I’ve spent the last two weeks sorting through about a thousand emails from people around the world who have contacted us to share ideas about the issues in The Story of Stuff.
A significant chunk of the emails and DVD requests has come from teachers all the way from elementary through college level. I have heard from teachers all over the U.S. as well as many other countries who wanted to share ideas or experiences on using The Story of Stuff in a classroom or other educational setting.
These teachers’ comments and ideas have been so inspiring and useful that I thought it would be good for educators to share ideas with each other via this blog so other teachers can also read them.
So, teachers, if you have used Story of Stuff, or if you are thinking about how to use it, please respond to this posting so we can have a broader conversation about creative and effective ways to use the film.
I spoke to one middle school teacher in California who showed the film to his students, then asked each to research and present to the class ideas about solutions for some aspect of the problem. Many of the students researched the terms that are presented in the green arrow at the end of the film, and explained how each is a part of a solution.
I’ve also heard from organizations that have resources available for educators on sustainability and related issues. Three of these groups are listed below. Please share URLs and leads for other good resources for teachers too so we can keep learning from each other.
Have a peaceful, restful winter break and let’s keep talking in the New Year.
Center for Ecoliteracy (ecoliteracy.org)
The Center for Ecoliteracy is dedicated to education for sustainable living. The Center is a pioneer in providing tools, ideas, and support for combining hands-on experience in the natural world with curricular innovation in K-12 education. It administers a grant program and donor-advised funds, publishes extensively online and in print, and offers resources, seminars, and technical assistance in support of systemic change.
Rethinking Schools (rethinkingschools.org)
Rethinking Schools began as a local effort to address problems such as basal readers, standardized testing, and textbook-dominated curriculum. Since its founding in 1986, it has grown into a nationally prominent publisher of educational materials, with subscribers in all 50 states, all 10 Canadian provinces, and many other countries.
Green Schools Network (greenschools.net)
The Green Schools Initiative was founded in 2004 by parent-environmentalists who were shocked by how un-environmental their kids’ schools were and mobilized to improve the environmental health and ecological sustainability of schools in the U.S. We believe it is essential to protect children’s health – at school and in the world beyond school – and we work to catalyze and support “green” actions by kids, teachers, parents, and policymakers to eliminate toxics, use resources sustainably, create green spaces and buildings, serve healthy food, and teach stewardship. We are working to leverage the schools sector to transform the school environment – and the markets that supply schools – to improve health and sustainability. We are starting our efforts with schools throughout California; in the longer-term, we plan to use our success in California to mobilize efforts to green schools nationally.