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Greening Schools and Communities: The Challenges


Greening Schools and Communities: The Challenges Merle C. Tan Director National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development University of the Philippines – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Greening Schools and Communities: The Challenges

Greening Schools and Communities The Challenges
Merle C. Tan Director National Institute for
Science and Mathematics Education Development
University of the Philippines 29 June 2006
A Brief Review
  • Greening Schools and Communities
  • is NOT just about planting trees
  • is NOT just about improving waste disposal
  • is NOT just about keeping rivers, lakes, and seas
    clean and safe for humans and other organisms
  • is NOT just about keeping the air clean
  • is NOT just about protecting watersheds
  • is NOT just about using energy resources wisely
  • is NOT just about finding technologies that are
    more energy efficient
  • It is about ALL of the ABOVE and MORE.

  • Greening Schools and Communities
  • is also about obeying ecological principles,
    using indigenous and local knowledge, practicing
    critical thinking and problems solving skills
  • is also about
  • - raising levels of economy through sustainable
  • - maintaining peace and observing human rights,
  • - practicing good governance and citizenship,
  • - improving human health and the environment
  • It is an integrated and holistic program aligned
    with the UN ESD International Implementation

  • How do we promote greening
  • schools and communities?

Greening Schools and Communities
  • Knowledge Component
  • based on well-founded ecological principles and
    concepts, appropriate for the age, abilities,
    and skill level of learners.
  • an integral part of the formal and nonformal
    education curriculum, and relevant to the
    community and culture.
  • organized so that new learning is built on a
    foundation of students' previous knowledge and

Ecological Principles
  • Interconnectedness
  • Biodiversity
  • Change
  • Materials Cycle .
  • Balance of nature
  • Finiteness of Resources
  • Population growth and carrying capacity
  • Stewardship
  • Sustainable development

Other Themes
  • Biodiversity
  • The variety of life on Earth and the natural
    patterns it forms, creates the web of life of
    which we are an integral part and upon which we
  • Human impact threatens individual species and
    all those living things that depend on the
    interaction of life forms
  • Climate Change
  • The harmful impact of climate change is of
    worldwide proportions. To limit damage to the
    atmosphere requires awareness and action from the
    individual to international levels.

  • Ecosystems
  • The interaction of individual components of
    every ecosystem results in an effect that is
    greater than the sum of the individual parts.
  • All aspects of society and economy are dependent
    on ecosystems and their functions.
  • Energy
  • Much of the world currently depends on
    inexpensive fossil fuels to heat homes, operate
    transportation systems and drive the economy.
  • Significant portions of the world's residents do
    not have the luxury of a single light switch.
  • Both ends of this energy use spectrum challenge
    the environment's capacity to absorb the results
    of human energy use.

  • Water
  • Freshwater is a critical component of ecosystems
    and an essential human resource. Awareness and
    management challenges are critical environment
    and development issues.

  • Our Context
  • Population Growth and Carrying Capacity
  • A farmer started with a few hyacinths in a pond
    128 square meters in area. These hyacinths
    doubled in number daily.
  • During the first Sunday, the water hyacinths
    covered less than 1 or 1/128 of the surface
    area. But the farmer does not worry.
  • Still doubling in number, the hyacinths covered
    1/62 of the water surface on Monday, 1/32 on
    Tuesday, 1/16 on Wednesday, 1/8 on Thursday and
    1/4 on Friday.

  • The following Sunday, the pond was completely
    filled with hyacinths. The full capacity of the
    pond has been reached.
  • Any further increase in number can no longer be
    accommodated by the pond.
  • The hyacinths were rapidly using up the nutrients
    in the water.
  • The increasing number of hyacinths is analogous
    to the exponential growth of people, not only n
    the Philippines but in the world over.

Greening Schools and Communities
  • Skills Component
  • Students and community learners have
    opportunities to practice
  • basic process skills, critical thinking and
    problem-solving skills, including investigation
    of controversial issues
  • The skills also ensure safe learning.

comparing/ classifying
asking questions
Basic Process skills
making models
measuring recording data
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Critical thinking
Creative thinking
Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS)
Problem solving
Decision making
Greening Schools and Communities
  • Values Component
  • The programs promote increased sensitivity to
    and appreciation of the environment, cultures,
    and views of others
  • and include an ethic of care, consensus
    building, and responsible citizen action.
  • They support the personal and societal capacity
    to take action necessary for sustainability.

