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Transcript of Curriculum Development
Active Community Program Proposal: MEC
Development of ACP Program
The sustainability proposal is to run a local Active Community Program (ACP) with the aim to connect students with their local environment. The proposal is based on the concepts of outdoor learning from Beames, Higgins & Nicol (2012) where students participate in outdoor learning in the local neighbourhood (zone 2) with their teacher(s) and how this would occur is formulated in the eight guidelines that will serve to inform planning for outdoor learning.
The proposal will aim to foster student connections with local environment and facilitate a deeper feeling of being part of their local community. It will promote health and well being through this sense of belonging to a wider community outside of the classroom by learning outdoors.
Linking ACP Program with Curriculum
The proposed ACP program focuses on students researching the local Balcombe Estuary and building roosting boxes that are a practical and purposeful activity for Year 4. This will have an integrated curriculum approach to facilitate student learning through connection with their local environment and community. According to Beames et al (p 15, 2011) if we focus our students learning through the outdoors it can benefit their 'physical, academic, aesthetic, emotional, personal, and social development' and this can offer interdisciplinary learning opportunities in realistic contexts. Further, Davis (2010) suggests that educators use an approach to teaching sustainability that adopts interdisciplinary ways of thinking and problem solving, where students learning is transformative and builds capabilities of sustainability practice in action.
The location of the Balcombe Estuary for the outdoor classroom program is part of the local neighbourhood and is identified by Beames et al (2012) as Zone 2, as it is walking distance from Osborne Primary School and forms part the schools community as many children's houses surround it. Balcombe Estuary is chosen as the site for outdoor learning and is familiar to the local community.
The ACP program aims to foster children's sense of meaningful connection through the actions of caring and understanding local wildlife and to feel part that they are part of the community and responsible for the environment in which they live. Jickling (2010) advocates the value of an indigenous perspective that can provide a critical focus of student inquiry and to learn how the land can be linked to identify, belonging and well being through deep cultural connections. Extending this proposition is a valuable component of the ACP program at the Balcombe Estuary by engaging with the local community group B.E.R.G. and local indigenous elders, through local Government, to speak with the students in the environment in which they work and live. Local children rarely have access to the experience and culture that local indigenous elders have of their environment or to hugely successful volunteer organisations like B.E.R.G.
The ACP program will offer both 'views' as a valuable tool that will allow children to make critical connections with the past, the current situation threatening the local environment and ecosystem, and to investigate future implications through the lens of sustainability. As suggested by Beames et al (2012) that if we as teachers can integrate learning across the curriculum areas in an integrated approach that more authentically reflects the interdisciplinary nature of the way we interact with each other and the environment in real-life if we incorporate a real world approach.
Further Guidelines of Outdoor Learning
In planning lessons for outdoor learning we need to take into account all eight guidelines from Beames et al (2012).
Active Community Program Initiative
Students will learn through action that they can make a difference to their local environment and community (Davis, 2010). This will promote increased student engagement at Osborne Primary School and learning through a local outdoor program that links the concepts of sustainability with movement, environment and community .
The Mind Map allows us to make powerful connections through associations and by organising information via hierarchies and categories from a central main idea or concept (Budd, 2004).
This Mind Map makes connections between MEC concepts and links associations from the Balcombe Estuary roost boxes through the ACP program.
Roost Boxes Program
This program will link local community group BERG (Balcombe Estuary Rehabilitation Group) with Osborne Primary School community to build, paint, install and monitor breeding boxes for local small mammals sugar gliders and micro bats. The project is fully funded donations received by B.E.R.G. and run by their volunteer school liaison officer.
The ACP program aim is for students will learn that through making connection with the local community and environment we can make change happen. This will be supported through engaging with sustainable practices of building the roost boxes to protect and foster breeding of local indigenous wildlife and their habitat.
Students will also make scientific observations and research local flora and fauna, create an art piece and manage a budget, build the boxes and produce a final Project for presentation.
A local Aboriginal elder will speak with the children about the history of the area and how indigenous people are connected to the land and its animals. The aim is to connect history with current knowledge and practice and for children to make critical connections for themselves about how to sustainability works in practice.
Integrate an ACP program within the curriculum linking to civics and citizenship, sustainability, health and well being, science, and history.
Through developing cross curriculum links students
Challenges and opportunities
There has been limited outdoor education opportunities and student engagement and there are concerns about health and well being opportunities to promote both the mind, body, spirit (Osborne Primary, July 2013).
Identify the problem
This will promote connections with the school community and local community through the B.E.R.G program. This will help students to develop a sense of who they are in connection to their environment and that through action they can contribute to change locally.
