It's the 1/3 mark of trimester one in the Middle School. Two classes of sixth graders work diligently in their service learning classes to piece together global and regional issues and how they might help address them at the local level. One class, we are told, is working hard on perfecting their "elevator pitch" while the other one is busily finding resources to develop their plan to address waste, pollution and sea life.
Connections are often a matter of perspective. When many of the adults in this community were young(er) we might be taught about how one thing leads to another. Often that was it. Cause and effect. In service learning classes, and a good number of other classes at ISKL, students are consistently asked to go even further. What are the connections between our sorting of waste and the marine ecosystem? How does what we do affect the haze and vice versa? Where can we find leverage to improve the system?
These are powerful questions, and ones that can lead to a myriad of answers. Direction is defined by the interests, skills and experiences of our students and therein lies the beauty of it. No matter which way one goes, it doesn't take long to recognize that it's all interconnected.
These systems, interconnections and solutions are a huge part in generating 'enduring understandings' that are essential to becoming a global citizen. In grade 6 our students are working hard connecting the dots and creating action plans. Because everyone knows that the best way to predict the future is to invent it. :-)