for Change curricula are place based, outdoor, immersive, and experiential.
It’s been said
that we don’t inherit the land from our parents; we borrow it from our
children. And there’s no doubt that it’s being returned in worse shape than
when we borrowed it. So it’s only right that we give the next generation the
tools needed to help them face the challenges they will encounter when
addressing natural resource management in a changing world.
to gain these tools by teaching them about global change—climate change, invasive
species, and land-use change—in the context of natural resource management is
the goal of the Teaching Change program established by Creighton Litton
and Catherine Spina, both in the department of Natural Resources and Environmental
Management, and their partners the US Forest Service Institute of Pacific
Islands Forestry, Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, US Fish and
Wildlife Service Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, and the Friends of
Teaching Change combines a youth-education
program in natural resource management that is aligned with Next Generation
Science Standards, and a teacher-education and curriculum-development component
that provides secondary school science and Career and Technical Education
teachers from Hawai‘i with the background and knowledge to develop and
implement curricula to teach core STEM concepts.
The curricula for
both students and teachers are place based, outdoor, immersive, and experiential,
including overnight field trips with activities centered around phenology, or
the timing of life cycle events, of native trees and other culturally important
plants and wildlife. The teacher-education component includes peer-to-peer
mentoring on curriculum development and implementation. A recent three-day
teacher-training workshop held at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge and
the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry brought together 22 teachers from
O‘ahu and the Big Island, including Master Ecoliteracy Teachers trained for
peer-delivery of Teaching Change curricula. In September the
participating teachers will give presentations on the curricula they have
developed to get their students outside and engaged.
We may not have
been the best stewards of the land we’ve borrowed, but the Teaching Change program
offers the opportunity for our children to be more mindful of the land they in
turn will be borrowing from future generations, and better equipped with ways
to translate that awareness into positive and meaningful change.
For more information: www.teaching-change.org.