Ngā Matapakinga | Discussion

    CORE Education
    Student inquiry | an awareness of global issues
    20 August
    Public discussion Created by CORE Education

    Many schools are embracing 'unleashing the passion' in their curriculum design, and some are looking at the principles, processes of learner agency, project-based learning, place-based learning and student inquiry.

    In this video CORE eFellow Craig McDonald talks about how true inquiry is Authentic contexts, motivated by a genuine need and discusses a student inquiry that explored child labour and the issue of water justice. Craig talks about the way projects like this can have a long lasting effect and he uses the example of a past student’s learning to illustrate this. He describes the way students carry their learning into street action to raise funds for their campaigns and the effect that this has on them which he believes often leads to further learning and an awareness of global issues.

    Also, see his CORE blog post, The 'e' in E-Learning is for Empathy.

    EDtalks: eFellow research Student awareness of global issues

    What inquiry contexts are your students engaging in right now? Is it local or global? We'd love to hear more.

    What a great post! 'Unleashing the passion' is right when it comes to curriculum design around true authentic contexts around local and global issues! I worked at Shotover Primary School in Queenstown where we designed learning from a concept based inquiry approach. Lat year the concept was 'Relationships' and we supported the students to develop questions around the relationships of our land and how we are using it, especially with the amount of growth in Queenstown. This resulted in the students identifying a number of key areas of impact in our local area. 

    One group of students wanted to explore our local wetlands which is in walking distance of the school. They found lots of pollution from the new house builds. They wanted to find out more and so we connected them with local environmental groups such as Wanaka Waste-busters and a local community group called Queenstown Sustainability. The students then worked with these groups to do more thorough research such as water and soil quality testing. They also looked at the impact on the fauna and flora over the years and sourced information from DoC. This research led them to organising planting days of 100's of local native plants and informing the local community of the impact of waste. 

    We had one group that identified the chemicals in cleaning products and that some were going into our water ways. We supported them to develop a natural cleaning  product with a scientific process and they also sourced pine oil from a local start up company that was added to the cleaning product. Bottles were sourced from our community.  They made labels - paper, did some marketing and sold the product at our local eco market. The whole process was explicitly thought from an environmental lens and reducing the least impact to our environment as possible. Other groups saw a need to reduce waste that was going into the lakes and rivers and organised beach clean ups with local council. 

    We really saw an increased environmental awareness from the students who became so passionate about their environment and the impact that we are having. I know the teaching team really enjoyed supporting the students and designing learning in this way. The interaction with local community groups was also fantastic as they would come and work with the students in and out of the school. 

    - By Darran Ingram
      • Darran Ingram
        By Darran Ingram
        Aug 23

        What a great post! 'Unleashing the passion' is right when it comes to curriculum design around true authentic contexts around local and global issues! I worked at Shotover Primary School in Queenstown where we designed learning from a concept based inquiry approach. Lat year the concept was 'Relationships' and we supported the students to develop questions around the relationships of our land and how we are using it, especially with the amount of growth in Queenstown. This resulted in the students identifying a number of key areas of impact in our local area. 

        One group of students wanted to explore our local wetlands which is in walking distance of the school. They found lots of pollution from the new house builds. They wanted to find out more and so we connected them with local environmental groups such as Wanaka Waste-busters and a local community group called Queenstown Sustainability. The students then worked with these groups to do more thorough research such as water and soil quality testing. They also looked at the impact on the fauna and flora over the years and sourced information from DoC. This research led them to organising planting days of 100's of local native plants and informing the local community of the impact of waste. 

        We had one group that identified the chemicals in cleaning products and that some were going into our water ways. We supported them to develop a natural cleaning  product with a scientific process and they also sourced pine oil from a local start up company that was added to the cleaning product. Bottles were sourced from our community.  They made labels - paper, did some marketing and sold the product at our local eco market. The whole process was explicitly thought from an environmental lens and reducing the least impact to our environment as possible. Other groups saw a need to reduce waste that was going into the lakes and rivers and organised beach clean ups with local council. 

        We really saw an increased environmental awareness from the students who became so passionate about their environment and the impact that we are having. I know the teaching team really enjoyed supporting the students and designing learning in this way. The interaction with local community groups was also fantastic as they would come and work with the students in and out of the school. 

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