Nueva’s first internal Environmental Citizenship Curriculum Development Workshop was held virtually on June 22–26. Important topics included “What are the characteristics of an environmental citizen?” “How are we already developing environmental citizenship at Nueva?” and “How does/can environmental citizenship relate to your curriculum?”
Director of Environmental Citizenship Tanja Srebotnjak and Assistant Director of Environmental Citizenship Aron Walker organized the event. Fifteen Nueva teachers and a Nueva alumna participated in the weeklong event.
“The workshop was a great way for Aron and me to learn more about the broad range of environmental interests our faculty have and to partner with them in developing new units, modules and assessments that clearly reflect the learning objectives we’ve identified in our environmental citizenship macro-curriculum blueprint,” Tanja said. “I look forward to seeing the work our workshop participants have done come to life in their courses next year.”
Nueva alumna Jill Mankoff ‘17, who is majoring in chemistry at Wellesley College, enjoyed the workshop and reconnecting with her Nueva teachers.
“I'm grateful for the ways Nueva keeps innovating to make the learning experience applicable to the pressing issues of the current day, whether it be climate change and sustainability or social justice,” she said. “The workshop really motivated me to think more critically about how to engage with environmental issues in all fields. Even though I won't be able to help implement the curriculum next year, I'm glad to see how many cool EC-related things Nueva students will get to do as EC becomes more integrated into their lives at school.”
Tanja and Aron were supported by three Nueva students interns, who prepared materials, summarized sticky board discussions, and served as data researchers.
“I had a great time for the two weeks at ECI,” said senior Audrey A. “Not only was I able to gain a deeper understanding of what environmental citizenship means, but I also learned a lot from different teachers using the UbD framework for curriculum development. It was cool to reflect upon courses I've taken in the past, as well as classes I'm going to take in the future. It was great fun to brainstorm in our breakout sessions and to gather so many cool ideas in the feedback sessions. I also loved the EC definition or mission statement as ‘an empathetic bias toward action based on an understanding of the interconnected web of natural and human-made systems to which we all belong.’"
Senior Andrew C. said he learned a tremendous amount about the principles of environmental citizenship and how they have been woven into Nueva's story and mission for many years.
“Hearing firsthand from teachers who were eager to incorporate these ideas further into their lessons gave me insight into how much work it takes to develop curriculum,” he added. “I gained a deeper appreciation for the amazing faculty we have at Nueva who are so dedicated to their students and classes even during the summer! This experience also taught me how to be a more conscious learner, as I now understand the objectives of Nueva's UbD curriculum and can take away more from my classes in the future.”