Research shows that students who learn about the impact of global issues on their local communities are more than twice as likely to see the value in undertaking social action; exhibit tolerance and acceptance of religious, cultural, and ethnic diversity; and demonstrate increased empathy.
The students in my vocational high school live in the poorest congressional district in the country.
98 percent receive free or reduced cost student lunches, 30 percent are English language learners, and 25 percent receive special education services. As my school's only special education teacher, I serve students with a vast array of classified disabilities whose talents have rarely been recognized in academic settings. Most are incredibly creative, have talent expressing themselves visually or in hands-on projects, and are very interested in new media.
To be successful at a skilled job or college, my students are encouraged to engage real-world problems deeply and extensively in order to develop innovative and sustainable solutions. Because of my school’s focus on design and construction, it is committed in particular to having students explore pressing ecological challenges and green technology solutions. Students therefore consider how issues such as conservation, competition for resources, waste disposal, environmental contamination, and loss of biodiversity affect both local and global communities. In order to engage these issues in their community, I am sponsoring a media and documentary club in which students will creatively and intensively document these issues in video journalism. We currently have no equipment required for these projects nor resources for purchasing them. Five video cameras will help my students begin their efforts.
Supporting this project will help my students more fully utilize new media in support of creative efforts to examine, represent, and comment on local and global challenges posed by life in twenty-first-century built environments.Read More
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