Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 38

Introducing the Sustainability Monitor System

The Concept of Sustainability


We began with a group discussion about sustainability

The aim of this experience was to:


Introduce the concept of sustainability to children To discover what prior knowledge they may already

possess about this

What is Sustainability?
The children did not demonstrate any prior knowledge about this concept. Consequently, sub-questions were required in order to encourage further discussion and engage childrens interest and sense of inquiry.

How can we look after our environment?


The children responded to this question by stating: We need to be careful with things so they dont break.(S.C.) We need to look after people and plants. (R.) Plants need shade and sun. (B.L.) Plants need water to grow. (S.C.) Sunflowers need sun. (A.J.) We need to know what weeds are so we only pull out the weeds and not the plants. (S.C)

What is another type of energy besides the sun?


The children responded to this question by stating:

Power. If you leave the lights on, you run out of energy. (C.)
Ive seen a blackout. There was no energy. (H.)

What about recycling?


The children responded to this question by stating:

We can recycle paper. (L.)


We can recycle egg cartons. (T.) Yeah, and anything thats cardboard. (L.)

What about compost?


The children responded to this question by stating: Thats for rubbish. (H.) Compost is for food scraps. (A.)

What about water?


The children responded to this question by stating:

We can save normal water from the tap and pour it on the plants. (R.)
We can catch it containers under the taps. (M.)

Reflection of Discussion
This preliminary discussion enabled the children to express their current understandings about elements relating to sustainability. The next stage in this research project is to implement another group discussion in order to revisit the concept of sustainability and to discuss the idea of sustainability monitors.

What is a sustainability monitor?


The children did not demonstrate any prior knowledge about this concept.

Consequently, sub-questions were required in order to encourage further discussion and engage childrens interest and sense of inquiry
The children were prompted with an example of a sustainability monitor.

What sorts of jobs should our sustainability monitors do?


In relation to the environment:

The children responded to this question by stating:


Tidy up the toys and dont break them. (F.) Dont waste ink from pencils. (L.)

What sorts of jobs should our sustainability monitors do?


In relation to recycling:

The children responded to this question by stating:


They have to put the rubbish in the bin. (H.) Yeah, and all the paper and cardboard. (L.)

What sorts of jobs should our sustainability monitors do?


In relation to the compost:
The children responded to this question by stating: They have to make sure all the scraps go in. (A.) Yeah, all the food scraps have to go in the compost. (M.)

What sorts of jobs should our sustainability monitors do?


In relation to energy:

The children responded to this question by stating:


Turn the lights off!. (X.) Yeah, so we dont run out of energy. (C.)

What sorts of jobs should our sustainability monitors do?


In relation to water: The children responded to this question by stating: They can water the plants. (R.)

They put the containers under the taps. (M.)


Yeah, and then use them to water the plants. (S.C.)

Reflection of Discussion
This discussion enabled the children to explore ideas about the responsibilities of our sustainability monitors.

The next stage in this research project was to invite a small group to create signs for our monitor system This ensures that we implement this system in a fair way, so that two children can choose to be monitors in each area of sustainability on a daily basis.

Writing up the Sustainability Signs


Demonstrating

knowledge of literacy concepts


Use of

concentration
Showing

satisfaction in achievements and contributing to shared projects

Cutting & Pasting the Sustainability Signs


Demonstrating

confidence and increasing skill in fine motor abilities


Use of

concentration
Showing

satisfaction in achievements and contributing to shared projects

Laminating the Sustainability Signs


Working

collaboratively to achieve shared goals


Showing satisfaction

in achievements and contributing to shared projects


Use of concentration

Presenting our Sustainability Signs to the Group


Sharing learning

with the group


Communicating

understandings through appropriate language skills


Showing pride in

achievements

Allocating our Sustainability Monitors for the Day


Demonstrating

participation and contribution to shared projects


Exhibiting an

understanding of responsibilities
Cooperation and

negotiation of roles

Our Recycling Monitors


Working

collaboratively to achieve shared goals


Exhibiting an

understanding of environmental responsibilities

Our Recycling Monitors in action


Using problem

solving strategies to achieve shared goals


Cooperating and

negotiating roles

Our Energy Monitors


Working

collaboratively to achieve shared goals


Exhibiting an

understanding of responsibilities

Our Water Monitors


Demonstrating

satisfaction in achievements
Exhibiting respect

and responsibility for the natural environment

Our Compost Monitors


Demonstrating

satisfaction in achievements
Exhibiting respect

and responsibility for the natural environment

New Signs For Our Bins


The children decide that we need new signs for our bins.
We repeat our process of signmaking and select some appropriate images to identify the bins more easily.

Beginning Our Composting Process


The children decide that we need somewhere for our food scraps to go.
A small group begin the composting process by adding leaves, food scraps and water to the compost bin.

Completing Our Composting Process


The children cooperate and negotiate roles in order to work collaboratively to rotate the compost to complete the process.

Reflection of Experience
This experience enabled the children to experiment with the physical processes of composting.
The children have participated in shared learning, cooperated and negotiated roles, explored ideas, discovered new concepts and demonstrated responsibility for their environment. The next stage of this research project was to invite a small group to create a sign which specifies items that cannot be composted.

A Sign to Identify Prohibited Items For Our Compost


The children decided that we needed another sign which explains what we shouldnt put into our compost. We repeated our process of signmaking and selected some appropriate images to identify prohibited items.

Lenses of Learning
In early childhood, children begin to take the initiative by asking questions and attempting small projects. Children are curious and enthusiastic participants in their own learning. They demonstrate a sense of pride as they contribute to their projects. Environmental sustainability provides important learning experiences centred on a commitment to making the world a safe place to live. (VEYLDF).

Lenses of Learning
Childrens connectedness with their environment and community supports their sense of belonging, by reflecting the values, traditions and practices of their families and communities.
This generation, more than any other before, will need the environmental awareness and citizenship that is instilled through exploration of the natural environment in childhood. (Thomas and Thompson, as cited in Elliott, 2008).

Reflection of Sustainability Project


Through implementing this Sustainability Project, I have been able to gain first hand experience in the value of using the project approach and inquiry-based learning in my program. The meaningful experiences which evolve from using such an approach provide children with significant learning opportunities which encourage them to enrich the development of their skills and interactions through valuable contributions.

Conclusion
The Sustainability Project will continue subsequent to my departure from the centre. I look forward to following up on the progress of this journey of learning in the following months.