Reflection: ELL Students Ecolabeling: is ethically-sourced food affordable? - Section 4: Discussion


Sometimes you only realize after the fact that some of your “recommendations” should have been requirements.  Although the majority of my students have phones with digital cameras, I hesitate to require photographs to avoid ostracizing that small minority that doesn’t have them.  Because more than 90% of my students come from economically-disadvantaged homes, the reasons any one student may be behind their peers in terms of what kind of technology they carry in their pocket can be more complex than I want to dive into… so I make photos recommended.

In this case, when looking at the data sheet that this student collected, I really wonder if some of the prices and things that were written down were really the result of actual field research, or if they were just made up.  The real question comes in because the student mentions tasting all the products in their first reflection.  It certainly wasn’t a requirement that they buy and submit the products to a taste test, and looking at the prices written down, the student is essentially claiming to have laid out about $32 completing the project.  


I’m a realist.  I understand that this student may not have had the time to actually go through the aisles of their local market looking for ecolabels, and yet still wanted to complete the assignment for a good grade.  In this case, I’ll take what I can get through reading their answer in the second reflection, given that they get the main point of what I was hoping they’d understand about ecolabels: they are a means for consumers to subtly affect the interaction between economics and the environment.  They even go so far as to point out that even one person doing so may start something bigger as they may inspire others to try the products and begin buying them too.  

In the future, I’ll probably make this a team-up project and have pairs of students complete it together so that I can more confidently require some photographic evidence that they did the research they claimed to. 

  ELL Students: Sometimes you take what you can get
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Ecolabeling: is ethically-sourced food affordable?

Unit 2: The Nature of Environmental Science
Lesson 11 of 17

Objective: Students will be able to collect and analyze data in order to defend an opinion on the affordability of ethically-sourced food in local supermarkets.

Big Idea: In this investigative project, students go to a local market and compare the prices and overall aesthetic presentation of foods bearing an ecolabel with those that do not.

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