"Engaging in Our Communities as Global Citizens" is an Etablissement Verts Brundtland (EVB) workshop and classroom resources strongly based on the vision of the Bruntdland Commission, which encourages people to think globally and act locally in order to create a sustainable future for all. The project encourages people to take concrete and ongoing action to help build an environmentally friendly, peaceful, united, and democratic world. Schools are the best place to start taking this vision forward and to create sustainability in thought and action, individually and collectively.
There are four themes identified as values that comprise this classroom workshop: Environment, Democracy, Peace and Solidarity. By recognizing and sharing school-based activities related to these four values, the project reaches for the following objectives:
to encourage the integration of a global perspective in teaching;
to educate children to see themselves as responsible global citizens;
to foster an understanding of global interdependence;
to raise awareness of the role of Canadians in international cooperation and sustainable development;
to identify acts of global citizenship that embrace community and diversity;
to increase student engagement at the classroom, school and community levels; and
to ultimately instill a sense of global responsibility and action in youth in a sustainable fashion.
The pedagogical resource that is the highlight of this workshop offers eight activities for teachers to work with students to eventually initiate classroom/school/community projects. The pedagogical resource is supported by a Student Activist Guide and a Student Passport.
In addressing these values, particularly the environment, students will learn to:
think globally and act locally;
know environmental principles and the major mechanisms to ensure the maintenance of life on Earth;
demonstrate reverence for nature and recognize our responsibility for it;
adjust their life style so as to live in symbiosis with nature;
become aware of the impact of human activities on the environment; and
develop a critical mind regarding the mechanisms which govern human activity.
The project will recognize and reinforce current learning and awareness outcomes, and share activities across Canada, for replication and expansion. The emphasis is not on the measurement of learning outcomes, but on fostering an increase in student engagement to support the above objectives. The project concept, exercises and lesson plans are appropriate for grades 6 through 12. The lesson plans and activities suggested in the Teachers’ Guide match curriculum expectations in a variety of places: Traditional subject areas, General Development subject areas and Interdisciplinary subject areas.
There are four formal pilots during the 2008-09 school year in the Yukon, Alberta, Ontario and Newfoundland. The outcomes of these pilots will be part of this workshop.