PCEP Update: April/May2017

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Greetings PCEP Partners! Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL) is happy to present the June/July bi-monthly PCEP Newsletter Update.

The reports in this update illustrate PCEP’s ongoing support to schools and communities adapting to climate impacts in their local places. The first report features teacher training workshops in Kosrae, focused on local teachers deepening skills to align PCEP resources to curriculum standards and benchmarks. The second highlights teacher partnerships in Pohnpei taking ownership of PCEP resources and sharing them with other teachers during the 2017 Micronesia Teachers Education Conference (MTEC) in Yap. The third report showcases new storytellers in Palau and CNMI as they boldly share their views about their cultures and the important issues they are facing. The last delves into intersections in Three-Dimensional Learning and Place-based education through a webinar series developed by The Climate Change Education Partnership (CCEP) Alliance. Each article demonstrates how specific PCEP resources and partnerships support climate education in the region to foster better stewards for our islands. 

Also keep an eye on our web portal, where we have several new resources added since the last update. For any comments or questions, please send to Canita (rilometoc@prel.org).


Highlights from Kosrae 

On May 1–5, 2017, Kosrae Science teachers and PREL staff held a week of PCEP workshop sessions to gain deeper understanding of place-based education. Teachers see the benefits to align PCEP resources with Kosrae Department of Education (KDOE) Science curriculum and to model ways of using places, stories, and PCEP materials and resources to support student learning on climate change, impacts, and adaptation efforts. Throughout the workshop, additional PCEP resources were introduced such as the Water for Life Handbook, PCEP Coral Reef book, PCEP Agroforest book, and PCEP Climate Change Impacts & Adaptations interactive, Place-Based Education in Elements of Design, and the PCEP High Island Poster. PCEP resources provide student-friendly information that supports the learning of the children.

One major highlight of the workshop was taking the teachers out on a field trip to Tafunsak Sandy Beach. On the field trip, PREL staff held a scavenger hunt of different types of microorganisms followed by various different teaching strategies using PCEP books. After the workshop, teachers were eager to develop lesson plans aligning PCEP resources for students to explore a wider issue of climate change impacts and adaptation practices.

This workshop was a major achievement in the Kosrae PCEP development agenda and highlighted the interconnections of place-based education, sustainable development and resilient practices that can be extended to the schools and our communities. PREL staff co-presented with teachers to parents and teachers in the other elementary schools on place-based education and PCEP materials.

Report and image courtesy of Joyminda George

Pohnpei Teachers Learning Community (PTLC) goes National

In the PCEP March Update, we shared the story of the Pohnpei Teachers Learning Community (PTLC) and how their dedication to self-development and building their own capacities as climate educators lead them to share extended knowledge, skills and strategies with other teachers across Pohnpei during school year 2016-2017.  The group’s commitment to promote self-growth amongst peers in place-based and climate education lead to sponsorship of members by the Pohnpei Department of Education (PDOE) to showcase their presentation in the July 2017 Micronesia Teachers Education Conference (MTEC) in Colonia, Yap.

The presentation, Pohnpei Teachers Learning Community on Climate Change, focused on enhancing and expanding content knowledge on the issues of climate change and interactive sharing of teaching strategies and activities they have implemented in their own classrooms.

Major highlights from the repeated sessions were hands-on demonstrations the PTLC acquired from learning exchanges with University of Washington’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT). 

Report and image by C.H. Rilometo
Pacific Storytellers Cooperative

Pacific Storytellers Cooperative activates young voices in Palau and CNMI 

July 11-14, Palau hosted PCEP’s Dan Lin and Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner for a Climate Science Camp. Dan and Kathy worked alongside high school students studying the rhinoceros beetles and collecting data on food security on their islands to nurture creativity. After wrapping up the Climate Science Camp, the group participated in the 30th Pacific Educational Conference (PEC) where the students recited their own poetry. Inspired writings from the Palauan students are showcased in the Pacific Storytellers Cooperative website

July 24-28, The Northern Marianas Humanities Council, through funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities in partnership with Marianas High School, sponsored the Storytelling Workshop in CNMI. The resulting collection of writings from the workshop convey deep-seated pride in place and history as well as determination to withstand challenges in hopes for a better future. 

This is how our Horizon will look —
The wind will slowly bring the canoe for a race,
But really we’re sailing in enlightenment, we’re sailing with speed and we’re proud of who we are.” –
Excerpt from the
CNMI Storytelling Workshop by Eloise Lopez:

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in doing this work, it’s to never discount the value of courage it takes to simply show up and speak out.” Reflection from Dan Lin, PREL

“I imagine that maybe this is what we’re envisioning with these stories. What we hope to instill in our students – the ability to not only confront their present. But to also envision what our horizons will one day look like.” – Reflection from Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, PREL

Image Courtesy of Dan Lin
Report by C.H. Rilometo

Exploring Intersections between Three Dimensional Learning and Place-Based Education

The Climate Change Education Partnership (CCEP) Alliance developed a webinar series in 2017 to compliment the newly released Climate Change Education: Effective Practices for Working with Educators, Scientists, Decision Makers, and the Public guide. PCEP and one of our Alliance-partners—the Maryland-Delaware Climate Change Education, Assessment, and Research partnership (MADE CLEAR)—gave a joint presentation on June 6, 2017, focusing on Working with Formal K–14 Educators.

The PCEP presenters were Corrin Barros and Dr. Emerson Odango (PREL), and the MADE CLEAR presenters were Pat Harcourt and Melissa Rogers (the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science). The overarching goal was for both projects to deepen understanding about the “Working with Formal K–14 Educators” chapter in the Effective Practices guide, and to explore the generative space between Three Dimensional (3-D) Learning from the Next Generation Science Standards context and Place-Based Education (PBE) as implemented in PCEP (see, for example, the PCEP resource Place-Based Education: Elements of Design)

The MADE CLEAR presenters discussed the outcomes of the Climate Change Academy, a professional learning opportunity for teachers. The Academy participants reflected on how elements of 3-D learning were incorporated into a learning activity about ice core samples. The PCEP presenters shared the Teacher Professional Learning Framework, wherein the cycle of planning for learning that is already familiar to formal educators is re-contextualized by emphasizing local places as starting points for inquiry.

All four presenters then facilitated an open discussion with the webinar audience, to explore what the intersections of 3-D Learning and PBE actually look like in the classroom. Participants identified connections between STEM domains and areas of culture such as oral narratives, storytelling, and communal memories. The presenters also posed a question for future directions for investigation—“What does 3-D and place-based learning look like in other domains or subject areas?” Exploring cross-disciplinary connections is a fruitful path, especially climate change education is not restricted to just STEM fields, but can include the social sciences, arts, and humanities, as well as domains outside of the formal K–14 context.

Report by and image courtesy of Dr. Emerson Lopez Odango,
with contributions from Corrin Barros

New Place-Based Resources 

Check out our new resources on the PCEP web portal Resources page at pcep.prel.org/resources/.

Coral Reefs—Underwater World in a Changing Climate is an odyssey into a world just below the ocean surface, bursting with colorful coral colonies, giant schools of fish, graceful turtles and sharks, tiny microorganisms, and more; and Agroforests—Growing Resilient Communities takes readers of all ages on an exploration among the trees and other plants that shape the life and cultures of our Pacific islands.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook for photos, articles, and announcements on climate in the Pacific region.

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Copyright © 2017 Pacific islands Climate Education Partnership, all rights reserved.

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Pacific Resources for Education and Learning
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