Unit plan comicsTHE TEACHING KIT
The kit created by Project SEEDS is intended to be a supplementary teaching tool on themes related to sustainability issues. Though originally developed for Italian and Spanish secondary schools and tested locally as a trial sample, it has however been conceived to be exported and adapted to a wider international context. It can be said to have its roots and to have drawn inspiration both from the
In fact, it is in the values expressed in these documents that we can find the right key of interpretation of the kit, that appears as a physical as well as ‘cultural’ container of suggestions, reflections and activities.
The SEEDS Kit provides the user with a wide range of alternative courses to take. Starting from a statement drawn from the Ethical Charter, you can then find examples and experiments which will help to set it in its right context, but it is also possible for you to start from objects (books, seeds, films) games and real laboratory experiments or from the proposals previously put to the test at the local schools, to eventually come to reflect upon the values and meaning of environmental ethics.
There will not be any definite answers to questions, nor ready-made solutions to problems; rather, a stimulus for further discussion or activities the results of which to later share and compare, thus covering an educational path.
Intended to be used at school during the classes and devised to answer the many diverse needs depending on the type of school, the Kit could be usefully adopted as part of a long and well-constructed course taking the whole school year or, alternatively, be used as a start-up activity or as a single activity of in-depth study or reflection.
The Kit’s great flexibility invites and allows the users to play an active role and make the most of the simple working tools it offers in order to meet their needs and achieve their aims and objectives.
How to use the Kit
As already mentioned, the Kit has been inspired by the Ethical Charter on Environmental Issues drawn up by the DEE (Departments of Environmental Education) of the Province of Parma. The Charter consists of 9 statements that, though closely related and interconnected, open up the most diverse subjects of discussion in different spheres.
Each statement has been linked to one or more closely related activities, which could quite differ from one another according to different needs and contexts. The connection between statement and activity is not to be considered in any way binding as deriving merely from practical needs.
Each and every activity is meant to offer methodological suggestions as well as practical operational material so as to make of Environmental Ethics a field of experimentation enhancing the students’ spirit of observation, capacity to formulate hypothesis and critical ability.
The PlayDecide Kit “An Ark Towards 2050”, a game specifically created for SEEDS, unites all different aspects pertaining to Environmental Ethics. Its contents and instructions are to be found in the Card with the same title.
The Activity Cards are a practical operating guide on how to use the kit.
While in the In-Depth Study Section you will be able to find additional material related to the single activities.
Moreover, the kit contains also examples of educational paths developed by the various schools who took part in the project, which could be taken as sample activities teachers might choose to implement with their own classes.
Statement from the Ethical Charter
Biodiversity (genetics, species, ecosystem, landscape as well as culture) is the world’s heritage and, as such, it must be preserved.
Nature, in which human beings fully and totally partake, must be protected against further damage operated by the same human race who, so far, has proven itself capable of damaging, altering and destroying the environment, its resources and balance, thus impoverishing it and making of it an inhospitable place not only for human beings but also for all other living species.
The “precautionary principle” should always be adopted, taking all the necessary time and steps required to gather adequate and useful information so as to make conscious decisions.
In trying to define the concept of “natural” environment, we should include also built-up areas while assessing, at the same time, their environmental impact; moreover, the utmost attention and care should be placed to respect and preserve the wilderness and areas not yet affected by human activity, thus acknowledging their naturalistic, ecological, representative and symbolic value.
Human wellbeing and the quality of life are priority objectives which cannot however be pursued without considering the welfare of the whole biosphere; the maximization of individual welfare cannot in fact coincide with the utmost wellbeing of both the human species and nature. Every member of the human race should behave in such a way as to minimize, directly or indirectly, and in every single act, the level of physical or mental suffering of all the beings belonging to the human species as well as to other ones; all
non-environmentally-sustainable activities should be gradually abandoned; among those, war activities first and foremost.
In the relationships network connecting the various species the human concept of solidarity will have to be called for in order to overcome all limits of place, time and species. Individual as well as social models of solidarity are to be favoured, while reducing, at the same time, antagonistic relationships which seem to be prevailing nowadays.
