Using TLSF in courses

  • Introduction
  • Activity 1
  • Activity 2
  • Reflection 1
  • Activity 3
  • Reflection 2

Introduction

The purpose of this module is to explore the many different ways in which Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future can be used in teacher professional development. This includes independent use by teachers and student teachers and the integration of the programme into in pre-service and in-service teacher education courses.

Objectives

  • To understand the potential use of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future by teachers as an approach to independent professional development;
  • To understand the potential use of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future in organised pre-service and in-service teacher education courses; and
  • To develop plans for using Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future.

Activities

  1. The multimedia context
  2. The sustainable development context
  3. Reflection 1
  4. Using the programme
  5. Reflection 2

Resources

This workshop requires:

  • A personal computer and data projector for the facilitator
  • A personal computer for each participant or pair of participants
  • Slideshow 4
  • Resource sheets 4.1 and 4.2 – both made into an overhead transparency or chart
  • Resource Sheet 4.3, 4.4 and 4.5 – copies for each participant
  • A whiteboard, flipchart or other means of recording participants’ ideas

Credits

This workshop was developed by Jo-Anne Ferreira, John Fien and Wayne Muller, Griffith University, Australia.

The multimedia context

Introduction

Use Slides 2 – 4 in Slideshow 4 to introduce the title, objectives and activity sequence in the workshop.

This discussion and group work activity could be used as a ‘follow-on’ the workshop on Workshop 3 on Multimedia approaches in teacher education.

Whole Group discussion

Lead a whole group discussion of the following five questions:

  • If you were studying Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future in your own time, would you prefer to work mainly from the Internet or the CDROM version of the programme? Why?
  • Do you think that lecturers in teacher education in your country would prefer to use Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future mainly from the Internet or the CDROM version of the programme? Why?
  • Do you think that student teachers at a college or university in your country would prefer to use Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future mainly from the Internet or the CDROM version of the programme? Why?
  • Do you think that experienced teachers in your country would prefer to use Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future mainly from the Internet or the CDROM version of the programme? Why?
  • Do you think that experienced teachers in your country would prefer to work through modules from Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future mainly on their own or in small groups? Why?

Use an overhead transparency or flipchart version of Resource Sheet 4.1 to record group answers to the questions.

Focus especially on the reasons for answers as these can contribute to an understanding of the contextual factors that could influence the adoption of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future.

Small Group Discussion

Divide participants into groups of 4 – 6 people and ask the groups to use the ‘reasons’ listed on the overhead transparency or chart to prepare a summary of the enabling and constraining factors that may influence the use of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future in your country.

After 10 – 15 minutes, ask for groups to report, summarising group answers in a two column table headed ‘Enabling Factors’ and ‘Constraining Factors’ (Resource Sheet 4.2).

Then ask the whole group to consider how the situation might change over the next three years.

  • Will some of the enabling factors be stronger? Why?
  • Will some of the constraints be overcome? Why?

Use a coloured pen to alter the summary table in Resource Sheet 4.2 to summarise this changing context for using multimedia in teacher education.

The sustainable development context

This discussion and group work activity could be used as a ‘follow-on’ to Workshop 2 on Teacher Education for a Sustainable Future.

Ask participants if they think the topic of sustainable development and educating for a sustainable future is a timely one for schools in your country.

Perhaps a show of hands could be used as a vote.

Explain that this activity seeks to identify the enabling and constraining factors behind their answers.

Enabling Factors

Conduct a brainstorming exercise to make a list of the positive factors in the local educational and social context that help to facilitate teaching the topic of sustainable development and educating for a sustainable future.

Guidelines for brainstorming as a group activity are provided in Module 25 of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future.

Record the brainstormed list on a whitebaord or flip chart. Then ask participants to see how repeated or similar items can be combined and 5-6 broad categories of factors identified.

Assessing Possible Constraining Factors

Divide participants into small groups of 4 – 6 people and distribute a copy of Resource Sheet 4.3. The sheet asks groups to assess the degree of constraint the following factors might be:

  • Sustainable development is a difficult concept.
  • Sustainable development is not in the approved syllabuses.
  • Teaching about sustainable development is approved but teachers have to find the space to teach it.
  • Teaching about sustainable development is not given much attention in pre-service teacher education.
  • Lack of professional development for practicing teachers.
  • Teaching about sustainable development requires interdisciplinary approaches.
  • Teaching about sustainable development is values-laden.
  • Teaching about sustainable development would not be approved by parents.
  • Teaching about sustainable development is not approved by education officials.
  • There are not enough resources for teaching about sustainable development.
  • Teaching about sustainable development requires different teaching methods from those normally used.
  • Teaching about sustainable development requires different assessment methods from those normally used.

Group Reports

Resource Sheet 4.3 contains instructions for the groups to use as the focus of group reports. It asks them to report on:

  • The 3 – 5 most significant barriers.
  • Why these are barriers.
  • How the positive factors identified by the whole group or your small group may help to counter these barriers.
  • How the Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future programme might help to overcome any barriers.

Ask for group reports, making a whiteboard or flipchart summary of the main points.

Reflection 1

Resource Sheet 4.4 contains a set of cards that identify nine different ways in which Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future could be used in teacher education.

As a way of summarising the workshop, thus far, ask participants to complete a Diamond Ranking of these strategies, according to how they believe that they will be best able to use Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future in their teacher education work.

