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NABT 3/21/13 Creating Resources for Educators NABT 3/21/13 Creating Resources for Educators Biology for a Sustainable Future.

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Presentation on theme: "NABT 3/21/13 Creating Resources for Educators NABT 3/21/13 Creating Resources for Educators Biology for a Sustainable Future."— Presentation transcript:

1 NABT 3/21/13 Creating Resources for Educators NABT 3/21/13 Creating Resources for Educators Biology for a Sustainable Future

2 NABT & Education for a Sustainable Future The NABT Board of Directors adopted a formal position statement for Teaching Environmental Issues in The NABT Board of Directors adopted a formal position specifically to address Sustainability in Life Science Teaching in …. as an organization of educators devoted to the study of life and that which supports it, the National Association of Biology Teachers promotes the teaching of sustainable themes to thoughtfully address the worlds most pressing problems. The NABT Board of Directors adopted a formal position statement for Teaching Environmental Issues in The NABT Board of Directors adopted a formal position specifically to address Sustainability in Life Science Teaching in …. as an organization of educators devoted to the study of life and that which supports it, the National Association of Biology Teachers promotes the teaching of sustainable themes to thoughtfully address the worlds most pressing problems.

3 NABT & SISL in STEM As directed by the position statement, NABT affirms that curriculum focused on sustainability themes should feature interdisciplinary principles, promoting meaningful dialog and problem solving across disciplines. By joining the Sustainability Improves Student Learning in STEM (SISL in STEM), NABT is working with educators in all STEM fields on an initiative that is truly interdisciplinary. NABT is in the process of identifying champions within our association that can take our current commitment to education for a sustainable future to the next level. As directed by the position statement, NABT affirms that curriculum focused on sustainability themes should feature interdisciplinary principles, promoting meaningful dialog and problem solving across disciplines. By joining the Sustainability Improves Student Learning in STEM (SISL in STEM), NABT is working with educators in all STEM fields on an initiative that is truly interdisciplinary. NABT is in the process of identifying champions within our association that can take our current commitment to education for a sustainable future to the next level.

4 Triple Bottom Line of Sustainability Vibrant Economy Social Well-being Healthy Ecosystems SustainableSociety Society based in the reality that people and the planet matter.

5 Education for a Sustainable Society: enables people to develop the knowledge, values and skills to participate in decisions …, that will improve the quality of life now without damaging the planet and making it uninhabitable...

6 Sustainability Topics Civil Society & Governance Climate Change Cultures & Religions Cycles & Systems Design & Planning Ecosystem Health Energy Ethics & Values Food Systems & Agriculture Future Studies & Visioning Human Impact & Footprint Civil Society & Governance Climate Change Cultures & Religions Cycles & Systems Design & Planning Ecosystem Health Energy Ethics & Values Food Systems & Agriculture Future Studies & Visioning Human Impact & Footprint Human Heath & Well- being Lifestyles & Consumption Natural Resources Pollution & Waste Sense of Place Social & Environmental Justice Sustainability Concepts & Practices Water & Watersheds

7 Urgent Issues to Address: The Big 4 Climate Change (reduce fossil fuel combustion, move to energy waste reduction and renewable energies, and preserve forests that are carbon sinks) Droughts, floods, glaciers, access to clean water Food chain disruption, access to food Biodiversity Climate Change (reduce fossil fuel combustion, move to energy waste reduction and renewable energies, and preserve forests that are carbon sinks) Droughts, floods, glaciers, access to clean water Food chain disruption, access to food Biodiversity

8 The Pervasiveness of Biology in Sustainability Understanding the biology of our urgent societal issues is crucial for a sustainable future. Doing nothing is no longer acceptable, its part of the problem. Doing nothing = energy waste, toxins, food chain disruption and ecosystem destruction. Costly in dollars and in human suffering of billions Biology educators have a unique and important opportunity to contribute to a sustainable future. Understanding the biology of our urgent societal issues is crucial for a sustainable future. Doing nothing is no longer acceptable, its part of the problem. Doing nothing = energy waste, toxins, food chain disruption and ecosystem destruction. Costly in dollars and in human suffering of billions Biology educators have a unique and important opportunity to contribute to a sustainable future.

9 Biology and Sustainability is Necessary and Urgent Preparing Students to Help Solve our Shared Urgent Societal Problems in What They Do as Worker, Consumer, Investor and Community Member Everybody needs to know this! Preparing Students to Help Solve our Shared Urgent Societal Problems in What They Do as Worker, Consumer, Investor and Community Member Everybody needs to know this!

10 You are helping to create these Benefits of Teaching Sustainability:

11 Why is it such a high priority? 1.Much of the public doesnt know that we are disrupting the thermal stability, the health of the ecosystems and food chains of the planet. 2.Public doesnt know that there are solutions. We can reduce human suffering and environmental disruption now while building stronger economies 3.Education to action is the key. Biology is crucial. 1.Much of the public doesnt know that we are disrupting the thermal stability, the health of the ecosystems and food chains of the planet. 2.Public doesnt know that there are solutions. We can reduce human suffering and environmental disruption now while building stronger economies 3.Education to action is the key. Biology is crucial.

12 Honor your good work!! Continue the trends to change the norms for pre- college, undergraduate and graduate education to include creating a sustainable future Reducing cynicism and passivity, and building skills and self efficacy to create systemic, positive change using STEM knowledge Continue the trends to change the norms for pre- college, undergraduate and graduate education to include creating a sustainable future Reducing cynicism and passivity, and building skills and self efficacy to create systemic, positive change using STEM knowledge

13 National Trends Growing and robust – sustainability courses, minors, foci, majors, certificates All these trends need the biology!! Growing and robust – sustainability courses, minors, foci, majors, certificates All these trends need the biology!!

