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Global Learning for Sustainable Development Dr Fran Martin, University of Exeter Sustaining Geography Geographical Association Annual Conference University.

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Presentation on theme: "Global Learning for Sustainable Development Dr Fran Martin, University of Exeter Sustaining Geography Geographical Association Annual Conference University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Global Learning for Sustainable Development Dr Fran Martin, University of Exeter Sustaining Geography Geographical Association Annual Conference University of Surrey March 2008

2 Educations main contribution … should be to familiarise learners with perspectives other than their own (Professor Bill Scott, Centre for Environmental Education Research, University of Bath) When you come to us you are our honored guest. When I visit you, I am a resource. (African teacher on reciprocal visits, Tide 2007)

3 Driving forces Global Dimension across the school curriculum (DfEE/DfID 2005) Sustainable Schools Framework (DfES, 2007, Moral imperative

4 SD and the global dimension Sustainable Development, by its very nature, cannot be studied or practiced at a purely local level Interdependence Challenges of the future require learners to be familiar with perspectives other than their own Values and perceptions We are all learners because the future is uncertain Uncertainty and precaution

5 Current practice and teacher understanding How do teachers understand development, diversity … Whose perspectives? Political, social, educational, environmental … Western, Southern … How can teachers be supported to mediate between competing demands?

6 Changing educational context? Oxfam (2007) Building successful school partnerships. p.4 and p. 7 – the problem with charitable aims DfID (2007) Partners in learning: A guide to successful global school partnerships. p.53 Charitable fundraising QCA (2007) The Global Dimension in Action: A curriculum planning guide for schools. p.38 school link with Peru

7 Study visits as CPD Tide study visit course Learning together - teaching and learning, sustainable development and global partnership (www.tidec.org)www.tidec.org –3 days INSET Nov - Jan at Tide Centre, including some fieldwork around Birmingham –7 days in The Gambia Feb 1/2 term –2 days follow up back at Tide, March - April

8 Focus of the course Teachers world views The affect of these on knowledge and understanding of: –Sustainable development –Place (Gambia and UK: specifically Greater Banjul and West Midlands) –How we learn and therefore how we teach –Mutual learning / Global Partnerships

9 Focus of research The impact of a study visit course on teachers knowledge of sustainable development and global partnerships.

10 Current knowledge Cultural exposure not enough (Gain, 1985; Conle et. al. 2000) Openess to other perspectives affected by –Construction of identity (Finney & Orr, 1995) –Construction of other (Said, 1985) –Oversimplification and exoticisation (Graves, 2002) Legacy of colonial discourse

11 Research questions Can study visit courses prompt changes in perspective? If so, what are the key factors that prompt this? How does this learning impact on teachers subsequent practice

12 Theoretical perspectives Theoretical framework –Kolbs experiential learning theory –Socio-cultural / socio-ecological theory –Positioning theory (identity & othering) –Displacement spaces

13 Learning from experience (application of Kolbs experiential learning cycle)

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15 Findings Gains in knowledge and understanding of: Interdependence Values and perceptions Uncertainty and precaution –(quotes from participant interviews and evaluations)

16 Challenges That The Gambia is a poor country That aid is good My personal beliefs about all charity being positive has been challenged. This was uncomfortable as it challenged my spiritual beliefs which are normally very secure … its given me a lot more knowledge because we obviously came with assumptions and theyve been challenged and ruled out in many situation so I think being here, being in this situation is really helping my learning

17 Features of the course The process of mutual (intercultural, collaborative) learning A range of experiences that are emotional, physical and spiritual as well as intellectual (Embodied learning) Displacement spaces that cause disturbances and challenge world views Regular, supported reflection, individually and in groups, on the discomfort of these experiences

18 Impact on practice? I have new perspectives on some things which have changed the way I view the world and which strongly influence my behaviour and teaching.

19 We were doing a weeks activities with displays on Climate Change. This teacher had chosen to focus on Somalia and I stood in front of her display. Shed got all her children to do pieces of writing about it and I read the writing and I was absolutely appalled because … all this writing was about death and starvation. … I read it and I thought this teacher has actually got at least six children in her class who are from Somalia so how were they thinking about their own country now? … Its giving children a very skewed world view which we shouldnt really be doing. We should be giving children the skills with which to make their own world view.

20 Further reading Disney, A (2004) Childrens Developing Images and Representations of the School Link Environment in Catling & Martin (eds) Researching Primary Geography. Register of Research in Primary Geography Halstead and Pike (2006) Citizenship and Moral Education: Values in Action. Routledge Mackintosh, M (2007) Making Mistakes, Learning Lessons in Primary Geographer Spring Martin, F (2005) North-South Linking as a Controversial Issue in Prospero 14(4), Martin, F (2007) School Linking as a Controversial Issue in Claire & Holden (eds) The challenge of teaching controversial issues Trentham Books Wood, S (2006) Learning from Linking in Tide~ Talk


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