Strategies to Develop KSA
Main criterion for selecting teaching and
learning strategies
  • it encourages high level of learner engagement
    and commitment.

  • Experiential Learning
  • Direct experiences (provided at a young age)
    are used to develop and deepen connections to the
    environment and encourage personal affinity, and
    emotional connection with Earth and other
  • Outdoor learning is part of the program or
    encouraged as a follow-up activity where

  • Connected to the world outside the classroom or
    lecture hall
  • Learning activities are grounded in a real-world
    context familiar to learners life.

  • Integrated Learning
  • Concepts and issues are examined through their
    social, political, economic, ethical and
    ecological contexts.
  • A systems thinking approach to the dynamic,
    complex way of relationships is provided.

  • Service/Action Learning
  • Opportunity exists to practice action skills and
    strategies for environmental stewardship
    (planning, communication, group skills, team
    work, safety and leadership skills).
  • Also includes opportunity to practice active
    citizenship - connecting curriculum to
    environmental action in school buildings and
    grounds, and in homes, neighborhoods and

  • Locus of Control
  • Opportunities are provided for students to
    choose elements of program content, and the
    medium in which they wish to work.
  • Values Education Methodology
  • Allows examination and clarification of
    individual and social value systems, and the
    exploration of a range of perspectives, beliefs,
    biases, and assumptions.

  • Accommodating Diverse Learners
  • Activities address a range of learning styles
    and teach to both cognitive and affective
  • Open-ended Instruction
  • Opportunities for students to study topics more
    deeply are provided and encouraged.

  • Learning Materials
  • Program materials readily integrate into
    prescribed formal and nonformal curriculum.
  • Materials provide clear directions, background
    information and adaptation suggestions for
  • Learning materials are prepared taking in
    account identified benchmarks/standards.

  • Case Studies
  • Local relevant cases and references are used as
    a means of integrating concepts.
  • Case studies and scenarios are presented with a
    range of possible solutions.

  • Integrated Learning
  • Concepts and issues are examined through their
    social, political, economic, ethical and
    ecological contexts.
  • A systems thinking approach to the dynamic,
    complex way of relationships is provided.

  • Assessment and Evaluation of Learning
  • Students actively demonstrate their knowledge
    and skills.
  • Additionally, appropriate learner assessment
    methods/mechanisms are utilized including
    reflection and self-assessment opportunities.

Management Techniques/Mechanisms for Long Term
  • Supporting Teacher Self-Sufficiency and
  • Increase the capacity of teachers to incorporate
    concepts, skills, and values benchmarks into
    their planning and instruction
  • Promote teacher awareness and knowledge of the
    principles of sustainability and their practice
    in personal and professional realms and
  • Provide opportunities for teachers to extend
    student learning in addition to and beyond the
    scope of the learning activities presented by

  • Strategic Alliances
  • Work for adoption by the whole school system,
    government agencies and/or local non-governmental
    organizations to increase chance of long-term
    viability. Programs should encourage support and
    endorsement from the school and/or school board.
  • Provide opportunities for sharing, extension and
    continuity (e.g., engage students, community
    members, follow-up programs, volunteer and
    mentoring programs, links to community action
    projects, student forums, camps, institutes,
    support for Environmental clubs, annual
    conferences and youth grants).
  • Establish links across age groups to enable
    students to receive multiple coordinated learning
    opportunities through the cooperative efforts of
    multiple agencies and organizations.

  • Marketing, Communication and
  • Evaluation Scheme
  • Offer opportunities for student recognition and
    celebration in the broader community and profile
    student efforts as a means of building community
  • Provide teachers and students with links to
    related relevant resources, programs,
    organizations, and individuals (e.g., on line)
  • Establish an evaluation system that tracks and
    measures results at the level of short-term
    objectives and longer-term goals.

Learning On-line
  • The Internet offers an incredible potential for
    finding information related to the topics in
    school, but at the same time the search too often
    ends by being waste of learners school hours.

