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Leonard Nkhata
Post count: 11

To mobilise stories and cultural heritage on a specific local SD issue, working with students could be achieved through (1) lesson planning activities that deliberately address the matter within the context of the subject topic under discussion. (2) sending students into the community to collect views through interviews.

Using a systems view, using an interdisciplinary approach to understand the SD issue would widen participation among subject areas. For example, our TEI offers mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology as teaching subjects. So, asking students to approach the issue from their content area perspective will enrich involvement with the issue at a local level.

The community’s involvement in an issue would work if their views are sought and taken into account. Then deliberate steps, through agreement and commitment, can be taken. Specific responsibilities for the community and the students can be agreed to address the matter of concern.

Proposed solutions to the problem from both the community and the students would form the basis for the method(s) to be chosen. If the community sees a widespread sensitisation as the most appropriate method, the students can use their content knowledge to enrich and drive the campaign messages.

Progress can be assessed by coming up with goals and indicators to determine how well the changes are being addressed and how the community views the initiative. Forexample, one of the residential areas near our TEI has high levels of pollution. In order to address this issue, students can apply 21stCentury skills and SD competences to engage with the content and messaging required. Through the use of social media campaign as a communication channel, the focus or target population can change based on demographics in the community. Sometimes the message may need to change completely. Using simple satisfaction/dissatisfaction interview scales could be used to assess progress.

To implement this teaching activity with students, group planning would be central. Some possible ways to implement this teaching activity would be through brainstorming and working through the problem together, creating bespoke materials according to subject area, creating animated content – e.g. fun activities and games, students serve as ambassadors of the project, students creating a website. The implementation here will require students to use a variety of methods such as trying it out and acting out methods.
Students could be supported through the use of worksheets, creating group activities and games. Using electronic resources and case studies based on lesson objectives could improve student engagement. Differentiation of instruction could help address the learning styles and capacities among the students.