El Método Filadelfia en el Nuevo Modelo Educativo

El nuevo modelo educativo entrará en vigor en el ciclo 2018-2019. Ante esta realidad, muchas maestras nos han preguntado qué pasará con nuestros libros Filadelfia “Yo Conozco” y “Yo Escribo”, para preescolar. ¿Seguirán siendo vigentes?

La respuesta es si, un contundente si. ¿Por qué, se preguntarán algunos, si no se ha hecho una nueva edición de los libros? ¿Cómo pueden seguir siendo vigentes?

Antes que nada, es importante que recordemos que el nuevo modelo no significa, en ningún momento, deshacerse por completo del trabajo realizado en el currículo, planes y programas de estudio anteriores a la reforma. En el mismo documento se especifica, en la página 177, los aspectos que permanecen en el nuevo modelo. Algunos de ellos son:

  • Se trata de un programa abierto y flexible
  • Se conservan los fundamentos de los enfoques pedagógicos
  • Los aprendizajes esperados siguen siendo el referente para la organización del trabajo, la intervención y la evaluación.
  • Se continúa con la evaluación formativa.

Precisamente el carácter flexible y abierto del currículo (el anterior y el vigente) nos ha permitido trabajar con nuestros pequeños con el Método Filadelfia, creando un ambiente rico en estímulos para el desarrollo cerebral, atendiendo de manera implícita y explícita los objetivos del programa. Nuestra propuesta no sólo cubre, sino que incluso rebasa, la presentación de oportunidades para el desarrollo de los aprendizajes esperados que marca la autoridad educativa.

Sin embargo, pudiera haber nerviosismo entre las educadoras ante el cambio. Por ello, analicemos juntos cómo nuestros libros continúan siendo un apoyo valioso e importante para las maestras de preescolar aún a partir de Agosto de 2018.

Los propósitos generales de Lenguaje y Comunicación para Preescolar son:

1. Adquirir confianza para expresarse, dialogar y conversar en su lengua; mejorar su capacidad de escucha y enriquecer su lenguaje oral al comunicarse en situaciones variadas.

2. Desarrollar interés y gusto por la lectura, usar diversos tipos de texto e identificar para qué sirven; iniciarse en la práctica de la escritura y reconocer algunas propiedades del sistema de escritura.

Para alcanzar estos objetivos, el programa nos presenta cuatro organizadores curriculares: Oralidad, Estudio, Literatura y Participación Social. Describiremos cada uno, citando textualmente al Programa (páginas 192 y 193)

“Oralidad. El desarrollo del lenguaje de los niños al ingresar a preescolares variable. Conversar, narrar, describir y explicar son formas de usar el lenguaje que permiten la participación social, así como organizar el pensamiento para comprender y darse a entender; fortalecen la oralidad y el desarrollo cognitivo de los niños porque implican usar diversas formas de expresión, organizar las ideas, expresarse con la intención de exponer diversos tipos de información, formular explicaciones y expresar secuencias congruentes de ideas. El reconocimiento de la diversidad lingüística y cultural es otro elemento del lenguaje que es necesario promover en el aprendizaje de los niños desde sus primeras experiencias educativas para que desarrollen actitudes de respeto hacia esa diversidad; se trata de que adviertan y comprendan que hay costumbres y tradiciones diversas, así como que las cosas pueden nombrarse de maneras diferentes en otras partes y en otras lenguas” (p. 192-193)

Los libros “Yo Escribo” y “Yo Conozco” presentan muchas y muy variadas oportunidades para generar todo tipo de conversaciones alrededor del lenguaje y la cultura, o ,mejor dicho, culturas – incluyendo los inicios de ciudadanía global. Ninguna otra serie educativa presenta de manera tan abierta la diversidad – local y mundial- como nuestros libros Filadelfia para preescolar. Y para primaria, la nueva serie Interacciones (Lenguaje y Comunicación) continúa construyendo las habilidades y conocimientos de nuestros niños a través de la exploración de diferentes culturas,  arte y música, además de programas de ciudadanía global, educación financiera y emprendimiento.

