Decisions and consequences

18th February 2005 at 00:00
Jackie Kent, a teacher at Kippen Primary in Stirling, says Linkingthinking is user-friendly and full of practical examples.

"If I was doing a topic on the rainforest, I could ask the children, 'If you are the indigenous peoples of the rainforest, what do you think a tree is?' or 'If you are a logging company, what does it mean for you?'," she explains.

"Some of the kids said it was like being at a roundabout and you could choose any one of the roads leading from the roundabout but if you chose a certain road, you would then come to another roundabout. So, it's like having consequences from each decision you make.

"It looks at the wider picture; how different issues affect different people."

It is not only the children who have learnt to open up their minds to alternative viewpoints. "I've learned as much from them as they have from me," say Mrs Kent. "I might have seen the lesson going in one direction but through their ideas, it can take multiple directions. Once the children get engaged, it takes on a life of its own."

She likes its flexibility. "There are some resources to develop thinking skills but they're very prescribed, whereas this gives the children a lot of leeway. I could pick and choose what units I wanted to work on. It wasn't a case of working through from page one to the end of the pack.

" You can use it throughout your teaching. It's cross-curricular and gives teachers practical examples."

Alison Nind, environmental projects co-ordinator at Currie Community High, uses elements of the Linkingthinking approach in the education for sustainable development course which is taught to all S1 pupils.

"We are using these types of exercises to teach an awareness of sustainable development issues," she explains.

"We're trying to raise their global awareness and develop their social conscience."

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