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Whole Earth? University of Worcester’s response.

Here’s a short summary of how we’ve used Whole Earth? at the University of Worcester

We have been working with Institute of Education colleagues and students to use the exhibition with primary school children. We have trained university students to guide primary school students around the exhibition and then undertake 2 or 3 activities with them, depending on their age and the time available.

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While viewing the exhibition, children are encouraged to think particularly about what the photos mean to them.
A3-size laminated images from the exhibition, with white space around the image, are laid out on the floor, and the children each get one “dot” sticker to stick on the photograph that had the most meaning for them. Using a post-it, if they’re old enough they write a few words about what the photograph means to them
All children get one leaf-shaped post-it and write down one promise to do things differently now, then stick the ‘leaf’ on the tree banner. Leaves are left in place so this can build up over the period.

We have 368 primary school children who have undertaken this task attending the University Storytelling festival, and 600 who undertook it as part of The Big Sing.  We have a short video of this.  https://vimeo.com/153103005

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WHOLE EARTH? has been used as inspiration for the Big Sing a joint University and Worcestershire Youth Music partnership, and 2,200 primary school children attending this event on 8th June also undertook the above tasks.

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A local photography exhibition and open view organised by students and local photographers was held in October.

More here on these pages http://susthingsout.com/index.php/a-local-response-to-whole-earth/

Academics from a number of Institutes are using the content in their sessions.

Mark Edward’s Whole Earth’s creator adds

‘WHOLE EARTH? was designed for universities so it’s been fascinating to see how schools have used it. I just heard from a teacher in France who saw the exhibition at the Eden Project.’

She wrote:

I’ve waited all my life for something like WHOLE EARTH? It really supports our work as teachers. Over the past 15 years, we’ve been trying to open our students’ eyes to what is unfair and unsustainable, and to show how Human Rights are central to the well-being of every individual. 

 The role of students, even at a young age, is changing too: they help develop sustainable projects at home and abroad. This year my students have produced ‘Carbon Blues’, a musical they wrote which will tour schools in France and which shows the urgent need to move to low carbon technologies. We’re educating tomorrow’s adults, and WHOLE EARTH? exhibition gives us all the depth of understanding we need to make the right choices.  

It’s about to open at Sidcot Quaker School near Bristol and it will be interesting to see how students at this school respond. One thing is clear, many schools are educating their students in the issues around sustainability. The next generation of university students will be more informed and will challenge their tutors and universities to step up education on these key issues and future proof their campus.

 

Katy Boom Director of Sustainability University of Worcester

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