“Estudio. Este organizador curricular remite, desde preescolar hasta la secundaria, al uso del lenguaje para aprender. En educación preescolar se promueve el empleo de acervos, la búsqueda, el análisis y el registro de información, así como intercambios orales y escritos de esta. Dichos usos del lenguaje se relacionan con los campos de formación académica y las áreas de desarrollo personal y social, de modo que los motivos para usarlo se integran también en sus Aprendizajes esperados”.  (p. 193)

La base del Método Filadelfia, en lectura, está precisamente en el intercambio oral y escrito de la lengua. Partiendo del vocabulario que los niños ya conocen, e integrando poco a nuevos conceptos y las palabras que los representan, se va construyendo un robusto dominio del lenguaje. Esto se logra, también, analizando y produciendo una gran diversidad de textos – desde pequeños poemas semanales hasta cartas, reseñas y cuentos – todo ellos contemplado tanto en “Yo Escribo” como en “Yo Conozco”

“Literatura. Este organizador curricular incluye la producción, interpretación e intercambio de cuentos, fábulas, poemas, leyendas, juegos literarios, textos dramáticos y de la tradición oral.” (p. 193)

En “Yo Escribo”, cada semana los niños disfrutan de un breve texto significativo que recoge el vocabulario presentado en la semana. Además, conforme los niños avanzan y crecen, los textos de lectura van aumentado en variedad y complejidad. “Yo Conozco” contribuye presentado más textos interesantes sobre arte, cultura y música.

“Participación social. Este organizador curricular se refiere a la producción e interpretación de textos de uso cotidiano en ambientes alfabetizados vinculados con la vida social como recados, invitaciones, felicitaciones, instructivos y señalamientos. De particular importancia es el uso y el reconocimiento del nombre propio, no solo como parte de su identidad, sino también como referente en sus producciones escritas (porque cuando los niños conocen su nombre escrito empiezan a utilizar las letras de este para escribir otras palabras, así como a relacionarlas con los sonidos, es decir, establecen relación entre lo gráfico y lo sonoro del sistema de escritura).” (p.193)

Con el programa Filadelfia, nuestros niños reconocen, por supuesto, sus propios nombres – y muchas palabras más, de manera fácil y relajada. La lectura aflora como un proceso natural e infinitamente social: un proceso compartido por todos los niños, que observa, reconocen y manipulan las palabras en parejas y en grupo. Partiendo de las palabras conocidas y presentadas en forma visual, nuestros niños aprenden el sentido y uso de las letras, completamente dentro de su contexto significativo. Estos contenidos se trabajan principalmente en “Yo Escribo”, y en la presentación de las tarjetas de lectura por parte de la maestra al grupo. “Yo escribo” presenta, además, una gran variedad de juegos de lenguaje – junto con sugerencias para un aprendizaje lúdico que pueden encontrarse en la guía del docente y en evidencias que continuamente nos comparten las escuelas en medios sociales. (Más ejemplos aquí )

En todo caso, es nuestra humilde percepción que el nuevo modelo educativo no se ha alejado, sino al contrario, se acerca, a la propuesta de Método Filadelfia. Analicemos estos párrafos, sobre el desarrollo infantil en los primeros años, que aparecen en las páginas 58 y 59 del programa:

“Hoy se sabe que en esos años ocurren en el cerebro humano múltiples transformaciones, algunas de ellas resultado de la genética, pero otras producto del entorno en el que el niño se desenvuelve. Durante este periodo, los niños aprenden a una velocidad mayor que en cualquier otro momento de sus vidas. Es cuando se desarrollan las habilidades para pensar, hablar, aprender y razonar, que tienen un gran impacto sobre el comportamiento presente y futuro de los niños.  La gran plasticidad del cerebro infantil no es suficiente para lograr los aprendizajes que deben ocurrir en esa etapa. Establecer los cimientos del aprendizaje para etapas posteriores depende de que los niños se desenvuelvan en un ambiente afectivo y estimulante.”  Estas palabras, extraídas textualmente del documento de la SEP, resuenan positivamente con nuestra visión del desarrollo temprano, como hemos compartido anteriormente en otros artículos como “La semilla de la genialidad” 

Programas van y programas vienen, el mundo cambia. Pero, parafraseando a Glenn Doman, “la magia está en el niño”. No en los libros, no en los maestros, no en los programas. Mucho menos en los sistemas educativos, en la SEP, o en las escuelas.

