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Who Will Take the Heat?

Secondary

Description

Students learn about the environmental, economic, and political issues surrounding global climate change policy. Students assume the role of delegates (United States, China, Environmental Movement, International Business) to a global climate change conference.

The goal of the resource in terms of content is to enhance student understanding of the causes and consequences of climate change and the need to find solutions to the challenges presented. The goal of the resource in terms of process is to help students understand that effective negotiations require that the participants understand one another's interests and work to create options that will reduce or remove the sources of conflict.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

In planning for and engaging in the conference students have an opportunity to practice a number of skills

  • oral skills (talking clearly, presenting and defending a position)
  • group work skills (support for peers, providing input
  • building consensus through effective negotiation

Strengths

The resource will appeal to students and be an effective learning tool because role playing/simulation makes the students active participants in their learning. Requiring students  to assume a particular role helps them to better appreciate and internalize the perspective attached to that role and the additional resources provided to the students ensures their portrayal of that role will be informed.  

Recommendation of how and where to use it

Teachers will find Who Will Take the Heat to be a useful resource in terms of content in investigating the causes and consequences of climate change and more particularly the difficulties of negotiating international  agreements to meet the challenges associated with climate change.

In terms of process, the resource is useful in teaching students a number of skills related to effective negotiating.

Unfortunately a number of the links to supplementary resources are no longer current.  The information can however still be recovered with some additional on-line searches.

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Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Economics (1)

    • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Energy (3)

    • Alternative Energy
    • Energy Generation
    • Energy Use
  • Governance (1)

    • International Relations

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

The role playing/negotiating that is central to the resource is intended to identify the competing perspectives on climate change that exists among the developed and developing world, and among business, government and environmentalists. The negotiating process seeks to have the "players" understand one another's interests and to craft an agreement that other groups can live with. 

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

In carrying out their role playing assignments, students are charged with articulating the interests of international business, the need for politicians to consider the response of voters to any proposal, and the importance of making the case for the threat to the environment and society posed by climate change.

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 Very Good

The title Who Will Take the Heat suggests something of the complexity of the problem of climate change; the multiple interests that are at stake, the difficulty of finding solutions that are acceptable to those interests, the range of effective responses to check climate change, and the cost of both action and in-action in weighing the options. 

Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Satisfactory

While the resource does not have students "take actions', it does require that they discuss the possible actions that may be taken and helps them better understand the need to consider the vested interests that must be heard if we are to take positive action on climate change.  

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

Students come to understand that to effectively negotiate they must understand the values of the other groups in terms of their belief that they have a "right" to something or a belief in the way the world "should" be. 

Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Good

Students are reminded in the background to the lesson that effective negotiations require that they respect the interests, the needs and the emotions that each group brings to the table.

Implicit in any discussion of climate change is concern for the impact it may have on peoples, particularly the more vulnerable of the world's 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 Poor/Not considered
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 Satisfactory

While the lesson is intended to simulate an international conference on climate change, discussion of the effects of climate change may include local examples and consideration of possible responses to climate change will require reference to what effect a given option may have at the national and local level.

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 Very Good

In responding to the question Who Will Take the Heat?, student delegates to the international conference will be expected to explore the causes of climate change (past and present), the current situation (present), and possible options to reduce or mitigate climate change (future)

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 Very Good

The lesson poses a real problem, Who Will Take the Heat? for climate change, creates a framework (international conference) for students to address the problem and allows students to grapple with the "answers"

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Very Good

The lesson crosses a number of subject areas 

  • Geography - students observe and analyze social and economic effects of environmental change; students compare and evaluate alternate uses of resources
  • Economics - students assess how values and beliefs influence economic decisions in different societies
  • Social Studies - challenges learners to analyze the causes, consequences, and possible solutions to persistent, contemporary, and emerging global issues
  • Citizenship - students practice forms of civic discussion
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 Very Good

Students carry out their own research, develop their position , articulate and defend that position within the framework (simulation of an international conference) provided by the lesson plan.

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 Good

Teachers are advised to review the skill set of each of the students in assigning the tasks involved in order to balance those students who can be expected to master the negotiating session with those who have talents related to gathering and organizing relevant information.  

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 pedagogy adopted by the resource takes advantage of the strengths of the simulation. Students are presented with a real problem - how to respond to the challenges of climate change. They assume the roles of those charged with addressing the problem and articulate the interests and perspectives of those whom they represent in trying to negotiate a solution. 

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

Students are assigned to one of four teams (U.S., China, International Business and Environmentalist) and work cooperativel to understand and articulate the the position of their respective group.  

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 Good

The resource outlines a menu of assessment options.

  • Participation assessment preparation (demonstration of understanding content); oral skills listening, providing feedback); performance in role (demonstrate knowledge of role's interests and beliefs); debriefing (ability to examine self and group's learning performance); overall participation.
  • Follow up assignments and final projects include the possibility of an analytic essay, a reflective essay or a position paper.
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 Very Good

The negotiating process allows students to learn from their fellow students the position taken by major players in the climate change debate, the reasons for those positions, and the skills needed to pursue effective negotiations.

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 Satisfactory

There is an opportunity but not a requirement for students to cite particular cases of effective stratgies that have been employed to reduce the causes of climate change. 

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 Very Good

The teacher establishes the framework and the "rules' for the activity, guides the student reflection at the conclusion of the activity and steps back to allow the students to learn by "doing" the international conference.

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.