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Do we make a difference to the world?

It is fascinating how little change one can make in the lives of students! Despite over a month of exploring the Greenhouse Effect through experiments, creating animations, designing posters, participating in Earth Hour activities, watching 'An Inconvenient Truth', reading the EPA website, discussion and personal affirmations, the class can still leave the windows and doors open with the lights and airconditioner going when they leave the room. What can we do to move this learning deeper into their sense of being so that their world can be changed for the better?

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Comment by Steven Caldwell on May 13, 2007 at 10:15pm
Yes, scaffolding is essential. I agree. But when the learning remains 'two-dimensional' (ie, on the page or without actionable points) I feel that no change in either the lives of the learner or, potentially, the world can occur.

In this instance, just seeing the students turn of the lights when they leave the room would be more proof to me of learning than a gigantic model of the Water Cycle, if you take my meaning.

CO-CHAIR
Comment by Lucy Gray on May 11, 2007 at 8:30am
Ah... you are at Westley's school. He and his wife are coming to stay at my house in a few weeks and my family is excited about this visit!

Deliberate scaffolding of experiences is key to good teaching, I think. I haven't mastered the fine art of this yet, but I'm slowly getting yet. And yes, I do agree that kids need to feel uncomfortable to really ponder cause and effect!
Comment by Steven Caldwell on May 10, 2007 at 12:03am
I teach at MLC school in Burwood, Sydney.

I do think they can think outside of themselves but, form my experience, it takes a carefully managed/scaffolded crisis to make change that is noteworthy. Perhaps we don't allow our precious ones to feel the pain/need that facilitates change?

CO-CHAIR
Comment by Lucy Gray on May 9, 2007 at 9:54pm
Hi Steven -

Do you think it's developmentally possible? Are kids' brains wired to think outside of themselves?!?

Where in Australia are you from, btw?

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