By: Rose Bedolla- Coordinadora del IB
Nowadays many schools are working hard to become sustainable and to make a great impact in society. The IB program is committed to guide students to realize about the importance of being sustainable, through personal projects, units of inquiry and global context. Recycle, reduce and reuse are not only as simple words to address students, but also meaningful actions to help build a better future.
The question is how sustainable is your school? How do you address this issue? You can help and become more sustainable in many ways. IB Schools have been implemented different strategies, such as:
“Sustainable projects provide students with real-life, authentic learning experiences enabling them to transfer newly acquired skills to everyday life. They are also the perfect service learning tools helping both students and teachers alike to link knowledge, skills, inquiry and action. This is key in building a better future for our global community,” says Ratko Johan, a Middle Years Programme (MYP) teacher at Matija Gubec International School, Zagreb, Croatia, who gave a talk about sustainable schools at the IB Global Conference in Vienna in October.
- Zero waste Classroom
“The students came up with the idea to have reusable silverware, plates, cups and water bottles in the classroom. One of our chores is washing these dishes throughout the week. Students decided to use cloth napkins when eating, and we have cloth hand towels at the sinks and cloth rags for spills. The students use every piece of paper on both sides before it goes into the recycle bin”, says Kim Johnson and Rae Baerlocher, fifth-grade teachers at Franklin Elementary School in Missoula, USA, which is in its candidacy phase to offer the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP).
The class has five different ways to sort trash, including composting. Johnson has partnered with preciousplasticmissoula.com, which collects various plastics and melts them down to mould into building materials. The children are then able to see what the plastic has become.
In many schools, these strategies have worked out by creating a direct link with a Unit of Inquiry (PYP) or a global context, or personal Project (MYP). Students can share their ideas on how would be a good way to recycle items or material used in class; by reducing, reusing and recycling paper, plastic by creating things that can be used in our daily lives.
Providing this type of experiences to students, will help them understand the importance of sustainability, therefore it could be share with their family and community.
- Sharing ideas
“HATCH (Hub for Action Toward Climate Health) is a set of editable documents (shareable Google Docs) where a school can share and celebrate a project or ask for help and input. The idea is to make all the resources free and open, and build our competence through interaction with each other. This is also how ecosystems evolve and adapt, so the hub is really a form of bio-mimicry”, says Katharine Burke, an MYP teacher at Skagerak International School, Sandefjord, Norway.
Keeping in touch among IB teachers allow to share experiences and may help to improve different ideas than have been implemented successfully. This is a good way to enhance and improve a process where becoming a sustainable school is not a fad, but a necessity.
There are many things that we can do to contribute to be a more sustainable school. What are you and your school doing about it?
Recovered from: The IB Community Blog (November 26, 2018 in Middle Years Programme (MYP), Primary Years Programme (PYP)