Vanilla is one of the most common and powerful ingredients found in many sweet treats worldwide, however, the story of its production is anything but vanilla! Being the second most expensive spice in the world after saffron; per kilo vanilla has a value greater than that of silver, which isn’t helped by the fact 80% of the world’s vanilla supply is grown by one island nation – Madagascar. During this unit of work, pupils will use a variety of interdisciplinary learning to understand the below topics of interest related to the overall sustainability of this fascinating orchid.
This poster will be presented at the RSE Conference on Interdisciplinary Learning in January.
Featured Image © Yarden Sachs CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
This unit of work engages young people in a project that is rich in scope but also grounded in a real world, authentic context that will be tangible to Scottish school children. Set in a fictional town in West Lothian, the project exposes learners to issues of sustainable development. This context will be pertinent to many living in towns that have suffered from industrial decline and are now seeking new identities as they expand with new housing and associated infrastructure. Based loosely on the new Heartlands development adjacent to Whitburn in West Lothian, which is one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe; young people will learn about how the provision of power, housing and the treatment of waste can be a sustainable process.
One of the key learning theories employed in this unit is the use of an authentic learning context that has tangible links to life beyond school, particularly with regards to the world of work and global citizenship. Authenticity in education is the provision of learning experiences that relate to the lives of pupils and experiences that they are likely to encounter later in adult life (Hennessy and Murphy, 1999). It is argued by Snape & Foz-Turnbull (2013) that authentic projects which have ‘real-world’ contexts expose learners to a wider range of experiences that are transferable to the situations that they are likely to encounter in the workplace, therefore fostering a sense of responsibility for life beyond the classroom. Continue reading “Putting the Hope back in Hope Hill”
Bats are the theme of this unit of work and which is aimed towards pupils in Secondary school education as part of their CfE 3rd / 4th level broad general education and developed in partnership with various external enterprises. The contextual theme for the unit is based around an authentic scenario of bats; the protection of them and their habitats; environmental impacts; bat roost construction; and outdoor learning.
Presenting the unit within an authentic context is derived from Situated Learning theory, where authenticity brings a coherent, personally meaningful and purpose to the unit of work whilst set within a social framework. This will promote pupils motivation, interest, engagement and cognitive learning. Continue reading “A Bat-tastic Journey”