Programme Manager and Sustainability Champion
School of Veterinary Nursing
Otago Polytechnic's programme manager for the Certificate in Mental Health, School of Social Services , Jenny Rudd doesn't do things in halves! Here she has produced a programme document statement for Sustainable practice along with a sustainable practice specific task students will complete as part of their course. Also provided by Jenny are three great resources for teachers in understanding what Education for Sustainability is all about.
Here is the sustainability statement I added to my programme document last year.
Economic, social and environmental sustainability is inherent in recovery based mental health practice and education. Sustainability is integrated through out the program and specifically incorporated in the following ways:
Students are introduced to systems and ecological theory in the values course in relation to human development, self awareness, cultural awareness and environmental, economic and social sustainability. As part of the values course students are required to develop personal goals in relation to environmental, economic, social and personal sustainability and to implement these goals through out the year.
In term two students explore sustainability in relation to issues of social justice, equity, consciousness raising or critical theory, empowerment theory and creative communities and are introduced to the theoretical ideas and work of Paulo Freire Joe Kincheloe, Arlene Goldhard and Fritjof Capra. Capra (2009) states that “the way to sustain life is to build and nurture community” and this is equally relevant in sustaining recovery. Consequently there is an emphasis throughout the program on the value of community, community building and relationships. Students are introduced to a range of holistic models which encompass ideas about the interconnected nature of health and wellbeing and the idea that good health requires physical, environmental, mental, social and spiritual wellbeing.
In term three systems and ecological models of practice are reintroduced in relation to networking and the importance of establishing networks and as a tool for working with mental health consumers, whänau, services and communities for positive change. Students support consumers to develop and implement recovery plans and goals. Plans and goals are determined by consumers but frequently involve activities that contribute to sustainability such as establishing vegetable gardens, fishing, biking and healthier lifestyles. Engaging with nature in practical ways has a long history in mental health therapies. Many community based residential settings have client driven vegetable gardens. Wakari has a vegetable garden and chickens and clients sell eggs to staff. The proceeds go towards resources for various activities.
Course materials and resources are provided online and students are encouraged to use laptops in the classroom rather than printing material. Students are encouraged in this context to think about the resources that they use and to create presentations using recycled materials.
Finally all students participate in a field trip to the Truby King Reserve at Seacliff. Truby King was an innovative visionary who turned the seacliff asylum into an efficient working farm during his years as medical superintendent. The reserve provides a beautiful environment for students to engage with nature and can be a healing and energising experience and students are encouraged to share this experience with their clients.
A key resource I have since come across and probably should have read first is:
Education for sustainability version 1
Ministry of Education (2009). Education for sustainability version 1 in Education 1for
Sustainability. PP 1-10. Retrieved on 25 / 2 / 2010 from: http://seniorsecondary.tki.org.nz/Social-sciences/Education-for-sustainability
Please note that the original document is 35 pages long and not all relevant as a resource for students. It is linked from the document above and saved as a word so easy to edit and save your own referenced version.
Page 1 to 10 – provides an excellent overview of sustainability. I have read a lot of material on the topic and in terms of introducing it to the students in the context of our courses this is the best I have found. I plan to give students page 1 to 10 as a direct resource.
Page 11 to 22 provides a comprehensive set of learning objectives and indicators at level 6, 7, 8. You should find this material stimulating in relation to assessment ideas.
Page 22 to 35 lists a wide range of resources for teaching, learning and assessment generally and specifically for sustainability.
As I have suggested in my programme document statement, I intend to integrate sustainability across my programme in much the same way as I integrate Tïkäkä and Treaty. This means that there will be tasks in each course related to sustainability. In term 1 where the emphasis is on awareness of self and others, I have included the following as a structured task in the student’s reflective journal.
Task 6: Sustainable Practice in Mental health Support Work
Describe what is meant by each of the following concepts and evaluate the relevance of each for mental health support work. (maximum 200 words)
· Environmental sustainability
· Economic sustainability
· Social sustainability
Critically reflect on your personal view in relation to sustainability and explain the aspects of your family history, culture and life experiences that have informed this view (maximum100 words)
Identify two ways that you could incorporate sustainable practices into your personal life and two ways that you could incorporate sustainable practices into mental health support work (maximum 100 words)
There are no wrong answers for this task but students must adhere to the marking criteria.
· Student describes what is meant by environmental, economic and social sustainability and evaluates the relevance of these concepts for mental health support work
· Student critically reflects on personal view and provides an explanation
indicating that the student understands the relationship between life experiences and values and beliefs.
· Student identifies two ways they could incorporate sustainable practices into
their personal life and two ways they could incorporate sustainable practices into mental health support work
· The descriptions and critical reflections adhere to ‘Guidelines on Instruction Words’ (See resources section in your course book).
· The descriptions and critical reflections adhere to word maximums.
This assessment meets requirements of
Otago Polytechnics strategic vision and goals
Hawke, G (2008). The Holistic Approach in Landcare Research: Manaaki Whenua.
Rretrieved on 25 / 2 / 2010 from: http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/sustainability/sustainabilty_details.asp?Sustainability_ID=101
Please note that the document above links to an excellent document titled ‘What is Mätauranga Mäori?’ More suited to degree than certificate level students but very worthwhile for those of you who will be relatively new to co teaching treaty and tïkäkä material this year.
Capra,F. (2004-2010). Ecology and Community in Centre for Ecoliteracy: Publications. retrieved on 25 / 2 / 2010 from: http://www.ecoliteracy.org/essays/ecology-and-community
Fritjof Capra is one of my favorite and one of the leading authors on sustainability. ‘Turning Point’ (A feature level movie available on google movies) is another excellent resource
Thanks Jenny. This is a very valuable resource especially for those in the area of social services. I know others will get a lot out of reading this and exploring the links!