A Sustainable Way of Life Becomes the Curriculum! Part 4

Imagine. An elementary school and the surrounding neighborhoods joining  together to become  a sustainable community with the school at its heart. Part 4

“If it Ain’t Fun, it Ain’t Sustainable”

snow fun

If it ain't fun, it ain't sustainable!

Students of all ages have learned that working together with the whole community, coming up with inspired ideas on how to live more affordably and lighter on the planet, is fun.  Out of a Community Design Day session, a recreational waterslide was created utilizing the rooftop of the 2-story addition.  In the winter, a used snow-making machine, donated by the Santa Fe ski basin, turns the waterslide into “the Luge,” a great playground for the entire community. The water park and snow playground are the source of many lesson plans; hands-on everyday science.

 

So what kind of fun would you add to your future neighborhood??…. READ MORE >>

Empowering Boys, Winning the Future

Here’s another amazing TED presentation. “We have serious problems with boys, their culture isn’t working in schools”, Ali Carr-Chellman so states.  Her opening summation of the 100 Girls Project statistics are remarkable.

As you may know, I am petitioning the Gods to send us the tools to assist us in re-inventing our world sustainable. Ali speaks on the how boys and their gaming world is forbidden in school.

Imagine this…you get a knock on the door, and the 4th grader who lives down the street, greets you and says he is surveying the neighborhood, and wants your help.  ”It’ll take 15 minutes, and if you participate, it’ll raise money for our school!”  You say yes, and what unfolds amazes you.  You find yourself encouraged and imaging a better tomorrow, a mixed use, deeply affordable lifestyle, where “you can join the car share program and make money, up to $6000 a year!

He opens his laptop to Google Earth, and up pops your neighborhood. ” Our family has been thinking about what to do with grandma, since grandad died last year, and she’s living alone in her big house. Here’s what my Dad suggested.  We want to add a second story to our house, and move upstairs. My Grandma will move in with us and live in the old master suite downstairs.  She loves to bake pies, so we want to open a pie shop!  The living room and kitchen will become Doris’ Pie Shoppe!”  He proceeds to show you a mock up, in Google Earth, with the help of  Sketchup, of the remodeled home, “Doris’s Pie Shoppe” proclaims the hand painted sign across the old front door.

“OK, so what would you like to do with your home?” he asks you, ready to mock it up on his screen.

This is the curriculum I’m talking about;  Hands on, relevant, involved in the winning the future. Making Sustainable Real!

Here’s Ali’s video.  Enjoy.

READ MORE >>

World Peace this Week, Sustainable Neighborhoods Next Week!

I just watched John Hunter’s TED presentation….So Dang Good!  He has his 4th graders solving World Peace in one week!  I wrote him to see if the game, played on a 3 dimensional 4′x4′ board game, could be adapted to sustainable neighorhoods.  Social, Economic and Ecological sustainability is so complicated, but hey, so is World Peace!

I dream of online and real world tools that give us the ability to redevelop our lifestyle properous, resilient, and sustainable.  Wouldn’t it incredible to give our kids that game/modeling tool!!!! The gap between school and the real world can be so great….how can we so such a disfavor?!! It’s a big job, the greatest challenge mankind has ever faced…we need our kids participation and innovation in making sustainable real!

Here’s John’s video.

Grading A-F; Schools as Centers of Community

How do I feel about the A-F grading of New Mexico Schools? Well, thank you for asking!

The challenges of our times are so extraordinary, they call for a different approach to life. Working collaboratively on real world problems, creating living sustainability, with a community wide range of stakeholders is the school of our times.

Grading Schools A-F

Schools as Centers of Community Sustainability

 

What if each school and its surrounding neighborhoods  set the intention of having the school become the center of the community? The school would then work with the surrounding neighbors in redeveloping into a socially, economically, and ecologically sustainable community!
The grading, A-F, would be a indicator of how the school/neighborhood was doing in terms of sustainability;… READ MORE >>

Curriculum – Because life is for learning!

I should have been a woodshop teacher, (BA in Industrial Arts) but went into construction instead.

Much to my amazement, I keep being drawn to learning, my own ongoing growth and the Santa Fe School District’s trials and tribulations. Quite a few years ago, I came across the idea that schools could be centers of communities; in fact they used to be, all across America. The light bulbs went off…What if schools were reconfigured and became the hearts of “Mixed use, mixed income neighborhoods, with lifelong learning, and open space”??!!

vida streetscape

Live, work, play, learn, shop, all within walking

If they were conveniently located, and multiple stories for commercial shops and teacher’s housing were added for smarter density, teachers could walk to READ MORE >>

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