La magia está en el niño. El potencial viene con él. Un ambiente rico en estímulos y oportunidades, a través de un programa ambicioso, divertido, cálido y bien organizado, depende de nosotros: padres y maestros. Sólo tenemos una oportunidad para dar a nuestros hijos el mejor ambiente de aprendizaje durante sus primeros años.  ¿Estamos listos para el reto?

 

Referencias:

Aprendizajes Clave para la Educación Integral. Educación Preescolar. (2017) Secretaría de Educación Pública. Recuperado el 11 de Junio de 2018 en http://www.aprendizajesclave.sep.gob.mx/descargables/biblioteca/preescolar/1LpM-Preescolar-DIGITAL.pdf

 

 

Conviértete en Súper mamá: el Pack Maternity

La mejor manera de convertirte en una super mamá, ¡es preparándote para ello! Una mamá bien informada tendrá mejores herramientas para disfrutar al máximo el embarazo y los primeros años del bebé – ayudándole, además, a alcanzar su potencial.

Justamente por ello, un grupo de autoras nos hemos reunido para crear un paquete de cursos en línea y eBooks – 17 cursos y libros al precio de uno,  pero sólo por nueve días, del 1 al 9 de Junio. Mi curso “Desarrollo Neuromotor Infantil” forma parte de este “Pack Maternity”, junto con muchos otros recursos valiosos para mamás – abarcando desde el embarazo y hasta los doce años de tu hijo.  Tendrás acceso permanente a los cursos y libros desde el momento en que adquieras tu pack. Los cursos pueden llevarse a cabo en tus propios tiempos, a tu ritmo: no tienen una fecha específica de inicio y fin, tu vas marcando el paso. Así es que si adquieres tu pack hoy, pero no comienzas tus cursos sino hasta más delante, cuando los necesites, ¡no hay problema! Los recursos estarán ahí, esperándote.

Estos son los cursos y libros que encontrarás en el Pack Maternity. Verás que los precios originales para cada uno de ellos están expresados en Euros. El costo total de estos recursos en su precio normal sería de 614.38€ (Unos 14,000 pesos, -719 dólares americanos o su equivalente en cada una de nuestras monedas latinoamericanas) Sólo por nueve días, comenzando hoy y hasta el 9 de Junio, el precio promocional de el Pack Maternity será de 35.95€ (Unos 821 pesos mexicanos, aproximadamente – 42 dólares americanos o su equivalente en otras monedas en Latinoamérica)

NUESTROS PRIMEROS 9 MESES JUNTOS (Guía de embarazo) de Ivette Castillo (P.V.P. 9,50€)
PLAN PARA UN EMBARAZO ACTIVO de 1000FITMEALS (P.V.P. 25€ )
CURSO DE MATERNIDAD CONSCIENTE de Lardamma.com (P.V.P. 25€)
CURSO INTENSIVO DE CONCIENCIA POSTURAL Y SUELO PÉLVICO de Lorena Gutiérrez (P.V.P.67€)
CURSO ONLINE “DUERME FELÍZ” (libre de tutorías) de Desiré Capataz (P.V.P. 20€)
DESCUBRIENDO EL POTENCIAL DE MI BEBÉ (0-6 MESES) de la Dra. Delimar Tello (P.V.P. 7,20€)
DESCUBRIENDO EL POTENCIAL DE MI BEBÉ (6-12 MESES) de la Dra. Delimar Tello (P.V.P. 7,20€)
CURSO DE BLW de Lardamma.com (P.V.P. 25€)
DESARROLLO NEUROMOTOR de Elisa Guerra (P.V.P. 119,99€)
DESTETANDO CON AMOR de la Dra. Delimar Tello (P.V.P. 9,20€)
BICHITO Y EL ÁRBOL DE CEREZAS (+18m) de Ivette Castillo (P.V.P. 6,90€)
CÓMO QUITAR EL PAÑAL DE FORMA RESPETUOSA (curso cápsula) (0-4 años) de Elisa Molina (P.V.P. 39,95€)
EDUCAR DESDE LA INTELIGENCIA EMOCIONAL (libre de tutorías) de Miriam Escacena (P.V.P 29€)
ATRÉVETE A EDUCAR SIN CASTIGAR (0-11 años) de Nuria Ortega (P.V.P. 150€)
LÍMITES EN LA INFANCIA (curso cápsula) (0-12 años) de Elisa Molina (P.V.P. 49,95€)
40 MENÚS FAMILIARES de la Dra. Amil López (P.V.P. 8,50€)
“MAMIFOTOGRAFÍA” de Lucía Patata Fría (P.V.P 14,99€)

