Our team had a wonderful time meeting with the iGlobal teachers once again in April. The iGlobal team has a goal of providing collaborative professional development to teachers in 20 different countries around the world.
For our second session with the iGlobal teachers, they came prepared to discuss the Sustainable World unit plans and resources that they tested in their own classrooms. One classroom in Germany completely finished the Youth Activism for Water Justice unit plan.
During our discussion, there were a couple recurring pieces of feedback that we are hoping to use as we continue to grow our database and unit plan collection. The first was a request for more of a structured outline for the unit plans. Our goal with the unit plans is to promote productive uncertainty. The unit plan outlines were created to support Manz’ (2019) Investigations Framework. Each category of this unit represents a stage of the Investigation Framework, not necessarily an individual lesson. Instructionally, the stages in this unit outline may be combined or split as needed to support students. As different classes approach inquiry in different ways, the unit stages are intended to be fluid and are not assigned time estimates. We hope that this flexible organization will better position students as directors of their own inquiry. We have noted that for our investigations to be implemented effectively in a classroom setting, teachers need to have a rough estimate for how much time each section of the unit will demand. To address this, we will be adding a small road map at the beginning of each unit that briefly summarizes each section of the unit, provides an estimated time for each section, and provides a list of materials for each section. We are hoping adding this kind of structure will help teachers in their planning and preparation when using the unit plans.
An additional feature that we will be adding to the unit plans, based on the feedback from the iGlobal teachers, is more scaffolding for learning new vocabulary terms introduced throughout the unit plans. We recognize that learning scientific terms can be a daunting task for students – especially if they are in a dual language learning setting. In the coming weeks, we will be adding scaffolds that help teachers and students earn key science terms throughout the unit. To earn a word, students will first figure out the concept and only after are given a term to describe it.
Below are the countries we collaborated with through iGlobal:
- United States
We hope to continue collaborating with our area teachers and those abroad to continue our work with the Sustainable World Collaborative.
The Sustainable World Collaborative Team