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Sustainable Schoolyards: A Professional Development program for teachers to engage their students in local action to develop Global Competence

Science and Children—March/April 2024 (Volume 61, Issue 2)

By Devon Azzam, Kaylee Laub, Danielle Harlow

Sustainable Schoolyards is a 5-month professional learning program run by the California Global Education Project to facilitate teachers working with teachers to create and implement climate justice projects. The program meets virtually 3 times between January and May, with follow-up support in between. Virtual connections with another classroom show students they are not alone in their actions. The program helps teachers prepare students to take action for social justice using both the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Global Competence Framework. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals help teachers and students connect the specific action they are taking on local issues to action being taken around the world and the Global Competence Framework helps teachers and students build capacity for global competence, and prepare for a world of increasing complexity, diversity and interconnectedness. Examples are shared from a TK and Kindergarten classroom that participated in the Sustainable Schoolyards, and were paired up for the virtual exchange component of the program. The TK class engaged in a school-wide campaign about food waste and composting, and the Kindergarten class learned about responsible production and consumption, and published a book to share their knowledge with their community.

Earth & Space Science Labs Professional Learning Teacher Preparation

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