Sustainable Future (book)
Each single person, in order to be able to act in full awareness and sense of responsibility, must be made acquainted with how natural processes work and with their dynamics. And since the “repression” process is an inherent part of human nature, we are convinced that historical memory, scientific research, humanistic knowledge and education are activities to be constantly developed, funded and spread.
Nature could produce balanced relationships both between same-species individuals as between different-species ones, because it contributes to a balanced development of the individual “self”. That is why the natural environment should become a kind of “training” place where you can experience all levels of human sensory, emotional as well as cognitive learning.
In order to achieve the necessary and desirable consistency between the abovementioned ethical principles and our daily actions, we will need the courage to face all possible conflicts, avoiding gender, racial and all other kinds of discrimination possibly related to other individual features.
The texts of the Kit’s Manual have been edited by G. Boselli, Province of Parma, E. Colombi and R. Mazzoni, Googol Association; the reports on the activities carried out at the local schools have been edited by the teachers who took active part in the project: Maria Giovanna Ghinelli and Alice Bellodi for Liceo Scientifico Bertolucci; Rosalba Lispi, M. Giovanna Mambrioni and Roberto Mori for Liceo Scientifico Marconi; Novella Fossati and Maria Innocenza Fortini for ITAS-Bocchialini; Barbara Scapellato for IIS Paciolo-D’Annunzio;
THE SPANISH KIT
The didactic material kit we present is the final product arising out of the Comenius Regio Project, known as “Seeds”, which has been carried out during the academic years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, under the coordinated action of the institutions of the provinces of Parma (Italy) and Granada (Spain) mentioned at the start of this pack.
The briefcase presented contains the material which has been produced in the province of Granada. http://seeds4education.org/
With the aim of providing the reader with the context within which the work has been carried out, we begin by defining what we understand by ETHICS so as to guarantee that we use a common code which makes understanding possible:
For us, ‘ETHICS are a state of conscience by which we make ourselves responsible for ensuring that the consequences of our actions are not harmful to others or to the environment.’
Having established the definition of the concept, it is necessary to have a tool which provides us with benchmarks in order to steer our proposals for action in that direction, giving greater precision to the framework we have started from. For that purpose we have chosen THE EARTH CHARTER, taking on the commitment that the principles contained in the Charter are present in each of the activities that we propose.
The action proposals of the didactic KIT turn on two major themes, namely:
- Environmental education
- Didactics of experimental sciences
The first pillar we base ourselves on is environmental education.
The origins of what we know today as environmental education can be found in the1970s, the period in which the name began to be used in various forums at a global level, although it is true that there had been some previous isolated and sporadic references.
- Stockholm (Sweden, 1972). Stockholm Declaration
- Belgrade (Yugoslavia, 1975): Belgrade Charter
- Tbilisi (USSR, 1977)
- General Assembly of the United Nations (1982): World Charter for Nature
- Moscow (USSR, 1987): Our Common Future, known as the Brundtland Report
- Río de Janeiro (Brazil, 1992): Earth Summit and Global Forum
- Guadalajara (Mexico, 1992).- Latin America Conference for Environmental Education
- The Hague (Netherlands, 2000): official presentation of the Earth Charter
- Johannesburg (South Africa, 2002): World Summit on Sustainable Development
- UNESCO (2005-2014): declaration of the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development
Throughout this brief historical process, the concept of environmental education has undergone important changes. It has moved from being seen only in terms of conservation and biology to, in many cases, a comprehensive vision of the interrelation between society and nature. Likewise, there has been a move towards rigorous questioning of the styles of development implemented in the world, identifying them as the principle causes of the environmental problem. At the same time, greater importance has been given to the role played by environmental education in the possible solution to these problems.
The amount of international action that has been necessary in such little time gives us an idea of the magnitude of the problems facing the environment, which are far from being resolved despite all the agreements signed, and today we find ourselves in a rather difficult situation. For that reason, environmental education continues to be important.
Within this framework, the Autonomous Community of Andalusia has a long history of specific activities that have allowed the development of environmental education.
Much attention has been given to the subject by various public authorities, private institutions, private-public consortia, associations of different natures, as well as co-ordinated action.
Specifically, the Autonomous Community of Andalusia starts from the position that the educational community is a key social sector in contributing to the improvement of environmental quality, both because it is responsible for the education of citizens and because of the influence that it has on the rest of society.
