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Towards A New Perspective

Secondary

Description

This inter-disciplinary resource is one of four teacher's guides based on David Suzuki's film, "Force of Nature".  This guide focuses on different world views concerning stewardship of our planet- especially those held by Aboriginal Peoples. The lesson plans make a number of links between the film that is based on Suzuki's" Legacy Lecture 2010" and the high school curriculum.

Students explore the relationship between humans and the environment, examine Aboriginal views of nature, and then incorporate these ideas into a plan for a more sustainable future. Through video analysis, they identify 'common ground" emerging among Aboriginal peoples, religious leaders and scientists as to our place in the environment and examine how TEK and Western Science are contributing to an understanding and resolution of environmental crisis. The resource stresses that although humans have altered the physical and chemical integrity of the planet, these same qualities have made humanity a "force of nature" that can bring about a more meaningful future. In the final activity, students are asked to outline and implement an action plan which addresses an environmental issue.

The guide allows teachers to select excerpts from the documentary to support the teaching of individual topics. Each unit provides an organizational table identifying and describing the activities.  It includes useful websites and links to provincial curriculum outcomes.

Unit One: Humans and The Environment

Activity One: Everything is Connected

Students play a game which simulates humanity's place in the “web of life”. The activity examines the concept that an ecosystem event can have both direct and indirect effects on other organisms in that system. Illustrated game cards and discussion questions are provided.

Activity Two:  Competing Perspectives

Students examine the Haida view of humans and nature (the interconnectedness and interdependence of all life forms), those of the forest industry and the resulting conflict surrounding logging at Windy Bay. (Haida Giwali). In pairs, one student researches the Haida perspective on the logging and the other looks at the position of the federal government and logging company. Students then share each perspective with their partner.

Activity Three: Planning for the Seventh Generation

This activity highlights the fact that the concept of sustainability is not new to Aboriginals. Students create a poster that  illustrates an indigenous perspective of the important human connection with everything on earth.  Students are also asked to create and share stories that communicate the Aboriginal view of sustainability.

Activity Four:  Exploring Other Viewpoints: A Common Perspective is Emerging

Students listen to commentaries from various Aboriginal people, scientists, and religious leaders on humanity's role in nature and compare these views to those of the  Haida. Students are then asked to investigate Dr. Suzuki’s claim that leading science corroborates the traditional view that 'we are the environment'.

Unit Two: Looking Forward

Activity One: Visions of The Future

Five commonly held visions of the future-  business as usual, deepening crisis, government intervention, technological intervention, and sustainable society- are examined and students describe which vision best incorporates the Aboriginal perspectives on securing our future. Students examine their own perspectives on the future of global climate change, acid rain, city smog, and loss of biodiversity and consider which of the above visions of the future provides the best fit.

Activity Two: Good News/ Bad News

Students examine the danger/opportunity dialectic and explore the ways in which recent developments represent both “good news” and “bad news”.

Activity Three: A Powerful Union-Western Science and Traditional Environmental Knowledge

Students examine how TEK and Western Science are contributing to our ability to understand and resolve environmental crises, specifically climate change. Students review some resource management programs initiated by Environment Canada in cooperation with Aboriginal people. Comprehensive lesson plans accompany a video on Inuit observations of climate change.

Activity Four: Yes We Can?

Students discuss Dr. Suzuki’s optimistic forecast for the future, reflecting and sharing their own beliefs. Students are divided into groups and asked to select an issue raised in “Force of Nature” (human population, resource depletion, habitat destruction, air/land/water pollution, loss of biodiversity) use a framework to outline a strategy to address the issue, and build a plan for action.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • Working cooperatively with team members to develop and carry out a plan
  • Problem solving and decision making strategies
  • Critical and creative thinking strategies
  • Analyzing and interpreting information for research
  • Identifying further problems and issues to be investigated
  • Defending a given position
  • Using appropriate tools and materials to design an action plan
  • listening critically to others ideas, thoughts and points of view

