By Nam Ngo Thanh
Reading and writing are very important skills for all of us. Thanks to these skills, our need to learn and acquire new knowledge is facilitated. The power of literacy skills is not only in reading and writing, but also in the ability of a person to apply these skills to connect, explain, and clearly distinguish the complexities of the world in which they are living. Whether you are a mathematics, history, science, or art teacher, the first thing to do to help your teaching effectiveness is to have your students have good reading and writing skills. With 11 years as an elementary school teacher, I have had the wonderful experience of teaching students the techniques of reading and writing effectively. Therefore, I can assert that, when a child has good literacy skills, the quality of education will inevitably be enhanced and maintained.
For many companies or offices, the requirements of the application process are to write a letter of recommendation along with the job application. In the case of high school graduates, students have completed their final year of studies at university but still do not know how to write a letter, presenting a coherent idea. These specialized students may be good, but do not pay attention to developing reading and writing skills. The result is the same job application, a professional who does not really excel, but has a clear plan, and the target of recruiting is more dominant.
The current reality is that reading requirements in high school in some parts of the world are not considered important. At the teacher preparation exams, students only need to learn the summary to be able to get good grades rather than to practice reading skills regularly. Oftentimes, education is not about reading, writing, or thinking through language. And, thus sadly, those learners have not realized the importance of reading for themselves. As a result, many young people lack the skills to read and write properly and are unable to express thoughts effectively.
In my personal experience, the development of literacy skills for children should be maintained at various times rather than focusing on a fixed subject area. Many educators think that teaching reading and writing skills to children is the task of language teachers. It is important to remember that reading and writing skills will greatly assist children in learning subjects or any other activities. Then there is no reason for us to impose the teaching of literacy skills as the work of a particular subject. At our school, students are included in the Effective Reading program (ERP) as a compulsory activity for all students at all grade levels. After a year of development, by reading the different types of books and writing the diary for the books they read, we found some of the benefits of this program:
Due to the impact of information technology and the widespread use of the internet, e-book pages have become common place, Many pages are read and books are downloaded free of charge to attract the attention of students. Depending on the age, the use of internet in reading will have certain support. However, not everyone knows how to take advantage of the internet.
In spite of the fact that the Internet allows endless educational possibilities with the continuous flow of information, the vastness of the internet can be an obstacle for children who are unable to screen and interpret documented presentations efficiently. Young people need to practice targeted search skills on the internet. When it comes to recognizing the value of reading, one has the motivation, the goal to read effectively.
In short, children should have the ability to choose any form of reading that works for them as long as they have their literacy skills are developed. Teachers and parents alike need to be aware of this in order to help children develop their reading and writing skills.
Nam Ngo Thanh works as primary school teacher in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He is a Microsoft Learning Consultant and Varkey Teacher Ambassador, having been a finalist for the 2018 Global Teacher Prize. He has authored multiple articles and been nationally and internationally recognized for the implementation of creativity and the integration of technology into his teaching. Nam was also named Educator of the Year Asia 2017 and the winner of the 2018 Global Collaboration PLN Award. Nam is the founder of the global projects Five Safe Fingers, Everyday Kindness, STEM and #SDGs in Action.
By Neeta Chhabra, @neeta_chhabra
Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs: the goal of which is to achieve balance/harmony between environmental sustainability, economic sustainability, and socio-political sustainability.
Millennium Development Goals
In September 2000, leaders of 189 countries gathered at the United Nations headquarters and signed the historic Millennium Declaration, in which they committed to achieving a set of 8 measurable goals that ranged from addressing extreme poverty and hunger to promoting gender equality and reducing child mortality by the target date of 2015.
The MDGs were set to expire in 2015 and the discussion of a post-2015 agenda continued. In July 2014, the UN General Assembly Open Working Group (OWG) proposed a document containing 17 goals to be put forward for the General Assembly’s approval in September 2015. This document set the ground for the new 17 SDGs and the global development agenda spanning from 2015-2030.
DLDAV MODEL SCHOOL PITAMPURA INDIA WORKING TOWARDS ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
In my capacity as Global Projects Coordinator, I have been working on projects on Sustainable Development Goals in my school. Here are several projects on which we have worked:
My students from 10th Grade from DLDAV Model School Pitampura have created a website highlighting the significance of SDGs: WEBSITE
I participated in a global project by Microsoft India on the theme and submitted my lesson on SDGs: MY SWAY LESSON
My 10th grade students participated in the EVERYDAY KINDNESS PROJECT
LINK and LINK
PHOTOGRAPHS: EVERYDAY KINDNESS PROJECT
PHOTOGRAPHS: PROJECT ZERO HUNGER
We at DLDAV Model School Pitampura have collaborated with ROTI project under ROTARY AKKASH. All the stakeholders (students, teachers, and support staff) care for the needy and the deprived. Freshly cooked chapatis with vegetable are being contributed by the school twice a week.
DLDAV Model School Pitampura is making every earnest effort through all the stakeholders to sensitize the community and work towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
DLDAV Model School Pitampura INDIA
I have been in this noble profession of teaching for the last 29 years. I teach Social Sciences to Grade 10 in DLDAV Model School Pitampura. I carry a long and rich experience of teaching with the use of technology and possess an up to date and working knowledge of effective ICT practices in a secondary school. Connect on Twitter at @neeta_chhabra.
By Lucrecia Higueros, @Lucre_2017
Life is a trip! So, let's start doing well by the journey! Last year, I heard about the 17 Global Goals and my mindset changed completely--my world, your world, her world, wait...our World. We are in danger, and we can all help!
So, I started looking into the 17 SDGs and was compelled to share and teach them to my students and students around the world. I joined with global projects that helped my students feel the passion, to give solutions, and to help like we did the last year in the Climate Action Project. One example, we planted more than 300 trees where there were deforested areas.
