Date: 26 Oct 2020 (Mon)
Time: 2:30pm to 5:30pm
Mode: Online (Zoom)
Cost: $50 (GTA members) $55 (Non-GTA members)
To sign up for the workshop please go to: https://tinyurl.com/GTA2020Workshop
Closing date for sign-up: 19 Oct 2020 (Mon)
- To provide a conceptual understanding of Sustainability in School Geography
- To deepen understanding of how planetary boundaries have been crossed using research findings
- To provide an overview of the UN Sustainability Goals and their interconnections, with a focus on the core processes of human perturbation on Earth’s Systems
- To understand the complexity in resolving issues on Sustainability through an Inquiry activity
- To understand the challenges in researching, measuring and assessing progress of the Sustainability Goals
- To discuss ideas on how to make the teaching of Sustainability more relatable to students
Synopsis for the Workshop
The term Sustainability has been used in the Geography syllabuses over the years. However, as Sustainability is the theme running through both the G.C. E. ‘O’ and ‘A’ level Geography syllabuses, it is timely to explore firstly, the different approaches to Sustainability and secondly, to differentiate it from Sustainable Development.
The study of Sustainability requires a good understanding of the functions of the biosphere and human civilization to maintain change in the human ecosystem equilibrium to achieve a balanced environment. It encompasses the idea of meeting human needs while at the same time, preserving Earth’s support systems. Planet Earth’s assets of lands, waters and biodiversity, if well managed, provide a flow of energy that sustains human life. A look into the current state of planet Earth’s natural systems allows for insights into the intertwined social and ecological systems in which we are all embedded. When these benefits have been poorly understood, Earth’s natural resources and capital undergoes rapid degradation, risking losses in the many benefits for man to live a quality life. In an interactive activity, participants will discover their ecological footprint and carbon footprint to find out the extent to which Sustainability is under threat. What then are the safe operating physical spaces left for humanity?
The next part of the workshop addresses Sustainable Development i.e. the processes and pathways to achieving and restoring Sustainability. An overview of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and how the Goals address the human-‐ecosystem balanced environment will be shared. In particular, to address the school syllabuses, the UN Sustainability Goals will be discussed with reference to the 2 core processes which will destabilize the Earth System at a planetary scale: 1.Climate Change 2. Biosphere Integrity (life on land and life below water).
In a group inquiry activity, participants will explore the complexity of achieving Sustainability of a resource in an area. They will experience for themselves just how intertwined the continued exploitation of resources for economic value are with social and political dimensions when attempting to keep all factors in harmony while at the same time, enhancing both current and future potential of the resource to meet human needs and aspirations.
Notwithstanding the complexity of developing the tools for measuring and assessing the progress of the Sustainable Goals, the way forward continues to lie in the science of research.
As a discourse, teachers are invited to email their questions prior to the workshop session. The answers will be interwoven into the broader concepts of Sustainability and Sustainable Development.
Synopsis of Presenter
Dr Nawaz is a senior lecturer of geography at the National University of Singapore. His main research interests are climate change, sustainable development and geospatial science teaching and learning. At NUS, he teaches a variety of courses, including Energy Futures: Environment and Sustainability, The Planet Earth, Biophysical Environment of Singapore, Water and Environment, and Spatial Data Handling. He is a geomorphologist with expertise in geographic information systems, environment and spatial decision support systems. In addition to teaching, he develops undergraduate study materials and is currently working on the project, Experiential Learning Using Sandboxes and Augmented Reality in Natural Science.
More information on Dr Nawaz can be found at https://profile.nus.edu.sg/fass/geomn/