For that reason, particular importance is given to the integration of environmental and educational issues, with the objective of fostering a commitment to a change of perspective, habits and behaviour aimed at finding a fairer and more supportive society that is concerned about the quality of its environment.
To facilitate this environmental perspective in educational centres, the Department of Education, Culture and Sport and the Department of the Environment and Planning of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia introduced the environmental education programme ALDEA in 1990. Since then, it has been implemented without interruption through different programmes which have been amplified and extended throughout this period. Currently, the following are undertaken:
- Ecoescuela: Programme of international scope whose aim is environmental management and certification in educational centres, involving them in an effective process of improvement of the environment in schools and local communities. Through its methodology, it favours educational quality, research, exchange of ideas and equality of the sexes. It is implemented around four core subjects: water, energy, waste, and physical and human environment.
- Recapacicla: Programme of environmental education about solid waste aimed at secondary and higher education, and art schools. It provides for action in communication, education and participation in environmental matters to promote selective collection, retrieval and recycling of glass and packaging, and to raise awareness of the problem of waste.
- Kiotoeduca: this programme seeks to raise awareness of the socio-environmental problems of climate change and to transfer that awareness to the educational community’s immediate environment. The Kiotoeduca programme provides guidance for teachers and offers suggestions, support resources and add-ons for the design or carrying out of activities promoting awareness of the seriousness of climate change. It also looks to foster in educational centres attitudes and behaviour which save energy and are respectful of the environment, with the objective of achieving a reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases.
- Crece con tu árbol. One of the main aims of this programme is social awareness of the importance of conserving woodland ecosystems and the identification of the principal threats to them.
- Cuidemos la costa. The aim of this campaign is that the teaching community deals with the reality of the coastline. Thus, it offers various activities so that people value and are aware of Andalusia’s valuable coastline, and which promote attitudes and behaviour which can contribute to its conservation.
- Educación ambiental en la red de Jardines botánicos. This programme aims to stimulate the student’s interest in the world of vegetation and to cause the student to value it through direct contact with Andalusia’s most characteristic and most important species, promoting the creation of emotional relationships and fostering respectful attitudes; knowing their needs, state of conservation and what we can do to maintain or improve that conservation.
- La naturaleza y tú. This programme’s aim is that the student knows and appreciates Andalusia’s natural spaces, fostering respect for the natural environment at an immediate and a global level, placing value on public facilities. Further, various dynamic activities are undertaken in the natural environment in order to bring the main values of natural space nearer, and to know and to evaluate the main environmental problems and conflicts arising in these areas with the objective of creating environmental awareness.
- EducAves: An environmental education and awareness programme which makes use of studying and watching birds. Similarly, in 2003 the Department of the Environment introduced the Andalusian Strategy for Environmental Education which has two basic objectives: the building of a general reference framework for environmental education in Andalusia and the mobilization and dynamization of the human and material resources in the community. Multiple organisations, businesses and individuals have joined up to this strategy, beginning with the commitment to act responsibly towards the environment.
It is hoped that these initiatives, taken together, will contribute to the creation of a citizenry which is more responsible towards and committed to the environment and the people who inhabit it in order to build a world on the terms established in the Earth Charter.
The ALDEA programme gives teachers access to multiple resources for environmental education, organised in an open-access database called EDUCAM, which can be most helpful. It can be accessed via the following link
The Teachers’ Centre disseminates these programmes amongst the educational centres, inviting their participation in the programmes and enabling the training of teaching staff in the areas covered in each programme through specialised courses, informative workshops, good practice meetings, creation of professional networks and similar. It is a model that can be exported to any context.
Other institutions participating in this project have made important contributions along the same lines, such as the Parque de las Ciencias de Granada (Granada Science Park), which is a science centre and museum. It opened in 1995 and is the most visited museum in Andalusia,. It is now established as a centre of international reference for the dissemination of science in southern Europe.
It is managed by a public consortium consisting of the Department of Education, Culture and Sport, the Department of the Environment and Planning, and the Department of the Economy, Innovation, Science and Employment of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, the City Council of Granada, the Provincial Council of Granada, Granada
University, the Higher Council for Scientific Research, and Fundacion Caja Granada.