Now, I train teachers about SDGs--to be in touch with more people and share the World's Largest Lesson for the Agenda 2030, take action and restore our planet. My message is "We need you; we need your ideas that allow you to take action; we deserve to live in a world where we have the same opportunities, to live in peace and harmony with nature!"
This year, I involved teachers to be part of the Innovation Project. I find it important to show and include all the students where we can give a real solutions using ideas of the students in the project. Aligned to Goals 4, 6, 15, and 17, we created the Water Recycler to can save potable water in Guatemala.
My photojournalism story of how we walk around the SDGs:
Lucrecia Higueros That's me! English teacher as a foreign language, SDGs ambassador in my country Guatemala, I teach every day about the SDGs to my students and teachers, involved them in this amazing pledge! Working around the world with global projects we integrate all people that want to join us! https://youtu.be/RGkwonQmhxY
By Dr Phil Bamber, Associate Director of the Teacher Education for Equity and Sustainability Network
This blog provides a summary of published researchavailable HERE or HERE.
There are great expectations for Global Citizenship Education (GCE). According to UNESCO, GCE is pivotal not only for meeting Target 4.7 of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but also for ensuring quality education that promotes the knowledge, skills, and values to meet the challenges identified across the SDGs. We increasingly hear calls for ‘transformative approaches’ to education (for instance within the 2015 Incheon Declaration) and manifestos have emerged for ‘transformative pedagogy for global citizenship.' Examples of the latter include UNESCO’s 2014 publication ‘GCE: Preparing learners for the challenges of the 21st century’ and DEEEPs work on ‘Monitoring Education for Global Citizenship’ published in 2015. However, limited attention has been paid to the theoretical foundations underpinning transformative pedagogy for global citizenship, and there remains limited evidence of what this looks like in practice.
The research project
Given this renewed interest in GCE, it is important to develop theoretically informed and practically proven approaches for what we call ‘transformative GCE.’ This blog outlines a research project that attempted to do just that. It investigated the activities and experiences of a group of higher education tutors and students as they undertook a curriculum development project titled ‘International Experience for Engaged Global Citizens in Education.' Our starting point was that international travel was not required to nurture global citizenship (see my previous research on this available HERE or HERE). The initial phase of the project sought to develop understanding of the value of international experience in relation to notions of global citizenship, as experienced by undergraduates. This led to the development of a ‘framework for engaged global citizens in education’ and the subsequent development of interventions to internationalize the curriculum for all students at home.
Students as ‘co-producers’
The project brought together eight academics from a range of disciplines and cultural backgrounds. They were joined by 11 undergraduate students to form a ‘conceptual steering group’ (CSG) for the project. The marketization of higher education has encouraged us to simply view the student as consumer: this project instead involved students as ‘co-producers,' with a particular focus on how relational aspects of learning amongst staff and students can help develop curricula that to re-orientates higher education towards a public good. The student involvement in the project went way beyond simplistic notions of student voice. Students were included as co-inquirers through an innovative model of staff-student partnership.The CSG underwent a process of constructing and reviewing conceptual frameworks and curriculum interventions as a committed community of practice.
Theory in practice
Following the review of data analysis completed in phase 1, the CSG agreed that values and attitudes must lie at the heart of our framework for engaged global citizenship. Furthermore, we agreed that these values necessarily emerge through lived experience. The values that we found to be significant in our phase 1 research included openness (to difference, others, diversity), self-respect, an ease with uncertainty, and a commitment to social change. Our understanding of how these values were nurtured drew upon theoretical notions of disorienting dilemmas/perspective transformation (Mezirow), distanciation(Gadamer/Ricoeur), existential homelessness (Heidegger), and liminality/threshold concepts (Meyer and Land).Our framework for engaged global citizenship is shared in the diagram below.
Framework for engaged global citizenship
The poverty of pre-specifying learning objectives
It is our view that this framework can only be fully appreciated when instantiated in specific learning contexts. At the heart of this approach to GCE are processes such as shared reflection, immersion, deliberation, and exchange. Nurturing values requires a learning process that interrupts conventional educational processes that are overly staged or structured. This can be contrasted with pedagogy and curriculum that pre-specify learning outcomes. For example, the curriculum objective of encountering the other may predispose the learner to simply confirm previously held suppositions.
The problem with educational frameworks
Our research highlights the problematic nature of educational frameworks (such as the Teaching Excellence Framework in the UK and the framework for ‘global competence’ in the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment). Educational phenomena and processes (such as particular knowledge, skills, and values) that are made explicit in such frameworks can easily become perverse ends in themselves.
Locating the transformative dimension of GCE
The main output of our project was supposed to be a framework for engaged global citizenship. However, we found that the transformative dimension of GCE was in fact located within the ongoing conversations between staff and students on the nature of GCE itself. Developing this framework enabled the project team (tutors and students) to consider their own relation to such frameworks. A process of doing and undoing; learning and unlearning was in fact the very process of learning that the framework sought to capture. Our experience on this project illustrates how education in general, and GCE in particular, must keep inquiry alive and remain open to new perspectives.
The full article ‘(Dis-) Locating the transformative dimension of global citizenship education’ is published in the Journal of Curriculum Studiesand is available HERE or HERE.
Phil Bamber is Associate Professor in the Department of Education Studies at Liverpool Hope University, England. He is Associate-Director of the UK Network for Teacher Education for Equity and Sustainability (TEESNet). His research is concerned with transformative pedagogy, (global) citizenship, and values education. He was awarded the International Association of University Presidents International Education Award in 2013 for leadership in research and teaching in global citizenship. His latest book is Transformative Education through International Service-Learning: Realising an Ethical Ecology of Learning.