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Investigating School to Home Transfer: some issues from environmental education practice and theory Sheila Gundry – Education Manager, Resource Futures.

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Presentation on theme: "Investigating School to Home Transfer: some issues from environmental education practice and theory Sheila Gundry – Education Manager, Resource Futures."— Presentation transcript:

1 Investigating School to Home Transfer: some issues from environmental education practice and theory Sheila Gundry – Education Manager, Resource Futures

2 December 2008 Overview Positive pester power: What learning should/can children take home and who decides what this learning should be? What circumstances have been found to encourage and enable such transfer? How do we evaluate the effectiveness and the impact of transfer?

3 December 2008 What learning should/can children take home and who decides what this learning should be? Much of the learning focuses on waste issues at Resource Futures

4 December 2008 Resource Futures Resource Futures provides a range of specialist research and development, waste consultancy and project management services, including long-term community-based projects Formed Spring 2006 by the merger of 3 organisations Offices – Bristol and Leeds, plus home-based staff About 50 staff, not-for-profit, employee-owned Resource Futures Education Team Delivers the RRR education programme in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and Devon. Funded by the Local Authority in each area. Ran workshops or assemblies for 49,000 children in , mostly KS1&2 Plus: Eco-schools delivery in Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Bristol; Sustainable schools teacher training; Resource development and sales

5 December 2008 What learning? Knowledge and understanding - accurate information, understanding the issues and practical messages (what we recycle where; how to get a new green bin) Skills – creative skills Attitudes - response to key issues such as landfill sites or Real Nappies - childrens belief in their own abilities to transfer their learning Who decides what the learning should be? Funder pressure to increase recycling rates Teacher pressure to meet curriculum requirements Strategic objectives of the organisation who is leading the educational activities ECM – how can we encourage children to decide themselves

6 December 2008 What circumstances have been found to encourage and enable such transfer? 1. Activities for the children to take home combined with information for the parents Example: Children make a fridge magnet with information for the parents on what to recycle where Example: Word searches for the children (differentiated), plus information for the parents on the back of the sheet

7 December 2008 Example: Children learn about the importance of the Reduce message in this spot the difference activity and are given information on how to take action if they wish to, eg the phone number for their parents to reduce their junk mail.

8 December Singing – cheesy songs or RRR rap 3. Techniques for encouraging discussion eg elephant stickers with a message to encourage inter-generational discussion 4. Empowering and encouraging the children At the end of this workshop you are now the recycling experts, what are you going to tell your parents? 5. Competitions which involve home-school links eg Zero Waste packed lunch challenge for North Somerset schools Yellow Woods Challenge in South Gloucestershire and Bristol

9 December 2008 How do we evaluate the effectiveness and the impact of transfer? Have the adults learnt anything new? Have the adults taken any action? Techniques: 1. Parent feedback forms following a school Recycling Week

10 December 2008 Recycling Week at Ilminster Avenue School, Knowle West November 2008 Response rate: 19.2% (49 out of 255) Incentive: prize for class with highest return rate. Won by class with return rate of 36.4%. Results: 1. Awareness 48 respondents (98.0%) had heard about Recycling Week 40 respondents (81.6%) heard about Recycling Week from their child 10 respondents (20.4%) heard about Recycling Week from the school newsletter 3 respondents (6.1%) heard about Recycling Week from another source

11 December Impact Parents were asked what action they had taken as a result of Recycling Week 32 respondents (65.3%) were trying harder to recycle using their Black Box 32 respondents (65.3%) were trying harder to recycle using their brown bin 27 respondents (55.1%) were trying harder to buy products made from recycled materials 36 respondents (73.5%) were trying harder to buy products with less packaging

12 December Comments from parents Responses concerning the childrens learning: I feel its important to teach children it is important to recycle. And to try and get them more involved at home by letting them sort out the recycling. They said that it was fun and they really injoyed (sic) learning about the 3Rs. This Recycling Week has opened my child s eyes and mind to the fact that everyone needs to do their part to help the earth. Really beneficial, children really enjoyed the different activities. Brilliant. Excellent children learning about waste and recycling at an early age so it becomes easier to carry on throughout their lives. Also helps the community.

13 December Comments from parents (continued) Responses concerning the parents learning: (I learnt to) Put my cans and tins in the recycling bin. I learnt that more things can be recycled more so than throwing things away and using things more than once. I have learnt about exactly how much damage unused mobiles cause We try to recycle anyway, but I have decided to try and re-use items which can be re-used, and try to recycle plastic items by taking them to local supermarket not throwing them in the ash bin. Reduce, reuse, recycle was what my son kept telling me. I think it s very rewarding as my child has learnt a lot from recycling. My child told me to recycle tins in the black box and that in compost there are worms. It helps them at home recycling by learning at an early age. Children can also learn some parents to now how to recycle (sic).

14 December 2008 How do we evaluate the effectiveness and the impact of transfer? (continued) 2. Data on participation rates and tonnages Running a RRR Week in all the schools in a neighbourhood and measuring the resulting change in number of households participating in kerbside recycling and the weight of materials that they recycle. Problems with dilution effect 3. On-line parent feedback forms Using a Survey Monkey link on the information that the children take home to their parents which asks parents to use an on-line feedback form. Using incentives and stickers to encourage participation in the survey.

15 December 2008 Initial results: Q1. How much did your child enjoy his/her Resource Futures workshop? A lot 100% A bit 0% Not much 0% Not at all 0% He said he loved it and was very eager for me to come on your web site. loves his plastic elephant. Kept passing info back to us Talked about it at home. He said "I loved it"

16 December 2008 Q2. How much did your child tell you about his/her workshop? A lot 66.7% A bit 22.2% Not much 11.1% Not at all 0% She said that they talked about plastic containers and recycling. They made a elephant out of a empty plastic milk container. Told me great detail about how he made his elephant out of his milk bottle. He said we would get £20 Tuesday lunch box no waste day How they made elephants out of junk. We made an elephant out of a milk carton, we drew domes on the side for legs and an 'M' for the tail.

17 December 2008 Q3. As a result of your childs involvement, have you done any of the following? Ordered a recycling box 14.3% Ordered a compost bin 14.3% Bought a garden waste sack 14.3% Recycled more using your green box 85.7% Recycled more using your garden waste sack(s) 28.6% Used a plastic bottle recycling bank 28.6% Used a carton recycling bank 14.3% Tried to reuse more 57.1% Tried to buy more recycled products 42.9% Tried to buy products with less packaging 57.1%

18 December 2008 Q4. As a result of the workshop have you learnt anything new? 71% No Yes - that you are only allowed four types of plastic. How to make such a good elephant out of plastic bottle and will pass it on to my son's nursery as something for them to do - i.e. a fun recycling project

19 December 2008 Ideas and comments welcome:


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