The Association of CSPE Teachers (ACT)
Supporting Citizenship Education in Ireland
Awareness in Our Local Environment
by Stephanie McGovern, St. Conleth's Vocational School, Newbridge, Co. Kildare.
When discussing environmental issues in CSPE, litter was seen as a major problem . Tourism was considered to be adversely affected by it. The students zoned in on the problem within the school and wondered whether they could make a difference. They invited two speakers from the County Council Environment Section. They organised an Anti-Litter poster competition and awarded prizes for the Junior and Senior sections of the school. The project then expanded to include the local environment. They certainly increased their awareness of the problem and its cost, as well as their duties and responsibilities.
It was decided to keep the project simple and short. One class per week was not much help so classes were "borrowed" from another subject. Two days were spent planning the project and allocating jobs. Students did some work in their own time. Two speakers were brought in for one class; another class was used to discuss what was learned and to consider a report on the talk, to be written by one of the students; prizegiving took another class; a draft project report was written up during three classes, one per day on 3 successive days. The final report was written up at home.
Their 3 biggest problems were trying to summarise the various activities of the whole class on one page, writing in detail what they had done as individuals, and finally recognising the skills they had used. They are pleased to have completed 60% of their exam, and also the actions in their project gave them concrete ideas for some of the questions in the mock exams.