Its varied activities give special attention to the promotion and dissemination of science such as environmental education, and they are exportable to any context. As participants in the SEEDS project, they have made specific contributions to the KIT’s contents which can be consulted below.
To know more: Parque de las Ciencias
At the same time, some municipal authorities have acted to facilitate the conservation of the environment, promoting environmental education for all citizens, as is the case
with the council of the village of ALHENDIN through the implementation of the Km0 project, which is an example of the management of urban solid waste exportable to any context. This council is another of the participants in the SEEDS project. Detailed information about the said project can be found on the following website. The contributions made to the KIT can be consulted below.
The Km0 project provides for co-ordinated action with certain educational centres, as is the case with IES Alhendin (Alhendin Secondary School) and IES Aynadamar (Aynadamar Secondary School). The model developed is exportable to any context. The said schools also participate in the SEEDS project and they have carried out several activities in co-ordination with the council, the most noteworthy of which form part of the KIT and can be consulted below.
To know more
Didactics Of Experimental Sciences
Experimental sciences form the other major pillar on which we have based the work of the SEEDS project.
By way of background we refer to the contents of the 2007 Rocard Report, which alerted the European Union to the fall in the number of young people studying sciences in EU member states. In the same report it was suggested that the origins of this situation could be found in the way science is taught. This situation invites us to reflect on teaching practice and to propose methodological changes which foster the student’s interest.
With the SEEDS project we have wanted to do our bit to alleviate this situation. We make a brief analysis, starting with a review of the different didactic models used for teaching experimental sciences in educational centres, with the intention of establishing which of them is most appropriate for finding a solution to the problem raised. There are the following models:
- Traditional transmissive teaching: this methodological model has the following characteristics:
- It presents scientific knowledge as something completed.
- It starts from the basis that to know the sciences entails appropriating from
- that completed knowledge.
- The classes begin by giving definitions without showing the connection of ideas
- and phenomena.
- Information is taught but without any scientific skill.
- It forgets that science is a way of knowing.
- Teaching through spontaneous discovery: this methodological model emerges as a reaction to the traditional teaching model, with the rise of constructivist ideas. This model has the following characteristics:
- The teacher puts the children in contact with the world of phenomena through experiments.
- There is an explicit attempt to connect the scientific phenomena with application to day-to-day life.
- It commits the error of thinking that science is learned simply through contact with phenomena. Given that the conscious intellectual process needed for scientific knowledge to be constructed does not occur spontaneously, the teacher has to intentionally induce it and/or help to deduce it.
- Inquiry-based teaching: this methodological model has the following characteristics:
- It focuses on integrated teaching of scientific concepts and skills.
- It respects the phenomenon-idea-terminology sequence (faithful to the empirical aspect of science).
- It identifies clearly and explicitly what we want the children to learn:
- Scientific skills
- It identifies the evidence which indicates to us that the children have learned what we wanted to teach them.
- That evidence steers the type of tasks proposed and provides for monitoring of the degree to which we have achieved what we proposed.
- It obliges us to think deliberately about how we are going to teach what we want the students to learn.
- The selection of tasks and activities that we propose be used must be focused on learning the scientific skills in graduated manner, making sure that all the defined skills are used in the time established to achieve that.
- To adjust the time available and to establish explicit strategies which make it possible to achieve our proposal.
- Lesson-planning is fundamental:
- How to initiate the discussion.
- To decide whether or not to show, and when to show, a specific phenomenon.
- How to organise the students’ work.
- What tasks we will ask be performed.
- How to moderate the discussions.
- When to speak and when to stay quiet.
- How to bring the lesson to a close.
Various research on the use of methodologies for science teaching at both primary and secondary level reveals that traditional transmissive teaching is prevalent in most classrooms.
At the same time, there are some experiences based on the teaching model of spontaneous discovery which are reduced to the application of isolated experimental formulae, giving scant importance to the planning of the research or to the interpretation of the results, and leaving little time for reflection, analysis, debate and inquiry. Consequently, good results in learning are not obtained after its application.
There are some scant and isolated experiences based on the model of inquiry-based teaching, giving good results in those centres where it is applied systematically and continuously.
We pause to recall that the important thing is that students be able to build scientific thought in order to understand how things work and to think for themselves:
- To create more systematic and autonomous thinking habits.
- To imagine possible explanations.
- To put their hypothesis to proof.
