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It is vital that teachers really try to engage students in current environmental issues whilst developing their analytical skills in relevant sections of the curriculum. The article below caught my eye recently as it is perfect fodder for generating discussion and debate.
Investigating Human Population DynamicsThis is one of my favourite investigations and ESS students generally love this topic. It can involve handling a lot of data and so is good practice for using Excel and learning how to process data. It never worked very well for the old version of the lab assessment criteria but with the new Independent Investigation criteria it offers the basis for some interesting...
NATURAL POPULATIONS: POPULATION GROWTHIt is important to understand how "natural" populations grow and change over time in order to make comparisons with human populations. Students need to understand what "normal" population growth is, i.e. an S shaped growth curve and then the factors which are affecting human population growth. The UN has recently updated their prediction of...
This unit takes students through topics 1.1 Environmental History 1.1 Environmental Value Systems 1.2 Systems and Models 1.3 Energy and Equilibria of the course and needs about eight hours of teaching time plus practical time. I spend about 3 - 4 weeks on these topics. This sets the tone for the rest of the course and the relationships you build during these weeks are critical for success. Explore...
Environmental Value Systems (EVSs)Environmental value systems are an excellent way to start the course and get to know your students. I like to start by asking students to explore what they know already, who they are (in the context of the environment) and why they think the way they do. This then helps to explore why other people have different EVSs and thus opinions about the problems and solutions...
This is an exciting time with your fresh faced and non IB weary new recruits. This is also a precious and important part of the course where you can really hook in the students with up to date, relevant and thought provoking activities. Both Zoe and I will spend some time in the first week completing these activities with the students.
Systems and ModelsI know that a lot of teachers don't teach this subtopic as a standalone unit but I find it very useful to introduce students to these crucial ideas at the start of the course; after all this is the fundamental thread of the course. What is a system? I want students to be able to take a systems approach to all the other topics. Thus, I keep it simple but ensure that students understand...
Foundations of ESSIn the previous version of the ESS course many teachers left Topic 7 as it was then until the end of the course. This meant that students didn't have the fundamentals or foundations of ESS during their courses. I group Subtopics 1.1-1.3 together at the beginning of the course. There are a variety of options while teaching these topics to get to know your students and, for me,...
Topic 2: Ecosystems and EcologyThere are five sub-topics in this topic. You may need to think carefully about whether you split this topic into several units and also split over time in order to maximise your access to fieldwork opportunities.I have chosen to group 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 to break up what would be an enormous unit and also to maximise time when I can take students outside for fieldwork in...
Your Teaching RouteWe can teach this course in many different orders or through themes. Participating in discussions with fellow workshop leaders, examiners and in online forum such as the Facebook group for ESS teachers I've found that new teachers to the course can be quite anxious about their route. There is really no "right" way and you have to develop a route which fits your circumstances...
As a first-year ESS teacher, this website has helped me immensely. In particular, I have been able to see the course more holistically and can map out which topics can be taught together. The time I have spent lesson planning has been significantly reduced...
I really love that you have so many activities and video that would engage in classes. All the teaching material are ready to use; and the tests and annotated marking of works are super helpful!
An excellent resource for new teachers, putting together the first syllabus. It also helps more experienced teachers with new idea and new perspectives.
13 May Laura Hamilton
Student AccessHi Regina After you log in, click on your name from the drop down menu and access groups from there. The "group" icon on this page is just a picture.
12 May Regina Katz
Student AccessHi- I am trying to click on the 'groups' icon- but it does not allow me.
2 May Laura Hamilton
4.3 Sustainable AquacultureThanks Sarah Ann, I've changed it.
1 May Sarah Ann Shea
4.3 Sustainable AquacultureDan Barbour is a chef, a much-recognized one from Tarrytown, NY, USA. Not a comedian despite being funny.