Posted by: csdailyblog | May 2, 2012

Conserve Students Participate in “Education for Sustainability” Research

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Last Wednesday, nineteen Conserve School students participated in a focus group session that addressed the questions:

  • What does it mean for something to be sustainable?
  • What does it take to make a community to be sustainable?
  • What would you like your community to be like in thirty years?
  • How will schools have to change to bring about sustainable communities in the future?
  • What should K-12 students be taught in order to foster sustainability?

For the past several months, I’ve served on the steering committee and helped collect data for a University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s Education for Sustainability research project. After analyzing preliminary data, the senior researchers leading the project decided that they wanted to add to the mix data from high school students, and, as a result, asked me to run a focus group session with interested students. Our Wednesday afternoon Stewardship in Action activity time, during which students choose a community stewardship group to join, seemed like the perfect opportunity.

This research project is being conducted in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and the information will be used to develop planning documents for the state of Wisconsin. Two different reports have been created already. This opportunity was a great way for our students to have a real impact on the world by sharing their dreams for the future and their understanding of sustainability.

We frequently model the assignments and activities at Conserve School on the work that adult professionals carry out in real life. We also engage students in work that has real-world value. Taking part in this research project was a great opportunity for students to both discuss issues central to our mission and engage in work of real value.

Martha Krumenauer, Academic Coordinator, took some photos of the brainstorming session and then visited one of the other Stewardship in Action student groups, which was in the Conserve School kitchen preparing a giant batch of granola prior to solos. Students will visit the kitchens again soon to prepare trail food before Exploration Week, the first week of June. I am looking forward to the excellent turkey jerky that students always prepare for our big trekking week!

– Mary Anna

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