Adquiere tu pack Maternity haciendo click aquí – sólo del 1 al 9 de Junio

Todos estos recursos te serán sumamente valiosos en las diferentes etapas de la maternidad: desde el embarazo, los primeros meses, y los primeros años, desde múltiples perspectivas: salud, nutrición, educación, psicología… ¡incluso aprenderás cómo convertirte en la mejor fotógrafa de tu bebé!

Incluso puedes regalar este paquete a alguien más, sólo necesitas especificar, al momento de la compra, que se trata de un regalo, y poner el email de la afortunada que lo recibirá. ¡A ella le llegará un correo con la buena noticia! (Puedes además escoger en qué fecha quieres que le llegue tu regalo)

¿Quieres aprender más sobre el Pack Maternity y las autoras que lo conforman? En este enlace encontrarás respuestas preguntas frecuentes.

Si ya estás lista para adquirir tu pack, haz click aquí.

Recuerda, el pack Maternity sólo estará disponible desde las 00:01 hrs del Viernes 1 de Junio, y hasta las 23:59 hrs del 9 de Junio, hora peninsular de España (5:01 pm del 31 de Mayo y hasta las 3:59 pm del 9 de Junio, hora del centro de México). Tu pago sólo puede hacerse con tarjeta de crédito en la página web de #elPackMaternity, aquí: http://bit.ly/elpackweb

¿Te animas?

Muchas abrazos;

Elisa

 

Could, Should or When will Artificially Intelligent replace teachers?

This month we welcome a guest post by Armand Doucet

 

Could AI robots replace teachers?  Should AI robots replace teachers? Thanks to advances in robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), virtual reality and sensor technology, they probably could.  But, should they?

Well, that depends upon your goal. If your goal is to save money (ok, massive amounts of money), operate schools all year round, keep non-unionized ‘staff’ on campus 24 hours a day to deliver the curriculum or meet with parents, then your answer is Yes! But if your goal is to have master teachers utilizing pedagogy based on assessment of their students, seizing ‘teachable moments’ that have nothing to do with the curriculum and everything to do with humanity, then your answer must be Hell, no!

Personally, I think we need to be cautious and ETHICAL when experimenting with the digital age. I refer you to AI Twitter account that had to be shut down within 24 hours because it became offensive and tweeted inflammatory and hate-filled messages. In all fairness, that incident said more about the twitter trolls and society in general than it did about AI.

Other scary thoughts for a classroom:

-Stepford Wives type robot – benevolent, obedient and perfectly calculated delivering curriculum content with a smile, standardization. Any lifelong professional educator will tell you that teaching is (INSERT SARCASM HERE) monotonous, humorless and repetitive profession. I’m sure students are going to be submissive, self-motivated and excited to perform their daily task.

– Robocop robot – the judge, jury and executioner programmed with data from prejudices of a bygone era in the hallways

– Megatron robot – programmed to a dictators every whim, pushing the world further apart through racist and sexist populist agenda subjugating (and I dare say brain washing) of millions

– IRobot – The scariest of them all, the robot that deviates from his programming because we really don’t understand what happens with the “black box” and its self-learning.

