Earlier this month, the team had the opportunity to collaborate with iGlobal. IGlobal is another organization based at the University of Illinois with the goal of providing professional development to and facilitating collaboration between teachers and students from 20 countries around the world.
During each of our meetings with the teachers, we discussed our commitment to helping students see global connections in sustainability. It is critical that students understand sustainability as a global issue necessitating global collaboration and solutions. We were able to talk about how learning from divergent perspectives increases student problem solving and requires students to think of the interconnectedness of global systems.
In our discussions, we highlighted how using the global resources found in our database can help students learn to actively seek out multiple perspectives and collaborate on diverse teams to develop solutions to global issues. In addition, we found that participants across the board agreed that approaching student learning and sustainability education requires a cross-disciplinary approach.
We introduced teachers to the Ways of Thinking, a foundational inspiration for our project, developed by Arizona State University’s Sustainability Education Framework for Teachers. The Ways of Thinking, as described by ASU, are futures, values, systems, and strategic. We broke down each Way of Thinking and provided examples of how they might look in a K-12 classroom.
During the next couple of months, the iGlobal teachers will be using our unit plans and database resources in their classrooms in the following countries:
- United States
As a result of our meetings, our database will be used for professional development in Indonesia, India, and the United States.
We will be meeting with the iGlobal teachers again the week of April 17th, 2023 to discuss how each teacher used our resources and unit plans. We look forward to further refining our unit plans and resources in response to the feedback we receive. The teachers will also return with more ideas for authentic resources created in their own region of the world to add to our database.
We will check back in after our meeting in April.
The Sustainable World Collaborative Team