year. With the younger ages, to review the Compass Points I put four large (A3 size) laminated sheets on the floor with N, E, S, and W. I give each student a picture and have him or her stand on which point they think it belongs to. For the youngest students the pictures are very simplistic, and the pictures are more complex for older students; this invites conversation about those items that could go in more than one point. Then I choose a book, preferably linked to the class’ current Unit of Inquiry, and we spend several sessions discussing the book, using Compass to help organize, deepen and connect the discussion.

Simplistic images for youngest students

Simplistic images for youngest students

Example pages from Me, Oliver Bright; the main character compares his own life to that of his father and grandfather

Example pages from Me, Oliver Bright connected with the Unit of Inquiry Where We Are in Place and Time

In Early Years 1 and 2 students look at the ways we play to learn, and to express our feelings and ideas during the Unit of Inquiry How We Express Ourselves. In Early Years 3 and Grade 1 we look at our Library Essential Agreement at the end of Term 1; through the different Compass lenses students reflect on essential agreement behaviours and how they might be improved (if necessary).

In Grade 2 we have used the book Me, Oliver Bright by Megan De Kantzow and Sally Rippin for three years in a row connected with the Unit of Inquiry Where We Are in Place & Time. The book is about an Australian boy who compares his life to that of his father and grandfather. To facilitate our discussion, I have laminated copies of pictures from the story, which students post on a large board marked with the four Compass Points.

In Grade 3, during the Unit of Inquiry Sharing the Planet, students use the Compass to look more closely at the challenges and risks children face worldwide. Selected pictures from the book are copied, cut and laminated to facilitate further discussion; students place the laminated pictures into Compass domains.

Selected pictures from the book are copied, cut and laminated to facilitate further discussion; students place the laminated pictures into Compass domains

Selected pictures from the book are placed  into Compass domains by the students

In Grade 4 we do a similar exercise using the book Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin by Gene Barretta connected with the Unit of Inquiry Sharing the Planet. We spend at least four weeks on this lesson (including one lesson reviewing Compass), and again, I use laminated copies of pictures from the book to facilitate our discussion.

In Grade 5, I do a lesson on Using Energy At School connected with the Unit of Inquiry Sharing the Planet. I have laminated copies of some pages from Save Energy by Claire Llewellyn that show parts of a school and how energy is used in a school setting. We look for places where we could save energy, and then use the Compass to help discuss why we might want to save energy. I write directly on the laminated copy as students identify points of discussion.

Picture of energy usage points

Picture of energy usage points

 

From Sarah Handley, 2012 while serving as Library and Information Services Specialist, PTIS, Chiang Mai, Thailand