- Review Process
- Take Action
- A project of
Using the Three Pillars of Sustainability, students will examine a vacant lot in order to analyze issues related to public spaces and create possible solutions to these problems. Students will then identify the stakeholders involved and how they will be affected by changes to the public space. They will create a stakeholder map to identify relationships between stakeholders and form a plan of how they can collaborate to solve the sustainability problems within the space.
Students have an opportunity to practice those skills related to problem solving
The resource offers a unique opportunity to have students discuss the larger concept of sustainable development by applying the related principles to a real problem that students will confront daily and one that can be "fixed".
The issues raised by the resource and the student response may be addressed within those units of study dealing with
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|
Students are asked how they would improve vacant lots to help achieve the future they want. Their discussions and decisions are to be guided by the principles of sustainable development but within these parameters they have full independence.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Very Good|
Students are challenged to improve various vacant lots in accordance with the three principles of sustainability - economic, environmental and social.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
Students develop their vision for the future of the vacant lot into a detailed plan of action. This includes a process that works back from their vision for the lot and identifies
Such considerations help students realize the difficulties of moving a vision to reality.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
While the lesson does not require students to act on the plans they develop, that option is there and the required forethought has been put in place.
|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
|Values Education||Very Good|
In planning to improve a public space, students must consider the importance they attach to social concerns, the significance of economic considerations, and the role of the environment in their lives.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Satisfactory|
In discussing how they will improve the vacant lot to achieve the future they want, student may be expected to consider the needs of potential users. This may require students to consider such issues as diversity, gender issues, sexual preferences, etc.
|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 focus of the lesson asks students to consider how they can improve public spaces. In doing so, they must consider what makes a good public space and how they would improve the vacant lot to help achieve the future they want. Such questions encourage students to recognize the value of nature and the challenges presented by urban blight.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
|Locally-Focused Learning||Very Good|
In lesson 2, students are arranged in chat groups to critique an assigned public space project. Key questions are provided to guide their discussion on how they would improve their space.
In lesson 4, they are asked to identify a space in their community that they wish to improve, to identify the key state holders and to collaborate with others to improve the space.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
The resource asks student to examine a current issue (a public space that needs improvement), to imagine a preferred future that would see the space developed in accordance with the three pillars of sustainability, and to put in place a plan that would create that preferred future.
|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|
Students are challenged to improve selected public spaces. They must consider their proposals within the context of the three pillars of sustainability but other than that, there are no right answers.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Integrated Learning||Very Good|
The students proposals for improving their public spaces must consider the economic, social, and environmental impact of their proposals. Each of these "pillars" link the student discussions to a number of subject areas.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
The lessons follow the principles of guided inquiry. Students are asked to answer a question (How do I improve this public space?); paramaters are set down (the three pillars of sustainability) and guided questions help focus their answers.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
The lesson plans are organized around certain basic elements. Students are asked to think of solutions to the question proposed, to defend and moderate their solutions, to seek consensus as to appropriate action, and to plan for the implementation of that action.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
Vacant public lots that present problems for a community are a reality everywhere. Asking students to help address this problem is an exercise in problem solving and citizen participation.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Students work in "chat" groups to discuss and debate proposals for the improvement of selected public spaces.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Good|
The propsals put forward by students to improve vacant public lots allows teachers to take the measure of student understanding of the problem and the creativity and practicality of their solutions. Student submissions may be presented in either oral or written form.
|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 will learn from their peers as classmates present and defend their ideas as to how they intend to improve their vacant public space within the context of sustainable development.
|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|
Each of the vacant public spaces presented to students for improvement represent a case study in applied sustainable development.
|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 teacher introduces a problem for student consideration (how might we develop this public space within the context of sustainable development?) and the "answer" is provided by the students.
|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.|