14 National Reform Recommendations Vision and Change New Biology for the 21 st Century New Biologists need… depth of knowledge in a discipline, fluency in several others quantitative, computation, and interdisciplinary communication and collaboration skills New Biology curricula need to emphasize… interconnections among biology system levels and across disciplines science as a collaborative exercise that solves real-world problems Labov, J. B., A.H. Reid, and K. R. Yamamoto, CBE – Life Sciences Education, 9, 2010.

15 Topics Lending Themselves to Sustainability Examples from an Intro Textbook Plant Responses to External Stresses Biotechnology Evolution and Biodiversity Animal Nutrition, Form and Function Ecology and the Biosphere Behavioral Biology Population Biology Ecosystems Communication Biology Conservation Biology Plant Responses to External Stresses Biotechnology Evolution and Biodiversity Animal Nutrition, Form and Function Ecology and the Biosphere Behavioral Biology Population Biology Ecosystems Communication Biology Conservation Biology Plant Viruses as Pests Mutations and Cancer Chemical Use and Human Health Plant Growth, climate change and other human Impacts Endocrine system impacts Order is important – Ecology First instead of last and use as a theme

16 Personal Behavior Change Changing Systems Personal Behavior Change Changing Systems Action on Two Levels

17 Education Private Choices and Behaviors-Habits Public Choices and Behaviors-Laws Sustainable Communities Sustainable Economies Ecosystem

18 life supporting resources declining consumption of life supporting resources rising BEYOND doom and gloom

19 Essential Instructional Approach – 3 parts 1)Beyond Doom and Gloom 2)Focus on Solutions 3)Practice creating positive change in organizational and community systems Real world problem solving 1)Beyond Doom and Gloom 2)Focus on Solutions 3)Practice creating positive change in organizational and community systems Real world problem solving

20 Types of Activities – Making it Easy for Biology Educators 1.Problems related to sustainability topics and biology 2.Problem sets with sustainability fact sheets/links 3. Community level problems with real world data, e.g. a.calculating greenhouse gas emissions/reductions, b.analyzing environmental health impacts from pollution c.protecting ecosystems d.watershed protection in their community

21 Types of Activities – Making it Easy for Biology Educators 4. Make civic engagement part of the assignment, do something with the answer, e.g. writing letters to: a.elected officials and government agencies, b.newspapers, c.websites, blogs etc. d.Remember the start of Transition Towns! 5. Include real world action wherever possible!!

22 Types of Activities – Making it Easy for Biology Educators 6. Maximize student participation a)How could you use this biology knowledge, combined with other academic knowledge, to help create a more sustainable future? a)Who should you share this information with to create a more sustainable future?

23 Tips on How to Start Integrating Sustainability in Existing Classes 1.Realize that sustainability is not an "add-on" content area; rather, sustainability is easy to integrate into already existing lessons as in-class examples of concepts and as a context for activities and problem sets. 2.When teaching a core course concept, use sustainability- related examples. 3.Add in every course, "How can you use what we are learning to make the world a better place?" 1.Realize that sustainability is not an "add-on" content area; rather, sustainability is easy to integrate into already existing lessons as in-class examples of concepts and as a context for activities and problem sets. 2.When teaching a core course concept, use sustainability- related examples. 3.Add in every course, "How can you use what we are learning to make the world a better place?"

24 Tips on How to Start Integrating Sustainability in Existing Classes (continued) 4. Create a real world problem/solving project so students can help their communities become more environmentally sound and sustainable. 5. Integrate these sustainability-related understandings into all learning objectives and assessments. 6. Add sustainability-related learning outcomes into your course objectives. 7. Utilize legacy projects (complex projects spanning several semesters) 8. Create Positive Future Fairs 4. Create a real world problem/solving project so students can help their communities become more environmentally sound and sustainable. 5. Integrate these sustainability-related understandings into all learning objectives and assessments. 6. Add sustainability-related learning outcomes into your course objectives. 7. Utilize legacy projects (complex projects spanning several semesters) 8. Create Positive Future Fairs

25 Engagement in Local Challenges Thanks to David Koetje and Amy Wilstermann, Biology Educators, Calvin College Our Laboratory Plaster Creek Watershed Pedagogical Progression Service-learning Projects Place-based Research Civic Engagement Community Partnerships West Michigan Environmental Action Council West Michigan Land Conservancy Grand Rapids Parks

26 PRACTICE! Your goal: Share learning activity idea in the chat box that teaches biology and sustainability. You can also share links/resources in the chat box. Try to: use systems thinking, collaborate, engage with local challenges, empower students as change agents, use diverse assessment strategies SEND TO ALL PARTICIPANTS

27 Resources Upload ideas to share with others after the webinar: Contribute an activity Beginners toolkit on teaching sustainability: Sustainability Site Guide with LOTS of activities: Change agent skills: empowerment of students at Upload ideas to share with others after the webinar: Contribute an activity Beginners toolkit on teaching sustainability: Sustainability Site Guide with LOTS of activities: Change agent skills: empowerment of students at

28 More resources for you Biointeractive lectures - Plant growth, food, and sustainable agriculture at https://attra.ncat.org/ https://attra.ncat.org/ Global Threats re: Climate Change U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development – Biointeractive lectures - Plant growth, food, and sustainable agriculture at https://attra.ncat.org/ https://attra.ncat.org/ Global Threats re: Climate Change U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development –

29 Thank you for all your efforts to educate for a sustainable future. For more information: gmail.com


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