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EDU2441: Environmental Education: Module 8 Week 13

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How do they differ from current events? Can you name some issues? ... Sensationalism sells!! We want the negative ... don't we! ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: EDU2441: Environmental Education: Module 8 Week 13


1
EDU2441 Environmental Education Module 8
(Week 13)
  • Current Events Controversial Issues
  • Lecturer Jerry Maroulis
  • May 25, 2005

2
Lecture Plan
  • Humour
  • Topic Current Events Controversial Issues
  • Sequence
  • Brainstorming session
  • Mass Media Current Events
  • Issues Controversial Issues
  • Environmental Incidents
  • Future environmental flashpoints
  • Web Resources
  • Question Time?

3
Humour
4
Brainstorming Session
  • What do we mean by current events?
  • Are they useful in teaching? Why?
  • What are issues?
  • How do they differ from current events?
  • Can you name some issues?
  • List 2 local, 2 national 2 international issues
  • When is an issue controversial?
  • Example?
  • Should we teach controversial issues in schools?
    Why?
  • What strengths/weaknesses are there?
  • How do we/you do it?

5
Mass Media Current Events
  • Various forms of Media - ie TV, print, radio,
    internet
  • Information is readily accessible
    user-friendly
  • ie idiot proof information sponges eg TV,
    Radio, etc.
  • not site specific
  • ie world events in your armchair instantly!!
  • eg Thredbo Disaster Gulf War Olympics
    Concorde crash etc.
  • It is all about money…
  • ie listening audience selling papers ratings
  • Sensationalism sells!! We want the negative …
    dont we!
  • Media has dramatically improved awareness over
    past few decades
  • Technology and media are linked
  • increased technologyincreased speed volume of
    information (information saturation??)
  • ie internet computers satellites

6
Issues
  • Issues emerge when people have different views on
    matters of common interest…for instance
  • Should Australia mine and export Uranium?
  • Should taxes be lowered in times of recession?
  • Should automatic firearms be banned from general
    ownership in the interest of public safety?
  • Should have Australian forces been committed to
    fight in Iraq?
  • Essence of issues is debate and controversy
  • Term should indicates issues often require
    moral ethical decisions
  • Values attitudes important aspects in study of
    issues

7
Controversial Issues
  • Arise from events, results or consequences
  • Controversy results from different reasoned but
    opposing views.
  • Does wilderness have intrinsic value?
  • Is population control the key to preventing
    environmental deterioration?
  • Should GM foods be utilised to solve global food
    shortages?
  • Is nuclear power safe and desirable?
  • Are catastrophic climate changes likely to result
    from inadvertent human activity?

8
Controversial Issues (cont).
  • Common controversial aspects include
  • Relations between ethnic groups
  • Forms of discrimination on basis of sex or age
  • Operations of multinational companies
  • Exploitation of natural resources
  • Birth control
  • Urban sprawl, etc…
  • There are degrees of controversial as well
  • Economic use of national resources (lt
    controversial)
  • Oil exploration in GBR or flooding of Franklin
    River, etc… (gtgt controversy)

9
Controversial Issues (cont).
  • Issues significance changes with time due to
  • 1. Political sensitivities vary with political
    parties
  • Conservatives tend to exploit natural resources
    which results in clashes with conservationists.
  • 2. Tech change can increase impact of human
    activity
  • Earthmoving equipment irrigation technologies
    have impacted on environment (eg environmental
    degradation salinity).
  • 3. Mass media affected general level of public
    awareness (see earlier slide)
  • 4. Social Reform trends
  • Womens movement, etc…

10
Importance of Issues Study
  • Issues important in the lives of individuals and
    societies.
  • Therefore of very high significance in SOSE
  • Helps to develop in students
  • Ability to make intelligent informed decisions
  • Make choices from alternative viewpoints
  • Value different viewpoints
  • Skills in evaluating information
  • Willingness to participate in democratic,
    decision-making process

11
Problems teaching Issues
  • There are several limiting aspects to issues
    work
  • Readiness of students to learn about particular
    issues
  • Depends on student knowledge maturity
  • Formal directives from employing authority
  • Religious views, political ideologies
  • Covert influences
  • Views of school staff and school community
  • Expertise of teachers
  • Teachers may need to adopt unfamiliar roles
    contrary to preferred teaching style
  • Issue-specific factors
  • Breadth of issue being taught
  • Lobby group community activity
  • ie animal liberationists gun lobby

12
Problems teaching Issues (cont).
  • Teachers should persevere with issues work as
  • Unresolved questions issues are debated in ALL
    subjects
  • Provides opportunities for students to trying
    ways of testing their understanding (truth)
  • Students should be exposed to the evolution of
    knowledge
  • eg The concept that The Earth is not flat was
    controversial 500 years ago…why?
  • Many new ideas are controversial until
    criticised, tested verified

