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The educator helps the learners to take action in a proactive and considered manner.
The educator helps the learners to:
- 11.1 Explore and critically analyse their local natural, social and built environment, including their own institution, as a context for change
- 11.2 Engage in democratic processes of decision making within a context of sustainability
- 11.3 Develop their agency and their awareness of social, political and economic structures
Underpinning Components for the educator
In order to achieve the above Learning Outcomes the educator should:
- UC11.1a Be supportive and encouraging towards students, coaching them in order to enhance their sense of agency
- UC11.1b Make use of the reflective learning cycle (planning, acting, reflecting, adjusting or the Anticipation-Action-Reflection cycle)
- UC11.2a Work in a democratic, open way with students
- UC11.2b Utilise project-based learning techniques
- UC11.3 Be able to see meaningful educational opportunities in ‘real life’ and encourage learners to do the same
Example activities for teaching Action
1 An Introduction to Action
- Suggested duration: 15 mins
- Technique used: Mini lecture
- Materials required: Slides or handout
- Aim of activity: To provide a brief overview to the background of and principles behind, action comptence
- Underpinning components: UC11.1.c
- Connection with other competences: Creativity; Participation; Futures
Where Action comes from
- IVAC approach (Investigation – Vision – Action – Change)
- The two criteria for an ‘action’ (student led; to effect a change)
2 Simulated IVAC activity
- Suggested duration: 30 minutes
- Technique used: Group activity and feedback
- Materials required: Pen & paper or similar
- Aim of activity: To start the process of an IVAC approach
- Underpinning components: UC11.1.a; UC11.1.b; UC11.1.c; UC11.3
- Connection with other competences: Creativity
- Small groups
- Brainstorm locations nearby and choose one
- Visit it and investigate it, envision possibilities for change
- Explore the implications for change and how one might start trying to create this change
- Whole group
- Share ideas
- Reflect on the approach – could it actually lead to change? Implications?
3 Walking the talk – Doing your action competence project
- Suggested duration: One or two hours a week for six weeks (more if available – including out of school hours)
- Technique used: A student led project designed to build their knowledge, skills, motivation and self-confidence in relation to a local issue.
- Materials required: A local community issue – identified by the students
- Aim of activity: To introduce the concept of ‘new value’ and see how innovation can bring social, environmental and economic benefits.
- Underpinning components: UC11.1.a; UC11.1.b; UC11.1.c; UC11.2; UC11.3
- Connection with other competences: Creativity; Futures; Criticality; Attentiveness; Participation
Building on the ‘Talking the Walk’ activity under Innovation – give the students time to develop their ideas into practical projects for resolving an issue (or adding new value) in their locality. Students follow the IVAC steps:
- Investigation: look at the what, where, when, how, who questions – and most importantly, why?
- Vision: How might this situation be improved/solved/resolved?
- Action: Engage with others people/organisations as necessary to put your ideas into action
- Change: Reflect on what has been achieved. What has actually changed? This can be physical change or a change within the students and/or others.
4 Waste management in the school restaurant
- Suggested duration: Two weeks, for one hour a day
- Technique used: research, report, debate, discussion, action; done by students inside a school Materials required ICT gear to make notes (iPads or similar), to observe (pictures, movies) and to report (beamer) If needed: materials to make posters and/or displays
- Aim of activity: Raise awareness of students behaviour and improve this
- Underpinning components: All that are mentioned above
- Connection with other competences: Attentiveness; Creativity
Students do research on waste behaviour of students in the school restaurant. The report visually (pictures, short movies etc.). They discuss actions to be undertaken to change the attitude of their fellow students in a polite, respectful way, taking into consideration the PPP. This might be discussions during lunch time, inviting signposts etc. They choose action strategies and do them. After a period of time they repeat the research to detect improvements.
- From PPP to active citizenship (adapted from ’32 lessen voor de toekomst’)
- Become a bug detective (adapted from ‘32 lessen voor de toekomst’)
- Do circular! (adapted from ’32 lessen voor de toekomst’)
- Reducing electricity use (by raising awareness and pilot projects with solar panels)
- Reducing paper waste by printing less, sharing of handouts etc.
- Working on respect for people and planet by social projects like ‘the peaceful school’.
- Working as a team on less use of car, more use of public transport, feet or bikes.
Example activities for teaching Action Sustainable Development Goals
Action SDG1 No poverty
Work to reduce poverty in a proactive and considered manner.
Action SDG2 Zero hunger
Work to reduce hunger in a proactive and considered manner.
Action SDG3 Good health and well-being
Take action to promote plans and mechanisms that improve people’s quality of life.
Action SDG4 Quality education
Promote the empowerment of young people and gender equality in education.
Action SDG5 Gender equality
Take action to improve power relations between genders.
Action SDG6 Clean water and sanitation
Use democratic processes while acting to make a situation evolve towards more sustainable water use and sanitation.
Action SDG7 Affordable and clean energy
Collaborate actively with regard to the use of energy at work, study, or home.
Action SDG8 Decent work and economic growth
Investigate economic/employment issues, consider opportunities for change and take action to bring change about.
Action SDG9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Act proactively and in a considered manner to develop resilient infrastructure and inclusive and sustainable industrialization and innovation.
Action SDG10 Reduced inequalities
Act proactively and in a considered manner to reduce inequalities.
Action SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
Develop an awareness of natural environments that have had an impact on a community’s culture and identity over the years and take proactive and considered action to protect them.
Action SDG12 Responsible consumption and production
Encourage others to engage in sustainable practices in consumption and production.
Action SDG13 Climate action
Work in a democratic and open way to counter climate change and mitigate its effects locally and nationally.
Action SDG14 Life below water
Experience the power of action of an individual as being part of a group and experience democratic processes related to actions that can result in the sustainability of life below water.
Action SDG15 Life on land
Explore with external stakeholders how wildlife habitats and communities can be sustained with innovative approaches.
Action SDG16 Peace, justice and strong institutions
Investigate social issues, consider opportunities for change and take action to bring change about.
Useful reading for Action
- Hamer A de, Heres P 2015 32 lessen voor de toekomst. Hilversum: Idee & Waarde
- Hamer A de, Jansen P, Louman E, Roorda N, Vries G de 2008 Duurzame Ontwikkeling op de basisschool. Nijkerk: Callenbach
- Hamer A de, Leussink E 2012 Leerkrachtcompetenties duurzaamheid. Utrecht: AgentschapNl.
- Jensen B B & Schnack K 1997 The Action Competence Approach in Environmental Education, Environmental Education Research, 3:2, 163-178 – A key academic text giving a rationale and description of the action competence approach.
- Roorda N 2010 Sailing on the winds of change. Maastricht: University Press Maastricht
- Ullmo P-A, Assailly J P, Breiting S, & Lorenzo R (2011) YOUR ideas YOUR initiatives Road Safety Actions for a Better Environment, Madrid: PAU Education