Strengths

  • The incorporation of First Nations principles (TEK) in promoting and encouraging a sustainable future
  • Good background information on the 'Everything is Connected" activity
  • Has links to a wide range of curriculum outcomes
  • Helps students form concepts, beliefs and attitudes
  • Has a multi-disciplinary approach
  • Good video links
  • Open-ended solutions
  • Promotes a different perspective of environmental stewardship
  • Students will enjoy the simulation activity
  • Action plan template is provided
  • Group work allows for incidental peer teaching and dialogue
  • Demonstrates the complexity that characterizes environmental issues
  • Authentic case studies
  • Has a wide range of learning activities

Weaknesses

  • Assessment tools must be developed by the teacher
  • No accomodations suggested for struggling students
  • No "hands-on" learning opportunities

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

  • Step 1Select a province
  • Alberta
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Aboriginal Studies 10: Aboriginal Worldviews
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Globalisation and Sustainable Prosperity
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Personal Response to Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-4 (Living in a Globalizing World) Globalisation and Sustainable Prosperity
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 9: The biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere are interconnected, as matter cycles and energy flows through them.
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Drama
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Drama 11 (Film & Televsion):Social, Cultural and Historical Context
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Sustainable Resources 11: Forestry
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science and Technology 11:Science Module: Natural Resources and the Environment
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 11: Human Geography
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • First Nation Studies 12: Cultural Expression
        • First Nation Studies 12: Land and Relationships
      • Drama
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Drama 12 (Film & Televsion):Social, Cultural and Historical Context
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography 12:Resources and Environmental Sustainability
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Sustainable Resources: Forestry: Sustainable Forestry Opportunities and Challenges
  • Manitoba
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geographic Issues of the 21st Century: Natural Resources
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Current Topics in the Sciences 30S: Science, Technology, Society & the Environment
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Geography: A Human Perspective - World Resources, Energy, and Environment
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Citizenship and Sustainability: Area of Inquiry: Environment
        • Citizenship and Sustainability: Area of Inquiry: Social Justice and Human Rights
        • Citizenship and Sustainability:Area of Inquiry: Indigenous Peoples
        • Global Issues
        • Global Issues
        • Global Issues
  • New Brunswick
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Sustainability of Ecosystems
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Biology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Biology 11: Biodiversity
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Native Studies 120: Art and Crafts
        • Native Studies 120: Language & Culture
        • Native Studies 120: Religion & Spirituality
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 120: An Overview of Environmental Science
        • Environmental Science 120: Investigating Environmental Issues
        • Environmental Science 120: Sustainable Development
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian Geography 120:Continental and Global Linkages
        • Canadian Geography 120:Managing Natural Resources
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Issues 120: Issues Facing the Global Village
        • World Issues 120: The Future of the Global Community
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 1206: Sustainability of Ecosystems
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Biology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Biology 2201: Interactions among Living Things
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 2200: Ecosytems
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 3205: Introduction to Environmental Science
        • Environmental Science 3205: Land Use & the Environment
  • Northwest Territories
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 10-1(Perspectives on Globalization) Globalization & Sustainable Prosperity
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Globalisation and Sustainable Prosperity
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Personal Response to Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-4(Living in a Globalizing World) Globalisation and Sustainable Prosperity
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Sustainability of Ecosystems
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Biology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Biology 11: Biodiversity
        • Biology 11: Interactions among Living Things
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Global Geography: Planet Earth
        • Global Geography: Population
        • Global Geography: The Global Geographer
        • Global Geography: Urbanization
        • Global Geography:Resources and Commodities
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Languages and Cultures
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Relationship to the Environment
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 10-1(Perspectives on Globalization) Globalization & Sustainable Prosperity
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Globalisation and Sustainable Prosperity
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Personal Response to Globalization
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Aboriginal Beliefs,Values, and Aspirations in Contemporary Society (College Prep.) Relationships
        • Aboriginal Beliefs,Values, and Aspirationsin Contemporary Society (College Prep.) Sovereignty
        • Current Aboriginal Issues in Canada (Univ./College Prep.) Relationships
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science (Workplace Prep.) Human Impact on the Environment
        • Environmental Science (Workplace Prep.) Natural Resource Science and Management
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Forces of Nature: Physical Processes and Disasters (Univ./College Prep.): The Physical Environment: Sustainability and Stewardship
        • Forces of Nature: processes and Disasters (Univ./College Prep.): Systems: Interactions and Interdependece
        • Regional Geography (Univ./College Prep.): Sustainability and Stewardship
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Aboriginal Governance: Emerging Directions (Univ./College Prep.) Sovereignty
        • Aboriginal Governance: Emerging Directions,(Univ./College Prep.) Challenges
        • Issues of Indigenous Peoples in a Global Context (Univ./College Prep.) Identity
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Global Connections
        • Living in a Sustainable World (Workplace Prep.) Sustainability of Natural Resources
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Univ./College
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Univ./College Prep.): Spacial Organizationties
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Workplace Preparation): Human-Environment Interactions
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Workplace Prfeparation)
        • World Geography: Urban Patterns & Populations (Univ. / College Prep.): Sustainability and Stewardship
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (College Prep.): Interactions and Interdependence: Globalization
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (College Prep.):Changing Societies
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (College Prep.):Sustainability and Stewardship
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (Univ. Prep.): Social Change and the Quality of Life
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (Univ. Prep.):Sustainability and Stewardship
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis(Univ. Prep.): Interactions and Interdependence: Globalization
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 421A: Sustainability of Ecosystems
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Biology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Biology 521A: Biodiversity
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Practical Social Studies pt. 2
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 621A: Ecological Principles
        • Environmental Science 621A: Environmental Challenges and Successes
        • Environmental Science 621A: Introduction to Environmental Science
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • What can I do?
        • Geography 621A Global Issues
        • Geography 621A Global Issues : Inquiry- What are the issues?
        • Geography 621A Global Issues: Introduction- What is a global issue?
  • Quebec
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Contemporary World: Environment
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Native Studies 10: Identity and Worldviews, Aboriginal Perspectives
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studiees 20:World Issues - Environment
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Native Studies 30: Land Claims and Treaty Land Entitlements
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Science: Sustainability of Ecosystems
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 10: Skills and Processes of Social Sciences
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science Module: Natural Resources and the Environment
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • First Nation Studies 12: Cultural Expression
        • First Nation Studies 12: Land and Relationships

Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (4)

    • Community-Building and Participation
    • Ecological Footprint
    • General Guide to Taking Action
    • Sustainable Consumption
  • Ecosystems (3)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
    • Biodiversity
    • Habitat Loss
  • Human Health & Environment (1)

    • Quality of Life
  • Human Rights (1)

    • Social Justice
  • Indigenous Knowledge (2)

    • Rituals, Spirituality and Worldviews
    • TEK -- Traditional Ecological Knowledge
  • Land Use & Natural Resources (1)

    • Forests
  • Waste Management (1)

    • Source Reduction

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

The main focus of this resource in on Aboriginal perspectives and sustainable practices, with regards to the interdependence between humans and their environment. The views of scientists, ecologists, and world spiritual leaders are also included.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Very Good
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good

The approach promotes dialogue and discussion within groups of students with regards to Aboriginal perspectives on the connectedness of humans and the environment. Students are asked to incorporate what they have learned into making positive changes in their everyday lives and community.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Good
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

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Good
Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Good

Powerful case studies foster empathy and respect for the Haida people.

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

Although the resource has no out-of -doors experience, a major theme is the interdependence and connectedness of humans and their environment.

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Good

Students are asked to create an action plan which has local focus. A major theme is  that what has been labelled as an environmental crisis is really a "human" crisis.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Good

Present day situations are researched, evaluated and discussed. The future is seen as positive if society chooses to adopt a philosophy and lifestyle which values "oneness" with our natural world.

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good

 Although some guided inquiry is used,students are encouraged to consider and develop their own opinions.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Satisfactory

Although the primary fit is with social studies, Aboriginal studies and First Nations studies there are also learning activities related to language arts, science, and art.

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Satisfactory
Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Satisfactory

This resource has a variety of actvities, including a simulation game, research projects, cooperative learning opportunities, concept maps, graphic organizers, video analysis, and develping action plans. There are no accommodations suggested for struggling learners. Lessons touch on both the cognitive and affective domains.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Satisfactory

The "Web of Life" game is effective in demonstrating the interdependence of organisms in an ecosystem.

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory
Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Poor/Not considered

Poor- although reflection questions are given, there are no rubrics, checklists, or any other assessment tools provided.

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.
Peer Teaching Satisfactory
Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Very Good
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

There are opportunities for students to delve deeper into chosen issues, with good support from suggested resources.

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.