You need to understand, I am not a Luddite. However, very large ethical questions needs to be debated and answered throughout the process of integration to protect our students. It needs to be fast, but done well. The digital age tools used in our classroom should be created hand in hand with our teachers and other developmental experts such as cognitive psychologist, social workers etc. and the students data protected like Fort Knox.

I firmly believe that technology has a supporting role in education. I myself use it in multiple ways including assessment, attendance, recording students’ self-reflections, and helping me personalize the curriculum for each of my students. If you look closely at the research, you will see that teacher-directed instruction combined with inquiry-based instruction at the appropriate time, is what is best for children. So teaching is both an art and a science. It requires solid pedagogical knowledge, good judgement and empathy.

So where does the digital age fit in the classroom? It’s already here!  AI can write personalized text books, it can learn a curriculum, and then adapt the presentation to best fit each student. It can be a translator for immigrant students. Sensory technology can track attendance in schools. Avatars can showcase a world 2000km away through virtual reality.

Where could it fit in the classroom?  I can foresee R2D2 taking care of formative assessment and handing the data to the teacher. C-3PO could do instant translations for your diversified classroom when they do collaboration, instantly helping with inclusion. Not a Star Wars fan, Ironman utilization of holograms to showcase the inner workings of organ or his use of his personal assistant to make multiple avatars function personalizing some curriculum to elementary students via their passions.

Where should it fit in the classroom? That question is best left to the voter and taxpayer, but I know where it shouldn’t fit: at the front of the room taking the place of a human being.

I am not an expert in AI or robotics. But, I am a teacher. I believe there is a place in our classrooms for the digital age that greatly benefit both teacher and student.  You and I must work together to create platforms and support systems that educate, protect and provide the humanistic elements to our students.

There’s a robot in my backpack

Kids today are armed with technological superpowers. If they own a cell phone – and many, if not most of them, do- they already have a mighty computer in their pockets. It will really not be too long before they also have a robot in their backpacks. And get along with it pretty well.

Will that robot become their teacher?

Not likely. It has been said widely enough that many jobs are in route to extinction at the Fourth Industrial Revolution – and it may very well be so. But the jobs that are most likely to disappear are the ones that can be automated. If our work as teachers was to put kids together at a huge assembly line called the “School Factory”, then maybe, yes, we should be worried.

But kids are not furniture, cars, toys, or any piece of merchandise, for that matter, that can be mass-produced to a standard. And a teacher’s job is not the repetitive task many believe it to be, as if we were just filling little brains one after the other. “First grade teachers put in reading and writing, second grade teachers cement addition and subtraction, third grade teachers put in the times tables…” and so on.

Education is a tailor-made suit. It must fit each child precisely – and adjust while she is growing.  It is not perfect – in fact it is usually unpredictable, messy and complex – but it is also beautiful and profoundly uplifting.

Every teacher that is true to his calling is an artist, every child, a collective masterpiece. One in which the creation is also creator.

But times are indeed changing, and teachers will need to adapt and grow, not for fear of being replaced by robots – that won’t happen, I am certain. However, as Trucano (2015) writes: teachers who don’t use technology will be replaced by teachers who do.

Too often we have been caught up in the discussions of what studentsneed to thrive in a challenging, ever changing world. That is a discussion worth having, of course, but let’s not forget about the teachers. What kind of teachers will continue to flourish in the Fourth Industrial Revolution?This is an important question.

 

 Dead man walking

Are you a teacher in need of strong survival skills? You are in good company. Here, some suggestions that might just keep us off the “job death row”:

  • Be willing to do more.Technology will do us the great favor of unburdening us from many boring and time consuming administrative tasks – but we should spend that extra time learning how to manage and create stimulating environments using that same technology – and how to be better teachers overall. Strong teaching and digital skills are your best bet against extinction.
  • Get out of the classroom and collaborate.Gone are the days of the solitary teacher with a classroom as her undisputable kingdom. Your colleagues are no longer the lords of neighboring castles, ready to go to war if their imaginary borders felt threatened. And more importantly, your students are not your subjects, condemned by divine right to be your loyal servants. Your word, my dear, is not law. So go ahead and open the frontiers of your mind, expand your reach and allow yourself to be invaded: by new ideas, practices, pedagogies, methodologies, unconventional courses and subjects. Let yourself free of the tyranny of teaching to the test.
  • Be human.This is, after all, your most important differentiator against robots! Take time to develop and nurture relationships – with students, parents and other teachers. Be loyal and humble. Show your feelings, as they don’t expose our weaknesses, but strengthen our ties. Grow alongside your students. You, too, have a potential that deserves to be fulfilled.

