Reflection: Learning Communities Spaceship Earth: Concept evaluation (4 of 5) - Section 1: FRAME: Is Spaceship Earth a valid concept?


Using an engineering-design process as part of the professional growth process can be powerful, especially for educators working together over longer time period (generally at least one school year).  Many resources are available to get started.  IDEO's human centered design toolkit, the design gym, and the Stanford d school are great places to get started.  There is an example resource attached.  Whatever the resource, the engineering-design approach applies the same principles developed in Unit 0 of this curriculum to enable to teachers to design and implements solutions to classroom problems.

Every year I am fortunate to work on a high school grade team with extremely hard-working, thoughtful, and purposefully experimental educators.  As part of our inquiry cycle last year, we used the engineering design thinking process to articulate our own in-process solutions to problems of practice in the classroom.  One of my colleagues, Mr. Alex Torres, spearheaded the development of a task analysis structure that has proven to be highly effective for students.  This solution builds students' capacity to chunk complex tasks, self-scaffold, and experience academic successful.  Below is the presentation that Mr. Torres' created for his idea (it may take a moment to load):

  Learning Communities: Engineering design thinking as professional development
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Spaceship Earth: Concept evaluation (4 of 5)

Unit 2: Citizen science, Student design
Lesson 6 of 13

Objective: Students will be able to: 1) describe a consequence of the human colonization of Earth; 2) select evidence that will support a claim about potential resource management strategies; and 3) define the subtasks required to complete complex tasks.

Big Idea: The concept of Spaceship Earth can be used as an analytic framework that has wide ranging implications for humans' approach to management of the Earth. How might we develop management strategies that minimize the influence of human colonization of Earth?

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Science, Statistics, field work, Community Mapping, engineering design thinking
  55 minutes
graphic spaceship
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