Benefits of the ACP Program
Physical, Personal and Social Learning
1.Civics and Citizenship
Civic knowledge & understanding
Building social relationships
Working in teams
The individual learner
Managing personal learning
Measurement & Geometry (ACMMG137) (ACMMG136)
Speaking & Listening (ACELY1710) (ACELY1714)
The Humanities: Geography & History
Historical Knowledge & Understanding (ACHHK116)
Geographical Knowledge & Understanding (standards)
Creating and Making
Exploring and responding
Science Inquiry Skills (ACSIS232) (ACSIS103) (ACSIS105) (ACSIS107) (ACSIS110) (ACSIS107)
Embed Sustainability across Science
developing students depth of understanding and knowledge of the local Balcombe Estuary as a place of significance
develop familiarity with local flora and fauna
sustainability practice to recover and revive local ecosystem
to connect through one's senses to the local environment
to promote civics and citizenship through participation
develop respect and empathy for the local environment through making connections
3.Learning through local landscapes (Beames et al, (2012)
Balcombe Estuary as a local site of learning
Indigenous owners The Boon wurrung, relationship to the land and animals
Indigenous language, such as Tji’tjin’garook – the voice of frogs History of the area: early records tell of emus, koalas, wallabies, great flocks of large kangaroos up to 8 feet in hight, and a host of smaller animals and birds, as well as rich fish and plant life.
4.Harnessing student curiosity Beames et al (2012)
Investigate micro bats and sugar gliders and their habitat.
How do the use the roost boxes?
Can it provide safety from preditors?
Where should they be placed in a tree?
Does this help in the future of the indigenous wildlife and ecology of the Balcombe Estuary?
Does the design encourage the animals to use them, if so why?
Budd, J.W (2004)
Budd, J. W. (2004). Mind Maps as Classroom Exercises. Journal Of Economic Education, 35(1), 35-46. Retrieved Sept 2, 5, 6 & 9 2013 from: http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.lib.monash.edu.au/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=f3a8200c-f41a-417d-8599-0a6e981d065e%40sessionmgr4&vid=2&hid=9
As a school community we can foster links through learning practice by engaging with the knowledge and expertise of local community groups making a difference in land care and animal protection.
The challenge is for students to feel an authentic connection to place, locally, outside of the school and to know they can make a difference to their community.
1.Design, creativity & technology
Investigating & Designing
Analysing & Evaluating
Listening, Viewing & Responding
Reasoning, Processing & Inquiry
Reflection, Evaluation & Metacognition
Systems, World Views, Futures OI.1-9
Embed in Science
2.Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
Country/Place, Culture, People OI.1-9
Embed in Science
connect and mentoring from B.E.R.G.
design, build, install & managing the roost boxes with B.E.R.G.
learn the Indigenous history: the Boon wurrung, the Mornington Peninsula’s traditional owners, and they called the creek Tji’tjin’garook (the voice of frogs)
2. Education for Sustainable Development
Creating roost boxes for safe refuge for local mammals for a sustainable future
To make roost boxes with few simple resources/materials instead of buying the boxes ready made and to learn these practices from mentors at B.E.R.G.
To walk to local places of significance
Sustainability practices of leaving only your footprints behind in the local environment
5.Enabling students to take responsibilities (Beames et al, 2012)
The hike to the Balcombe Estuary and the installation, management and monitoring of the roost boxes is an authentic adventure where students will;
learn to take responsibility for themselves, others and the environment
be in situations requiring considered decision making and action
make decisions that directly effect themselves and others.
6.Building Community Partnerships (Beames et al, 2012).
Students will be mentored by and learn from:
local community volunteers at B.E.R.G.
parents will be involved in helping students follow design instructions, build, paint and install boxes
grandparents encouraged to share knowledge & local knowledge in building and installing boxes
Indigenous community leaders will provide link to local history and culture in connection to country.
7.Administration & Risk Management (Beames et al, 2012)
Student with their teacher will learn about the hazards in terms of risks and benefits. Children learn how to evaluate risks and collaborate with the teacher to write a risk assessment management plan.
They will address the basic elements in creating a risk management plan:
2.Blanket consent form
3.Emergency action plan
8. Supervising Students Outdoors (Beames et al, 2012)
There are human, environmental and external factors requiring management skills.
