I am currently reading Key Competencies for the Future by Rosemary Hipkins, Rachel Bolstad, Sally Boyd and Sue McDowall and have found it incredibly inspiring. At the end of a chapter about making meaning across the different disciplines, they pose 6 questions for educators to discuss. One of these questions is the (very slightly reworded) question for today:
How Might We encourage young people to stay hopeful, without sweeping hard questions under the carpet?
To me, this is a key challenge as we strive to make learning more authentic. So many of the issues facing the world at the moment and into the future can be such powerful learning prompts but so overwhelming.
As a social scientist I completely believe we have to embrace controversy and complexity in the classroom and have always striven to do so. This term I am co-teaching a module with Danielle Myburgh called Apocalypse Now which is
looking at some of the issues facing the world. Danielle will develop the Scientific understanding while I provide a social perspective to these issues. We have chosen to base our course around 5 wicked problems (out of a list of 8 in the early stages of the Key Competencies book):
- Climate Change
- Depletion of Fossil Fuels
- Environmental Degradation
- Biodiversity Loss
- Food Security
Students will explore 2 of these before focusing in on one to investigate in depth. They will use our Learning Design Model
and our Hobsonville Habits
to investigate their chosen wicked problem and develop solutions for the future on an aspect of that problem.
Clearly, staying hopeful will be a challenging task with this but by focusing in on aspects of the problem they can start making progress. We are also excited that as part of this module, we will be looking at connecting students up with Scientists working in these same fields of study halfway through the module so they can access expert knowledge and perspectives of these issues as well as written and online resources.
This post is for My Questioning Quest (even though it clearly blows my aim of 60 words about the question!).