Initially I started with a product design unit that is delivered to 2nd Year Graphic Design students. Together, the class examine an Easter egg, take it apart, review the materials used in the packaging and, identify what can be recycled and what will go to landfill. The students consider how they would redesign the packaging in order to reduce the waste. Sustainability is a big part of this research and, using every day products promotes really interesting discussions. In this unit, students really are thinking about the impact of their choices, not just on product design and manufacturing, but also on the environment.
Getting colleagues on board can be a slow process. However, it has been worth investing the time to find out who is naturally interested. I have had some great conversations in the staff room and it has enabled me to provide colleagues with support, offering some detail on my experiences in Rwanda, or sign-posting towards some good resources. It has also enabled me to identify who I can link with in creating IDL programmes of work. I do still get asked why a “Techy teacher is delivering lessons on Global Goals” but this just provides me with the opportunity to explain their relevance to our time and how they provide an interesting context for learning.
GLP and Rwanda took me out of my comfort zone, but it made me realise just how much I know about teaching a good lesson and the importance of creative methodologies. I have some fantastic memories and first-hand experiences which support good discussion around environmental awareness, recycling, and the disposal of products. I have always been a proud advocate of ethical design and I’m keen that this ethos is demonstrated not just in my teaching practice, but throughout our curriculum.
Inspired by Liam’s experiences?
Find out what your GLP could look like here