And about that robot peeking out from the backpack: welcome it to the classroom, the schoolyard and the hallways. Who knows? Maybe we will learn to co-exist and co-create.

 

References:

Trucano, M. (2015) “Will technology replace teachers? No, but…” World   Bank. Edutech.    http://blogs.worldbank.org/edutech/tech-and-teachers. Retrieved on May 21st, 2018.

As part of C.M. Rubin’s Top Global Teacher Bloggers, this is my response to this month’s question: What kind of teachers will continue to flourish in the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

A Holistic Learning Approach in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: The best, the worst, and the future

“Strong academic skills alone are not enough for young people to become successful adults”, states a recent publication from the University of Chicago. The report, entitled “Foundatons for Young Adult Success: A Developmental Framework”, then goes to stress what is important: “experiences combining action and reflection (to) help children develop a set of critical skills, attitudes, and behaviors”  and “supportive relationships and an abundance of these developmental experiences through activities inside and outside of school.” (2015, Nagaoka et al)

Fair enough. But, how can these findings translate to real ife in classrooms around the planet? How are the world’s teachers helping their students face the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution? And why are most educational systems still focusing on accountability measures when research clearly shows a different pathway to success?

The accelerated pace of technological advancement implies a choking pressure on education. Now schools must have a lab were students can experiment with drones and virtual reality, or else they are declared outdated and unmodern. But, in truth and honesty, how many schools, public or private, can afford such labs? Very, very few. And for the many others left to watch from the verge of modernity, what is left?

There is hope. “Even in environments devoid of technology, excellent pedagogy is still leading to astonishing student learning outcomes”. (Guerra, in Doucet et al, 2018, p. 40) Just as academics are not enough and everything to achieve student success, technology is neither the magic answer for education.

Last month, our book “Teaching in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Standing at the precipice” was launched at the Global Education & Skills Forum in Dubai.  Among the many questions lurking around education today, we wanted to explore how are we preparing our youth for 2030 and beyond – with or without technology, and above academics and accountability. For my chapter, “Education Today: A collection of snapshots”, I interviewed experts, researchers and teachers from around the globe, and ended up with a collection of “best and worst educational practices” in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The worst

As reported in our book, there is a consensus on “the dark side”:

  • Static learning vs. engaged learning,
  • Treating schools as factories or bussinesses
  • Too much “curriculum- oriented instruction”
  • One-size-fits-all teaching
  • Teaching to the test

The Best

  • Balance of cognitive and non cognitive learning
  • Focusing in teachers’ quality as opossed to teachers’ perfomance
  • Empowering students
  • Using a wide inventory of teaching strategies – with, or without, technology
  • Building strong relationships with students

The future

“What, then, should students learn to be better equipped for the challenges of our times and for the future? A whole new world opens. Teachers’ responses were as enthusiastic as theywere diverse: global citizenship, soft skills, environmental awareness, digital literacy, critical thinking, relationships, teamwork, entrepreneurship, and even meditation!” (Guerra, in Doucet et al, 2018, p.39)

Koen Timmers and Armand Doucet sum it up nicely:

“As the world continues to become more globalized and interconnected, the ability to understand diverse perspectives and work with those that have divergent worldviews will become increasingly important.

Without great pedagogy, technology integration is worthless.”

 

References:

Doucet, A., Evers, J.,  Guerra, E., Lopez, N., Soskil, M.,  & Timmers, K. (2018) Teaching in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Standing at the precipice. London, Routledge Education.

