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The 20/20 Planner and Teacher's Guide

Elementary, Middle

Description

Designed for schools and students in the Toronto area, the 20/20 Planner and Teacher’s Guide is part of Ontario’s “Ecoschools” environmental education program. This program addresses both education and environmental responsibility by asking students to examine energy consumption in their homes and at school. One of fourteen guides, the 20/20 Planner was developed by Toronto Public Health in an effort to address issues of clean air and pollution and provide a plan for helping students and their families reduce energy consumption.

In part one of the student planner, students are:

  • introduced to concepts of conservation regarding their role in air pollution
  • asked to participate in a 20% family home energy reduction plan spanning a two week period
  • given planning charts identifying areas of energy reduction in their homes, apartments or condos
  • provided with a stage 2 plan that sets out more specific home energy goals, e.g. actual suggested thermostat settings for day and night heating.

Part two, termed, “On the Road” mirrors the above sequences, but addresses vehicle use. A chart for calculating students’ family vehicular use is preliminary to a 2 week planner that asks students to reduce driving trips and to use public transportation and foot power more often.

A glossary of terms, from “air pollution” to “weather” is included in the resource as well as Resource pages listing:

  • Home energy links and incentives
  • Transportation links and incentives
  • How to get more involved

The teacher’s guide helps locate student activities within the curriculum. Since the planning guides are meant for home usage, suggestions are made for choosing lessons or school activities (such as Earth week) that correspond. Ontario teachers are asked to submit completed 20/20 forms to Ecoschools who will in turn send the school information on how much pollution/greenhouse gas has been prevented. This service is not available outside the greater Toronto area.

Also included in the Teacher’s Guide is a Stage 1 School plan with an energy savings checklist, a school transportation challenge, 11 classroom extensions activities and further resources. The resource was updated in 2007 

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • The resource teaches students to be aware of their energy consumption on a daily basis, in terms of heat and transportation.

Strengths

  • Basing the resource on a student's personal discoveries, i.e. how much energy they and their families and their schools use, brings the concept home in personal ways.
  • Resource is graphically attractive.
  • Charts are well thought out, easy to use.
  • Collaboration between educational and environmental groups is good.

Weaknesses

  • The main activity of this resource is based outside of the classroom, as an at-home activity. This in itself is not problematic if lessons for the classroom addressed and followed on this, providing assessment tools for real learning objectives. For this reason, the resource is weak on structure.
  • Some of the material might be out of date.

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.

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  • Alberta
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    • Grade 5
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      • Math
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        • Statistics & Probability
        • Statistics: The science of collecting, analyzing, visualizing, and interpreting data can inform understanding and decision making.
      • Science
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        • Mechanisms Using Electricity
    • Grade 6
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        • Statistics and Probability
        • Statistics: The science of collecting, analyzing, visualizing, and interpreting data can inform understanding and decision making.
    • Grade 7
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        • Statistics and Probality
      • Science
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        • Heat and Temperature
    • Grade 8
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        • Statistics and probability
  • British Columbia
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        • Data represented in graphs can be used to show many-to-one correspondence
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        • Statistics and Probability
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        • Patterns
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        • Patterns & Relations
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        • Patterns and Relations
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        • Heat and Temperature
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        • Interactions in Our Environment
  • Ontario
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        • Data
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        • Patterns & Relations
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  • Quebec
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        • Statistics and probability
  • Saskatchewan
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      • Science
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        • Science 7: Life Science: Interactions within Ecosystems
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        • Mathematics 8 : Patterns and Relations
        • Mathematics 8: Statistics and Probability
  • Yukon Territory
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      • Math
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        • Data represented in graphs can be used to show many-to-one correspondence

Themes Addressed

  • Energy (1)

    • Energy Use
  • Human Health & Environment (1)

    • Environmental Contaminants & Health Hazards

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Satisfactory
  • Charts are designed to get students thinking about their family's, their school's and their own personal use of energy resources. As such, other points of view are not specifically addressed. There is a way for students to opt out of activities in this case, students chart energy usage in the school itself.
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 Satisfactory
  • Ecological, health and ethical issues are part of this resource.
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 Satisfactory
  • Students will have differing amounts of success in applying energy conservation plans to their home environments. So it can be imagined that problem solving is clearly engaged, however, how students deal with these problems in the school setting is not clear. In a way, the problem is over-complex in that students considering the issues they encounter around energy conservation, may (should?) lead them into deeper waters. The hows and whys of energy consumption are not addressed. 
Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Satisfactory
  • The resource addresses itself to personal changes in energy consumption. Students are required to examine their unique situations and determine ways to reduce consumption. This could lead to significant investigation by students if they become engaged in the action experience.
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 Poor/Not considered
  • While this must surely happen, it is not clear how it happens.
Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered
  • Not addressed in the resource.
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
  • There is not much attention paid to a personal affinity with Earth.
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 Very Good
  • The personal environment of students is directly addressed.
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 Poor/Not considered
  • The resource implies connections to positive future outcomes, this is not well addressed.
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 Poor/Not considered
  • Students are expected to meet a 20% reduction in energy use over a two week period. It is not clear what happens if they do not meet this target.
Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Satisfactory
  • Curriculum links are made in several subject areas, but these are not well developed.
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
  • It is clear that students will become more fully aware of their use of energy by personal investigation of their own use of energy. They will decide if this information will inform changes in their behavior (or not). 
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
  • There is some attention to "alternative" activities for students who may not be able to participate in the at-home activities. How the teacher accommodates this is not clear.
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 Very Good
  • Students take on the 20/20 challenge making changes in their personal lives.
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 Poor/Not considered
  • One assumes that students working with their families will share collaborative input, this is not really addressed in the resource.
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
  • No assessment tools are provided and it is not clear how the activities demonstrate student understanding.
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 Poor/Not considered
  • Not addressed in this resource.
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 Poor/Not considered
  • No case studies or examples of successfully completed plans are provided or mentioned.
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
  • Students can take on none, one or two stages of planning. There are also meaningful additional activities for extension of the lessons.
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.