Real World LearningReal

Big Science Issues

Our Working Group 2 is exploring the big issues that underpin sustainability. They have identified nine big issues including biodiversity, climate change, ocean acidification and freshwater use.

After the conference in Slunakov, we decided to incorporate information gathered from the conference with existing research and settled on 9 'Big Issues' of Science that we would focus on. Partner countries have provided a 'mind map' of the key scientific ideas, these are in draft form, but have been looked at by experts within the countries. We have shared these with Working Group 3 and are now looking to format these in to a useable form by others. Members of the working group are just producing the first case-studies, to be shared amongst the group for feedback. We are interested in providing case-studies, that show how the Science from the Big Issues can be included within activities being taught already. At a later stage we are going to be looking at producing some guidelines for outdoor educators to use to enable them to use the background science and their own ideas, to design outdoor activities that incorporate the important scientific issues.

Within our work so far, we have found that the background scientific knowledge of outdoor educators can be patchy, with some misconceptions, as well as vast areas of science that are not understood at all. This obviously has an impact on delivery of curriculum design supporting outdoor education, meaning that opportunities may be lost in terms of education for sustainability. It is important that as a working group we make sure that the information and case-studies we are showing have a relevance and are applicable to all outdoor educators. In the next 4-5 months, we will be formatting the 'Big Issues' for publication, sharing our first round of case-studies and discussing the guidelines for educators to incorporating science into current outdoor activities.

For more information on Planetary Boundaries click here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014