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Students are introduced to the challenges faced by modern agriculture and its monoculture focus in providing food security now and in the future. As part of a series on the circular economy, this lesson promotes a system in which single crop food production is carried out in a way that takes into account the whole system.
After comparing the relative advantages and disadvantages of monocultures and more diverse ecosystems, students examine a case-study of sugarcane production in Brazil that reveals many of the environmental, social and economic advantages that can be realized when specific regenerative and restorative practices are applied to large scale, single crop production. Students identify other agricultural products that can benefit from the same practices identified in the case study and reflect on agriculture's role in the circular economy.
Activities are well supported by slides, video, viewing guides, background information on the circular economy and suggestions for extending the learning.
While the contents and activities do a good job supporting the concept of sustainability, teachers should consider this resource as one lesson in a larger study of the circular economy.
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||Satisfactory|
The lesson promotes the benefits of a systems approach to agriculture based on one case study.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
The case study illustrates how a systems-based approach applied to modern agriculture can address social, economic and environmental concerns while achieving food security.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The complexity of the challenge to agriculture to deliver food security while balancing social, economic and environmental concerns is well represented in the lesson.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Poor/Not considered|
Students acting on learning is not a component of this lesson.
|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
This is a strength of the study guide students use to help analyze the case study.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Satisfactory|
Attention is paid to the issue of food security but the specifics of those populations most impacted and why are not included
|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|
While the lesson does not draw direct attention to the value of nature, the case study and guided discussion that follows illustrate the efforts being made to conserve soil and water, reduce fertilizer run-off and fight climate change.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
The activities do not include a local context but students are required to provide their own analysis and input in determining the success of the agricultural model and practices being advanced.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
In order to evaluate the future success of the agriculture practices being advanced, some attention is given to methods past and present.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
Though the lesson focuses on one model of agriculture, students are given information and opportunity to evaluate its effectiveness for themselves.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
The lesson has application for secondary students in geography, science and economics.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
Students are provided with questions and a good deal of information and direction to assist in answering them.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
Students work individually and teachers are encouraged to consider using PlayPosit and Educanon to further individualize the lesson.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
Students participate in one simulation activity. There are no 'hands-on' learning opportunities included.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning||Poor/Not considered|
The activities in the lesson do not incorporate cooperative learning.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Poor/Not considered|
Assessment suggestions and tools are not included.
|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|
The resource design does not support peer teaching.
|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 lesson is built around a detailed case study presented in video format.
|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||Satisfactory|
Opportunities to choose elements of the content are not provided while suggestions and support for going deeper into 'the circular economy' are included.
|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.|