- To support their words with evidence.
- To question, with good judgement, the statements put to them.
To complete the reasoning that supports our methodological position, we must take into account what are the characteristics of science in order to secure that they are integrated into it and to guarantee accuracy in our participation:
- Science as a product: it is a set of facts and explanations given to the phenomena throughout history, that is, the concepts of science. To teach science as a product entails teaching the concepts of science. Furthermore, it must be considered that scientific knowledge is organised into frameworks that give it sense and coherence.
However, how do scientists come to know what they know? to generate scientific knowledge? To answer those questions, we must put ourselves in this other dimension of science.
- Science as a process. We call this other dimension skills. It includes the methodological aspects of science. The experts agree in emphasising that, instead of the scientific method, it proves more valuable to teach a series of skills related to the methods of knowing science:
- Compare and classify.
- Formulate researchable questions.
- Put forward hypotheses and predictions.
- Design experiments to answer the questions.
- Analyse results.
- Propose explanations which account for the results.
- Look for and interpret scientific information from texts and other documentary sources.
The studies analysed indicate that until now the methodological option which best meets those requirements is inquiry-based teaching, and that is our position. In order to make it better-known, we propose various training activities for teaching staff (courses with follow-up, science fair, meetings with young researchers, and so on) with the aim that teachers learn to use the said methodology, as well as creating spaces for dissemination and exchange of experiences between teaching staff and students and
their families. Likewise, monitoring is carried out to guarantee that the activities are not isolated but rather they come to be systematic in educational centres, offering the support needed throughout this process. These activities are carried out from the Parque de las Ciencias (Science Park), the CEP (Teachers’ Centre) and/or through cooperation between the two organisations.
In the SEEDS project we have taken this methodology as a guide in all those projects where it has been possible. Some of the proposals included in the KIT are the fruit of that process.
The set of materials produced is included in the accompanying briefcase. The information needed to be able to use them is found in this information pack. It is also available on the accompanying CD and the webpage http://seeds4education.org/, where all the materials included in the KIT can be downloaded.
1. Game for the seeds debate
2. Km0 project
This resulting materials has been provided by Ayuntamiento de Alhendin
Using images and short messages, the book shows the implementation of the KM0 PROJECT. It is included in the briefcase, ready to be used with the students.
3. How to produce a comic
I.E.S. Alhendin has got a wide tradition working with environmental ethic. One of the most popular projects is the production of “Graphic stories on environmental problems”. Focusing on this activity, this school has created the didactic material to be worked in every school of the European context.
To work on the elaboration of a comic, we have faced the following achievement indicators:
– Dominate the structural language of a comic.
– Use correctly graphical technics related to comic.
– Detection of environmental problems and propose solutions.
– Development of previous knowledge and skills to design a comic.
This activity is thought to be worked with students between 12 and 16 years old. Along twenty-five tasks students worked one hour weekly during one term, producing at the end a huge amount of comics on environmental matters every school year. All the comics participate in a contest at the end of the year, with several prizes for the best; the jury that evaluates the samples is formed by teachers, parents and students (not taking part in the contest).
The kit material elaborated by I.E.S. Alhendin includes a teacher’s guide, a work unit for student and some examples of comics. This material has been used in real teaching context with good results. The success of the activity has been measured both by the number of comics produced every year by students and by the increasing quality of the samples every school year.
The material that you can find in the kit consists on:
4. How to make a short film
I.E.S. Alhendin has provided this resulting material about “How to make a short film”. In the scholar year 2012-2013, a bilingual subject called “Integrated project” wasincluded in the curriculum of 4o ESO level (15-16 years old students). This hour weekly subject’s contents were a movie-making workshop. The original point of view of the workshop has been changed for participating in a yearly local contest of environmental advertisements. We include in the kit our last proposal focused in environmental questions.
The suggested teaching unit presents the process needed to successfully produce a school short film, in this case with an environmental theme. The information needed for its implementation, an example of the final product, as well as teacher´s guide are found on the digital material accompanying this information pack.
- Guía de trabajo para el alumnadoFilmmaking- workshop
- Teacher’s guide for English kit
5. How to reuse paper in a school
6. How to create a school recycling collection point
7. Experiences with recycling of cooking oil
8- Experiences with water