Activity 2 of Workshop 3 in this Dissemination and Training Toolbox uses a similar Diamond Ranking exercise.

The nine strategies are:

  • As a background resource in a pre-service teacher education course.
  • As a workshop activity in an in-service teacher education workshop or short course.
  • As a background resource in a postgraduate in-service teacher education course.
  • As core study material in a pre-service teacher education course.
  • As core study material in a postgraduate in-service teacher education course.
  • Encourage pre-service teacher education students to use the programme for independent study.
  • Encourage postgraduate in-service teacher education to use the programme for independent study .
  • Encourage individual experienced teachers to use the programme independently.
  • Encourage experienced teachers to use the programme independently but in small groups.

Participants could be asked to complete this exercise individually and then to share their views with a small group – or to conduct the activity in small groups.

Ask participants/groups to make a note of their rankings as they will be repeating the exercise as a second reflection activity at the end of the workshop.

Complete the activity by asking for individual and/or group reports.

These reports are important as they could indicate the direction of future use of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future in your country.

Using the programme

Explain that the next sections of the workshop focus on ways in which Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future may be used for independent professional development and in teacher education courses.

Independent Learning

Present a mini-lecture to explain that the multimedia format of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future encourages independent learning for individual and small group professional development.

Advantages of multimedia-based professional development
Teachers, curriculum developers, education policy makers, authors and designers of educational materials and teacher educators can all use Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future either from the Internet or CDROM and can study modules and activities whenever they want, either at work or at home.
Remind participants that this versatility of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future relates to its ‘Key design features’ explained in Resource Sheet 1.2 in and the ‘Advantages of multimedia education’ explained in Slides 10 – 19 in Workshop 3 of this Dissemination and Training Toolbox.
Note: These points are summarised in Slides 5 and 6 of Slideshow 4.
As a facilitator, you can decide the depth of treatment you wish to give to these points. You could adapt the Powerpoint presentation for this workshop by inserting slides of the more detailed points from these earlier workshops.
Professional development through reflection
Explain that through their personalised Learning Journals, different users can work from a single CDROM or Internet-linked computer.
Since each user has a personalised Learning Journal, work remains confidential. This is because the Learning Journal, when opened, is automatically downloaded onto the hard drive of the computer or onto a floppy disk, and saved as a word processing file.
Learning Journal files can also be printed out, completed by hand, and stored as a set of paper files in a folder.
Conclusion
As a result of the multimedia format of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future, teachers no longer have to wait for a workshop or training seminar to be organised in their schools or districts. This is often a problem for some teachers, especially for those in remote locations. Furthermore, the modules and activities can be studied in any order – either alone or in small staff room or study groups. The resulting sense of independence and responsibility can bring a new professionalism to teaching and thus help raise the status of teachers.

Opportunities in Teacher Education Courses

Continue the mini-lecture, explaining that professors, lecturers and others responsible for developing teacher education curricula will find many opportunities for using Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future in their courses.

Slide 7 illustrates three examples:

  • A stand-alone course on Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future.
  • A selection of modules integrated into a stand-alone course on a specific education topic.
  • A selection of modules integrated into other courses on specific education topics as enrichment material.

Slides 8 and 9 explain several advantages of using Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future in a teacher education course.

The programme:

  • can be studied on-line or from the CDROM;

  • can be studied in class-time or as pre- or post-class activities; and
  • provides all the resources for a full e-learning experience.

Each module in Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future takes approximately 4 hours to complete. This provides 100 hours on learning, the amount of time students could generally be expected to study in a 10 – 14 week term or semester course.

However, selections and groupings of modules can be made to suit local decisions about term/semester length, the balance of in-class contact versus independent study in a course, assessment requirements, etc.

The programme is available free of charge (Slide 10). Teacher education institutions can:

  • load a copy of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future on a local server to reduce access and download time for staff and students; and/or

  • duplicate copies of the CDROM for free distribution to their students.

All that is required is a request for permission from UNESCO, acknowledgment of UNESCO as the source, and using the copies for non-profit educational purposes only (Slide 11).

National and regional adaptations and translations are encouraged (Slide 12). Teacher education institutions are invited to work collaboratively and with relevant Ministries of Education to help facilitate these changes.

Scenarios in Teacher Education

Divide participants into small groups of 4 – 6 persons. Distribute a copy of Resource Sheet 4.5 to each person.

The resource sheet contains five scenarios:

  • A semester course on curriculum planning for a sustainable future.
  • A semester course on teaching and learning strategies.
  • A semester course on the philosophy of education.
  • A semester course on sustainable development issues.
  • A semester course on Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future.

Ask the small groups to list the modules from Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future that they think could be used as a background resource or e-learning experience in these five courses.

When they are finished, the groups could be encouraged to compare their plans with the sample course designs provided in the sample course designs in the ‘Getting Started’ section of the programme.

Reflection 2

This activity asks participants to work either individually or in the same small groups to repeat the Diamond Ranking exercise in Reflection 1.

This is based upon Resource Sheet 4.4 which contains a set of cards that identify nine different ways in which Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future could be used in teacher education.

As a way of summarising the workshop, ask participants to complete a Diamond Ranking of these strategies, according to how they now believe that they will be best able to use Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future in their teacher education work.

Complete the activity by asking for individual and/or group reports, asking participants to make any changes in their views during the workshop.

These reports are important as they could indicate the direction of future use of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future in your country.