Education for Sustainable Development
  • Role of ESD
  • Education is the means through which society
    prepares its citizenry to carry out their
    responsibilities (e,g., environmental protection)

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The Challenges
  • Are we sustainable development-oriented?
  • Do we think green and act green?
  • At the institutional level, are we playing a
    strong role in the education, research, policy
    development, information exchange, and community
    outreach to help create an equitable and
    sustainable future?
  • Do we have multidisciplinary and
    interdisciplinary courses that promote
    understanding of the relationship between
    population, human activities,
  • and the environment?
  • Do we have multidisciplinary and
    interdisciplinary research to develop
    environmentally sound technologies or
    anticipatory research to identify future threats
    to a sustainable society, and develop solutions
    to circumvent these threats?

  • How can we engage faculty, staff,
    administration, and students and LGUs in
    activities such as energy and water conservation,
    and recycling, or in encouraging vendors who
    supply us with products and services to act in an
    environmentally responsible manner when
    manufacturing their products and
  • delivering their services?
  • At the personal level, have we made a commitment
    to help create a sustainable economy - one that
    doesnt use up resources at the expense of future
  • Have we realized our interconnectedness with the
    world and reflected on the unintended damage we
    cause nature in the daily course of our lives?
  • Are we taking corrective action to make
    environmental responsibility and stewardship a

  • Thinking and acting green means
  • to embrace the tremendous responsibility as
    leaders in education, in industry, in every field
    to use our strength, talents, resources and
    technologies to better the communities we serve.
  • to understand that the world is a finite place
    with finite resources, and next generation
    products and processes must be designed within
    the framework of this complex system
  • being mindful of and sensitive to the natural
    environment in our daily life.

  • Thus, thinking green means being aware of our
    interconnectedness with the world and reflecting
    on the unintended damage we cause nature in the
    daily course of our lives.
  • Hopefully, thinking green leads to acting green,
    particularly, taking corrective action to make
    environmental responsibility and stewardship a

Lets organize our Think Green partners Lets
form a a task force to monitor projects designed
to reduce the environmental impact of their
campus operations. Lets put up a website for
environmental activities where the green
partners can report their activities and
accomplishments Lets conduct a baseline Green
The Green Audit
  • Serve as guide in determining where your office,
    school (or UP in general) stands in terms of
    environmental protection
  • It is a checklist which can reveal which areas
    can be improved
  • No ratings or scores are given
  • What matters is that change can be instituted
    particularly concerning practices which, often
    without realizing it do harm to the environment.

  • I. Policy
  • General (environmental protection a part of our
    vision/mission statement environmental policy
    committee or persons responsible for
    environmental projects and programs in the
  • Personnel
  • Are environmental considerations part of the
    performance appraisal system of faculty, deans,
    support staff?
  • Are personnel required to practice environment
    oriented activities such as waste reduction, use
    of non toxic materials, involvement in
    community-based projects?
  • Purchasing

  • II. Operations
  • Buildings and ground
  • Lights and electricity
  • Water
  • Office machines and equipment
  • Paper
  • Canteen
  • General waste management
  • Air quality
  • III. Academics
  • Curriculum integration in courses and subjects
  • Learning process provision of reading materials
    on environmental issues)
  • Opportunities for debates and discussion

Five steps along the green path
  • Commitment
  • Staff involvement
  • The environmental audit
  • The action plan
  • Monitoring and communication

  • These activities will inspire our fellow teachers
    and community workers to take a leading role in
    helping the next generation to develop knowledge,
    skills, and values that will enable them to enjoy
    and share the Earths bounty while living within
    its means.

  • The difference between what we do and what we
    are capable of doing would suffice to solve most
    of the world's problems." - Mahatma Gandhi
  • "Every person is the right person to act. Every
    moment is the right moment to begin." - Jonathan
    Schell, author, "Fate of the Earth"

  • It is not enough
  • to be doing less harm to the environment
  • we have to be doing something
  • that benefits our people
  • so they dont see
  • the separation
  • between the natural and
  • built environment.
  • We have to go back to seeing ourselves
  • as part of that environment.

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