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Every day, nearly 100 million barrels of oil moves from deep below the Earth’s surface to the fuel tanks of more than a billion vehicles, furnaces and pieces of machinery. In this case study students will examine the different ways by which oil gets from place to place and evaluate the various impacts of the different methods. The lesson is organized in three stages.
Minds On: Students begin by analyzing images relating to oil transport to elicit first impressions, determine prior knowledge and raise questions.
Action: Using a structured research template and variety of information links and documents provided with the resource, students examine four methods of transport, compare information to determine a position on the issue and formulate viable arguments to support their point of view as which is the best method for moving oil.
Consolidation: Students consolidate their learning about transporting oil by creating a short persuasive opinion piece in the form of an essay, multimedia presentation or other method of their choosing.
The individual lessons teach a number of skills associated with
The greatest strengths of the resource lie in its-
Content - the issue of moving oil is both current and critical with respect to climate change and one of which students should be informed.
Pedagogy - the guided inquiry approach adopted by the resource allows a healthy balance in providing a structure for students to investigate the issue and an opportunity for students to come to their own conclusions about the issue.
In examining the options for moving oil, the resource implies that we must choose one of the options. In the real world however option A may be preferable to option B in a given situation or for a given purpose but not in another situation. We obviously are not asked to choose between tanker trucks and ocean tankers or pipelines and ocean tankers. The real choice would seem to be between pipelines and rail.
The resource includes a section Curriculum Connections that identifies the grade level, the course and the strand/unit/topic in each Province or Territory where there is an opportunity if not a requirement to examine the issue of moving oil.
In a more broad context, the resource has relevance for topics such as sustainable development. science and technology, resource extraction and use, and public policy.
The resource should be viewed within the larger context of climate change and our dependency on and consumption of fossil fuels.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Very Good|
The object of the lesson plan is to have students investigate the advantages and disadvantages associated with different options in moving oil. Students consult a number of resources to obtain relevant data, assess the benefits and risks involved, and prepare and deliver an opinion piece in which they argue for a particular means of moving oil.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Very Good|
In assessing the merits of any given choice in moving oil, students are asked to record all relevant data in an organizer that requires they note the environmental, societal and economic considerations associated with each of the choices - rail, pipeline, ocean tanker, and truck.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
While students will not emerge from the exercise as authorities on the issue of moving oil, they will realize that the answer is not easy or obvious but that competing arguments can be made in defense of each of the options.
In asking students to make a choice, however , the lesson sets up something of a false dichotomy in implying that we must choose one of the four options. There would seem to be, for example, no option other than trucks for short hauls and although one may compare the relative merits of pipelines and rail, there are situations in which we cannot choose between pipelines and ocean tankers.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
Given the nature of the issue, it is difficult to imagine what actions students might take to influence policy in this area. What the lesson does do, however, is to better ensure that students will be more informed citizens as participants in the debate over moving oil. The final exercise in the lesson plan, the student opinion piece, helps them develop the skills necessary to weight the merits of various options and to be effective communicators in advocating for a particular option.
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
While not suggesting that we have to choose between the economy and the environment, in arguing for a particular option for moving oil, students will have to consider the relative weight they give to the environment, the economy and societal well being. Such considerations are an exercise in values clarification.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Poor/Not considered|
Resource is concerned with the impact of moving oil on humans in general rather than a specific group.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Good|
The connection to the natural world is implicit rather than explicit in that students are required to give consideration to the environmental effects in weighing the merits of various options for moving oil.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
One might argue that moving oil is by definition locally focused since the concern is on the potential impact on the region through which the oil moves. Since we all live downstream however, the impact may be felt beyond the local community. While not directed to do so, the teacher can help students explore the movement of oil within the context of their particular community.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Satisfactory|
The lesson is concerned with the current debate regarding the movement of oil and the impact of the decisions we make on our future well being. It does not examine how we arrived at our current dependence on fossil fuels nor the possibility of reducing that dependence in the future. But this should not be regarded as a failing of the lesson. Today's debate is a real and urgent one and the lesson sets a limit for itself in focusing on that debate.
An assessment of how we move oil should proceed or follow from an examination of the consequences of our use of oil - climate change. This serves to place the issue in the appropriate context.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
|Open-Ended Instruction||Very Good|
The lesson presents students with a question/problem - what is the best way to move oil? The answer is left to the students To help students arrive at that answer, the lesson outlines what is essentially a generic strategy - identify and record the relevant data, weigh the implications/consequences of each of the options, articulate a decision that is supported by the evidence.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Integrated Learning||Very Good|
The content has relevance for a number of subjects - Environmental Science, Geography, Technology, Economics - and for skill development as it relates to gathering information, taking a position on an issue, and defending that position.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
The lesson asks students the question - What is the best way to move oil? Students analyze visual images, compare information, complete structured research to create viable arguments, and present an opinion piece in support of their answer to the question posed.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
The lessons makes use of a variety of teaching strategies as it moves the student from an introduction of the issue of moving oil to an informed position. Students examine images related to transportation of oil to activate prior knowledge and elicit first impressions. They employ an Anticipation Guide learning strategy to acquire preliminary background information about the four main methods of transporting oil and organize themselves into expert groups to research a specific method of transportation, as well as consider the pros and cons of that method. Students conclude the lessons about transporting oil by organizing and creating a short persuasive opinion piece, which might be in the form of an essay, a multimedia presentation, etc.
The resource makes liberal use of organizers to help students through each of these steps.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
The issue of moving oil is both critical and current as evidenced by the media attention given to proposed pipelines, accidents involving rail cars carrying oil, and oil spills in the oceans. The resource allows students an opportunity to examine the competing perspectives on how we get oil to market and to contribute to the debate as informed citizens.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
A number of the lessons in the resource are structured on student collaboration. The introductory lesson has students working in small groups to examine and report on various images illustrating the movement of oil. In subsequent lessons, students work in pairs or groups of four to complete an Anticipation Guide and to participate in Expert Groups.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Very Good|
Each of the lessons in the resource includes a section entitled Success Criteria that is intended to help teachers determine the degree to which students have met the content and skills goals of the lesson. This allows for continuous formative evaluation. In the final lesson, students are provided with or helped to create an Opinion Piece Rubric that helps them identify and satisfy the criteria for a successful presentation.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
Students have several opportunities to learn from each other as they report to others or the class on their response to the introductory images of moving oil, defend their initial positions as to the best means of transportation, report as Experts to their Home Group on a particular transportation mode, and assess other's chosen method of transporting oil in the final opinion piece.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|Case Studies||Very Good|
The title of the resource is Moving Oil; A Case Study. In effect it has students assess the case made for each of the possible modes of transporting oil.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Good|
The pedagogy adopted by the resource is best described as Guided Inquiry. Students move through a series of structured lessons that allow them to recognize and assess the options we have in moving oil. They are guided in the gathering of relevant information but can exercise autonomy in how they report their findings and conclusions to others.
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|