Introduction

May 15, 2012 at 4:31 PM by Stephen MacKinnon

Discuss the Introduction lessons.

3 Replies

Meg O'Mahony
May 15, 2012 at 10:13 PM
I want to start with the focus on Canada - OK, I was at a symposium with Mel Hurtig when I was an impressionable 15 or 16 years old - and the lessons stuck!

Some time needs to be taken (maybe 5-10 min) to prepare the class for the Inuit culture - so they really listen to what is being said in the video. The talking is slower with a lot more emphasis on family, e.g. "my grandfather used to...". The 20 minutes is a good time.

I usually debrief by asking the students what they learned from all of this and pull them into a discussion of Traditional Ecological Knowledge as a source of excellent information about past histories. It allows for a neat discussion about Western science vs other sources of info here too. With all of the misconceptions and misinformation out on Climate Change this is a great opening to a discussion about validity.
Gayle Miller
May 27, 2012 at 9:41 AM
As a diagnostic, I'd like to guide my students to create a mind map showing what they already know about climate change. I'll provide them sub-categories (causes, effects, solutions, opinions) to organize their prior knowledge.

At the end of their study, the students will create a second mind map to prove their learning. Different or the same sub-categories can be used (science of climate change, implications, living with climate change).
Doug Fraser
May 27, 2012 at 12:27 PM
I agree that a mind map is an excellent diagnostic in this particular situation. There are many misconceptions and misunderstandings out there - including not only the "denial" junk but also the confusion over the "hole in the ozone layer" and climate change.

It is also important to nope that the traditional knowledge of the Inuit is based on a long history BUT in a relatively stable climate. So one of the major consequences of rapid CC in the Arctic is that much of their traditional knowledge is no longer as valuable.

Of course their traditional knowledge DOES provide evidence that the climate is changing - ie the elders know that what they are seeing now is completely out of the normal range of traditional experience BUT it also means that a significant portion of their practical knowledge of when/where to hunt and fish, when it is safe to travel on the ice etc etc is no longer valid!

So this is also a huge impact - ie the new climate reality creates many unknowns that a long history of experience can not help you with.

As an exaggeration - but to make the point - how useful will traditional Inuit knowledge be if, in 100 years they are living in a boreal forest with no summer ice?

It is important that students realize how devastating this impact may be on these people. These people have a history of being able to live in one of the most (really the most) challenging of all environments and this extraordinary human/environment relationship is being destroyed.

They are being "displaced" but not by being physically moved themselves, but rather by the displacing of their traditional environment literally underneath their feet.

This post was edited on: 2012-05-27 at 12:33 PM by: DougFraser