Nagaoka et al (2015) Foundatons for Young Adult Success: A Developmental Framework. University of Chicago. Retrieved on April 24th, 2018 from https://consortium.uchicago.edu/publications/foundations-young-adult-success-developmental-framework

 

As part of C.M. Rubin’s Top Global Teacher Bloggers, this is my response to this month’s question: What should a holistic approach to learning look like and how do we shift the focus from the accountability measures in existence now to ones that are relevant for all students in a changing world? 

Taking Climate Change Seriously in our Schools

I am one among the couple thousands of teachers sitting in awe as former US Vice president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore is passionately talking about climate change. We are at the Global Education & Skills Forum (GESF), just last week in Dubai. The theme of the conference is: How are we educating our children and young for 2030?

During the sessions, and lingering in the many hallway conversations, two themes keep standing out among the many issues facing education in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. One is technology. The other, climate change.

Will the world in 2030 be a better place for young people? This is the hot question at the GESF debate chamber just one day before Al Gore’s appearance. The main concern seems to be whether robots will eat up our jobs… and whether we will still have a planet to live on.

Is there a way to embrace technology to its greatest advantages, and still turn our eyes towards nature, environment and life? How do we make sure we do not deplete our resources before it is too late? These questions belong not only in political arenas or international summits: they must find their way to our classrooms. Here are some ideas on how to make it happen.

  1. Instill inspiration, not fear. One thing I learned from Al Gore is that, while the situation on climate change is serious, there are plenty of opportunities to take action and make a difference. Yes, it is crucial that our children get to know the facts – but only to understand the importance of intervention. Fear creates paralysis. Inspiration provokes change.
  2. Make climate change part of your curriculum. Otherwise it will not just pop in there. We incorporated the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals so they no longer are “special activities”, but a core part of our program. We even created our own textbooks, -just published- on Language and Communication, in which the SDGs –along with climate change- make a prominent appearance. You can always lean in great work already out there. In our case, we took Harvard Professor Fernando Reimers’ book on global citizenship “Empowering students to improve the world in 60 lessons” as a starting point.
  3. Take part in international projects. When kids find out there are many other classrooms and schools working towards the same goals, they will feel compelled to do their part – and gain a sense of belonging at the same time. Two great projects to consider are Koen Timmers’ Climate Action Project, and Aggeliki Pappa’s #SOS4LoveProject. Of course, you can also create your own!
  4. Make it personal, make it real. In other words, practice what you preach. Get your school – or at least your classroom!- to recycle. Explore the many things both adults and children can do (we like the resources from the American Museum of Natural History)
  5. Speak out. Change will only happen if we succeed in bringing along as many people as possible. Children can become the best climate change advocates: after all, they will be the ones inheriting the planet. Our school is preparing a TEDx event where our students will share many ideas about pressing issues – climate change being one of them. Students will get to develop public speaking skills – while defending the earth.

The best way to celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd is to know that we are already doing our share in nurturing the planet – inside and outside our schools.

 

As part of C.M. Rubin’s Top Global Teacher Bloggers, this is my response to this month’s question: Taking Climate Change Seriously in our Schools.  What are your best Tips for Teaching About Climate Change in Your Classroom?

From Armand Doucet: Six things my students teach me

Armand Doucet is a Canadian teacher, Global Teacher Prize finalist and coauthor of the book “Teaching in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”. As a guest blogger, he writes for our series “Six Things my Students Teach ME”

All students are curious. It’s up to me to personalize the content and make the classroom a safe place for them to want to ask questions.

Passion will get any student to push outside of their comfort zone and try to reach new heights.

To be human, first and foremost, don’t take myself too seriously and make sure that every day I greet them at the door with a smile asking them how they are doing.

That I am not the smartest person in my classroom, at first this scared me, but growing from the sage on the stage to the guide that will help open the doors for each student, gives them the chance to reach their true potential.

Leadership is doing what is best for my students, no matter what.

Teaching is not and will never be just the transfer of curriculum content you are a teacher 24/7, 365 days of the year and you will wear a different hat (sometimes many hats) for every student in your classroom. Don’t underestimate the impact of a conversation in the hallways, checking up on the child who has been sick or giving some positive feedback on the students last extra-curricular activity. Sometimes you are the only one paying attention.