Grade 4 is on a journey to deepen its understanding of global issues and, of course, a big part of that is the recognition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Mr. Myers, K-12 Service Learning Coordinator, who was invited to speak to the grade 4 students about the SDGs focused part of his talk on what it entails to have a sustainable mindset, identifying four main characteristics in particular:
- Having a "solutionary" mindset
- Looking at topics/concepts/issues from multiple lenses (Nature, Economy, Society, Wellbeing)
- Making connections within and between the identified elements
- Taking informed action to engage with the world around us
Utilizing the SDGs and the Compass tool (developed by Compass Education) students were asked to work in small groups (typically two or three) to identify which SDGs were best placed in the compass points (Nature, Economy, Society, Wellbeing), essentially looking at the SDGs from multiple lenses. They were then asked to extend their thinking by creating cause-effect relationships within and between SDGs, essentially creating a systems thinking document.
Systems thinking tools can be hugely valuable to students of all ages and adults. At ASD we are increasingly asking students to think in a systemic manner. It is a big part of the broadening of perspectives and the development of "critical consciousness" in our community.