13
Which issues should be included in SOSE?
  • Two criteria for this selection
  • 1. Some issues of significance locally or
    nationally
  • 2. How people will react to the issue selected
  • School constraints in selection of issues
  • 1. Knowledge skill limitations of teacher
  • ie specialist knowledge
  • 2. School, parish departmental policy
    constraints
  • eg religious, political, ethnic composition of
    class, etc
  • 3. Timing of particular issues at particular
    times
  • eg dealing with 9-11 terrorism sex war etc

14
Which issues should be included in SOSE?
  • Decision may be related to longevity of the
    issue
  • Long Term Middle East conflict Northern
    Ireland global warming
  • Short Term Falklands War sinking of Greenpeace
    vessel Rainbow Warrior, etc.
  • Schools have responsibility to students to ensure
    proficiency in approaching issues
  • ie knowing reflecting and acting components of
    issues
  • These 3 components are overlapping
  • BUT no one way to teach it (approach dictated by
    the issue)

15
Approaches to teaching about issues
  • Controversial elements exists in ALL subjects
  • Teachers are NOT neutral
  • Effective approach involves a combination of
  • Inculcation
  • Knowledge
  • Reflection
  • Action

16
Inculcation
  • Purpose of instilling values in students
  • Occurs consciously and unconsciously
  • Different to indoctrination (involves ONE
    viewpoint)
  • Forms of inculcation include
  • Modeling
  • Neat teachers work replicated by students
  • Positive Negative Reinforcement
  • Sarcasm Nagging
  • Using biased or incomplete data

17
Knowledge
  • Base information on issue needed by teachers
    students
  • Important aspect as
  • Reflection action are well sustained by
    students who possess knowledge of an issue
  • Knowledge is often extended in this situation

18
Reflection
  • Important part of teaching learning about
    issues
  • Involves persistent careful consideration of an
    idea in light of supporting evidence ethical
    considerations
  • Enables us to
  • Recognise consistency of set of related ideas
  • Become aware of reconcile multiple realities

19
Action
  • Taking action represents commitment
  • Demonstrates that learning is not inert
  • ie made a difference to a students life
  • Forms of action are varied
  • Writing to businesses govt community groups
  • Public statemenmts letters to editor public
    meetings
  • Fundraising activities
  • Joining organisations
  • NB Illegal actions are frowned upon!!

20
Dealing with controversial issues in the
classroom Teacher Guide
  • 1. Consider students background developmental
    needs
  • 2. Create positive learning environment
    encourage sharing of views
  • 3. Create atmosphere of openness for students
    parents
  • 4. Recognise complexity of issues
  • 5. Ensure balanced learning occurs
  • 6. Be honest about your own views
  • 7. Allow constructive disagreements
  • 8. Support students who change their stance

21
Methodology
  • A range of specific techniques available
  • Class discussion
  • Values voting
  • Moral dilemmas
  • Rank ordering
  • Values continuum
  • Role plays/simulations
  • Public interviews
  • Group work, etc…

22
Alarming Environmental Incidents!!
  • Q Can you recall any of the following?
  • Minimata Disease (Mercury Poisoning) (1953-56)
  • Three Mile Island Incident (1979)
  • Ozone hole, enhanced Greenhouse Effect Global
    Climate Change (1980s)
  • Bhopal (1984)
  • Chernobyl (1986)
  • Exxon Valdez (1989)
  • Darling River (1991)
  • Somalia/Ethiopia (1980s-1990s)
  • Forest Fires in Southeast Asia (1997-1998)

23
Future environmental flashpoints
  • Resource depletion/myths eg oil crisis?? IRAQ??
  • Antarctica - the last untapped continent (also
    Greenland)
  • Vast mineral deposits resources
  • Political issues of ownership/land claims on
    Antarctica
  • Australias large stake is not internationally
    recognised
  • Developing nations want to become developed but
    developed nations want to keep them under
    control eg greenhouse emissions excessive
    resource depletion etc
  • Culture vs Economics eg World Bank in India
  • Science technology - environmental saviour??
    eg solar energy, clean fuel (hydrogen/helium),
    etc…

24
Web Resources
  • Tasmanian Dept of Education-Teaching for Learning
    Strategies in SOSE http//www.discover.tased.edu.a
    u/sose/teleissu.htm
  • Teaching Controversial Issues in Coastal Marine
    Studies http//www.mesa.edu.au/cams/module9/activi
    ties.htm
  • CSIRO Research Priorities-Hot Issues
    http//www.clw.csiro.au/priorities
  • Current Issues-Human Rights Equal Employment
    Commission http//www.hreoc.gov.au/index.html
    http//www.hreoc.gov.au/info_for_teachers/current
    _issues.html
  • The Australian Sociological Association (TASA)
    http//www.tasa.org.au/home.php
  • Allyn Bacon Sociology Links http//www.abacon.co
    m/sociology/soclinks
  • CQU Library - Sociology Internet Resources
    http//www.library.cqu.edu.au/faculty/arts/sociolo
    gy.htm
  • Distributed Communities http//www.it.murdoch.edu.
    au/sudweeks/b483/resources.html

25
Any Questions?
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