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

by Compass Team

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 2-day Sustainability Education Professional Development (PD) workshop for twenty-six 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.

The 2-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 VISIS Pyramid.Teachers demonstrated their excitement over using the Compass model approach/ framework and VISIS tools in many contexts.Ideas included

  • Wellbeing committee to evaluate proposed change
  • 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