Ratios: teacher to students
Planning documents such as risk assessments and parent release/participation forms signed
Medical documentation up to date and take to Balcombe estuary
Manage students are staying on task regularly
Feng, L. (2012)
Feng, L. (2012). Teacher and student responses to interdisciplinary aspects of sustainability education: what do we really know? Environmental Education Research, 18:1, 31-43. Retrieved Sept 2,5, 9 & 16 2013, from: http://www.tandfonline.com.ezproxy.lib.monash.edu.au/doi/abs/10.1080/13504622.2011.574209#.UjvNlNKw2So
AusVELS, Science Curriculum Level 3-6. Accessed 2, 6, 9, 16 September 2013: http://ausvels.vcaa.vic.edu.au/Science/Curriculum/F-10#level=4
AusVELS, Civics and Citizenship Curriculum Level 3-6. Accessed 2, 6, 9, 16 September 2013:http://ausvels.vcaa.vic.edu.au/Civics-and-Citizenship/Curriculum#level=4
Through initiating a local ACP Program where children learn to build roost boxes for endangered native wildlife we can link both an outdoor activity with community across a school-based curriculum. I propose that we integrate the initiative at a Year 4 level and for it to become part of a Civics and Citizenship (AusVELS, 2013) unit through an interdisciplinary approach across Science and Geography units.
Through an interdisciplinary approach an ACP program can develop awareness and understanding of how scientiﬁc and cultural thinking are linked, further, Feng (2011) proposes that by combining both scientiﬁc and cultural perspectives learners can experience a more authentic sustainability education.
ACP Program: An interdisciplinary Approach to Sustainability Education
1. A planned incursion at the beginning of Term 3 with the schools liaison officer B.E.R.G community group will foreground the ACP program by bringing expertise and local knowledge into the classroom.
2. The Year 4 group will form teams of 4 to collaborate on a final Poster (digital) to present their research at the end or term 3.
3. Each student will be responsible for their own project/research within the group that contributes to the final Poster and presentation.
1. Students will use a range of digital resources to capture, record and display their research findings in their final project.
2.Group Project requires the application and development of key communication.
3.Through an Inquiry-based project the students will use thinking processes both in individual and collaborative approaches to their group Project and across developing deep learning of interdisciplinary areas of Maths, Science, Geography and Art.
1. Students will use Maths to formulate a budget, with B.E.R.G., for building the breeding boxes and manage the budget for buying the materials needed to build the roost boxes.
2. Students will keep a diary blog of their research and use their research for their final group Project in the form of a poster (digital). The Posters will be presented to the class.
3. After students have visited the Balcombe Estuary they will map it (in scale) on either paper or digitally to identify local features of the Estuary and the location of the roost boxes within it. They will research local history: both settler and indigenous history (through Aboriginal elder incursion) and incorporate this into their final Project.
5.Students will create an art piece to show in their final Project. This will be informed by their experience and knowledge of the Balcombe Estuary. They will either create a dance, song, drama about a micro bat or sugar glider. This will be written, produced and recorded by students in the classroom using a multiliteracies approach.
4. Students will write a research project using scientific concepts to make observations, record data, and explain findings for their final project. They will research and write about bat or sugar-glider facts, anatomy, habitat (flora and fauna), what they eat and why they are endangered in our local area.
1.Sustainability learning will be integrated across student inquiry into Balcombe Estuary as a sanctuary and why there are endangered wildlife and what factors impact on their survival. They will learn how this is a global issue. Students will incorporate learning of sustainability in their final Project.
2. An incursion of an Aboriginal elder through the Mornington Peninsula Shire will inform students of the history of the area, how indigenous people practiced sustainability and how this can improve future management of both flora and fauna of Balcombe Estuary.
Davis, J. (2010).
Davis, J. (2010). Young Children and the Environment. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved Sept 2, 5, 6 2013 from Monash University Library Catalogue, Ebooks Corporation: http://www.monash.eblib.com.au.ezproxy.lib.monash.edu.au/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=564447&echo=1&userid=ZddiJRMopq8%3d&tstamp=1379570095&id=53C7EFE5C8149CA687E37029ACA865CEC66F4B78
Beames, S., Higgins, P.J. & Nicol, R. (2012). Learning Outside The Classroom: Theory and Guidelines, pp 1-15. Hoboken, Taylor and Francis. Retrieved August 26, September 2, 6, 9, from Monash University Library Catalogue, Ebooks Corporation: http://MONASH.eblib.com.au/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=957269
Beames, S., Higgins, P.J. & Nicol, R. (2012).
Community Group B.E.R.G.
B.E.R.G. [Balcombe Estuary Rehabilitation Group] (n.d.). Retrieved 2, 5, 9, 12 September 2013 from: http://www.berg.org.au/
Osborne Primary School
Osborne Primary School (2013). Retrieved 12 September 2013 from: http://www.osborneps.vic.edu.au/#!sustainability/c1p1t
Jickling, B. (2010).
Jickling, B. (2010) Environmental Thought, the Language of Sustainability, and Digital Watches. Environmental Education Research, Vol. 18, Iss. 1. Retrieved 2, 5, 12 September 2013 from: http://www.tandfonline.com.ezproxy.lib.monash.edu.au/doi/abs/10.1080/13504622.2011.574209#.UjvNlNKw2So