Week Four: MA Project

Updated: May 5



Thinking Through Making Webinar

Image: https://www.dropbox.com/s/bqt236cdvus84w6/Ben%20Evans%20James.pdf?dl=0


The Thinking Through Making webinar with Ben was very relatable as Ben mentioned the many positives of shooting with film. I also shoot film when doing photography, and I completely agree with every point Ben made on why he shoots film. Firstly, yes, the aesthetic is very pleasing regarding the grainy texture that film produces and muted colours, but, secondly, with film, you only have a few exposures or number of minutes you can use. Digital offers you the ability to shoot endlessly, but in doing so, you stop yourself from really appreciating what you like and what you think is beautiful and question why. With the limited exposures that come with shooting film, you have to dig deep in yourself and choose photographic opportunities you want to capture, not just because you can. In doing so, you generate work that's a true reflection of you and who you are.


I decided to take the advice from the webinar and step away from the computer for a short while and create something linked to my project. I had some materials left over from making collages in a previous module. As my research surrounds plastic and the environment, I found an image with a palette of beautiful blues and cut out the shape of a plastic bottle. I'm pleased with the results and taking the time out of researching. Although no ideas have come to mind, I think this will help inspire further ideas later in the project.

Image: A little Thinking Through Making Activity


Towards the end of my blog last week, I contemplated how education surrounding plastics could be delivered, could there be one place like a manual where you could learn/educate from that contained the relevant, important information and a basis for a catalyst in activism in positive change surrounding plastic pollution. With this in mind, the publication Migrant Journal came back to me. I like Migrant Journal because it is aesthetically pleasing, enjoyable to read/look through, and consistent. It delivers information on not the easiest of subjects with ease, flow and breaks set up through photography. The subject matter might not be of particular interest to you, yet it's delivered in such a way that you want to engage with it regardless.


I'm not sure if I'll re-word my question yet; however, these quotes I found through my research sums up my aim for this project.


"Solutions to marine plastic pollution and the broader challenge of climate change can and need to come through education and skills."

- World Bank Blogs


To reduce plastic wastes, education is of utmost importance as education can change people’s knowledge, attitude, and behaviors toward plastic waste management.

- C.-F. Chow et al (2017)



Images: From a document printed, highlighted and scanned that can be found here - https://www.researchgate.net/publication/313898837_Plastic_Waste_Problem_and_Education_for_Plastic_Waste_Management


The above document argues the importance of education surrounding plastic and plastic pollution and states that education is of utmost importance (C.-f. Chow et al., 2017). The document also outlines effective teaching methods that can be used. Some notes that I highlighted from this document are:

  • Four main different educational approaches can be used, they are:

  1. Community-based education.

  2. Government-based education.

  3. Business-based education.

  4. School-based education.

  • Research studies have revealed that education can change knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours.

  • Scott and Willits (1994) (as cited in Manning, 2010) "also found that the more highly educated one is, the more likely one is to engage in environmentally responsible behaviours."

  • There is still much room for improvement to change all of the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours regarding plastic waste management, which depends on the effectiveness of the educational strategies (C.-f. Chow et al., 2017).

  • Some academics have defined education as a "potent weapon to help develop new knowledge, skills, and values for achieving a healthier environment and a higher quality of life" (Nagra, 2010; UNCED, 1992).

  • Another environmental education objective is to change people's attitudes by 'helping social groups and individuals acquire a set of values and feelings of concern for the environment and motivation for actively participating in environmental improvement and protection," defined by the 1977 Tbilisi Intergovernmental Conference on Environmental Education (Hungerford & Volk, 1980).

  • The 1977 Tbilisi Intergovernmental Conference on Environmental Education also defined that education can change behaviour by "providing social groups and individuals with an opportunity to be actively involved at all levels in working toward resolution of environmental problems and/or issues" (Hungerford & Volk, 1980).

  • Experimental learning is found to be more effective in empowering and engaging students to take part in environmental learning and actions (Sipos, Battisti, & Grimm 2008).

  • Gaming activities or experimental investigation could enhance students' knowledge, but the limited course time (70 mins) was difficult to induce intended behavioural changes for plastic waste recycling education.

  • Teaching strategies:

  1. Direct Teaching: The teacher instructs the students directly.

  2. Hands-on Teaching: The teacher guides pupils to learn actively by observation, experiments, and interaction with the environment.

  3. Simulation Game-Based Teaching: Simulating real-life situations through games and role play.

  • Test results concluded that pupils from the game-based teaching group achieved significantly higher scores, whereas the hands-on group slightly improved their ecological worldview attitudes.

  • However, all three teaching strategies can significantly enhance pupils' knowledge of plastic and plastic pollution, with the most effective game-based strategy.

  • The hands-on strategy improved the pupils' ecological worldview attitudes and recycling attitudes.

  • The game-based strategy attained some enhancement in recycling attitudes as well.

  • Direct teaching acts as a role model in developing pupils' environmental literacy.

  • Pupils could acquire new knowledge through either of one of the teaching strategies easily in a short time, whereas it takes more time for their attitudes and behaviours to undergo significant change as they may already have ingrained habits.

  • Plastic waste problems are becoming increasingly severe all around the world. To cope with the situation, education is of the essence.


My idea is looking towards creating a speculative curriculum purely on plastic and plastic pollution that can be used in schools in rural and/or developing communities. I've seen various examples of curriculums around plastic and plastic pollution but not always delivered engagingly, so I'll also be looking at how design can effectively create engaging educational resources on a topic that can be pretty dense.


A Plastic Ocean, Documentary (2016)


Image: https://3x168fxvas-flywheel.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/PO_MoviePoster_16x9.jpg


The documentary A Plastic Ocean did a great job highlighting the severity that plastic pollution has on the natural environment. It also showed how developing, and rural communities were swamped by plastic. In one particular scene, in the Philippines, when the documentary filmmaker asked a group of young people if they attended school, they replied no. However, they did say that they could earn money by recycling some plastic waste, which made me consider how this could link with The Akshar School, where students pay for their education by recycling plastic waste.

I think the teaching resources I create could be made from recycled plastic from school students; this could be done using one of the teaching strategies.


Migrant Journal


Images: https://migrantjournal.com/products/pre-order-migrant-journal-no-4-dark-matters


Towards the end of my blog last week, I contemplated how education surrounding plastics could be delivered, could there be one place like a manual where you could learn/educate from that contained the relevant, important information and a basis for a catalyst in activism in positive change surrounding plastic pollution. With this in mind, the publication Migrant Journal came back to me. I like Migrant Journal because it is aesthetically pleasing, enjoyable to read/look through, and consistent. It delivers information on not the easiest of subjects with ease, flow and breaks set up through photography. The subject matter might not be of particular interest to you, yet it's delivered in such a way that you want to engage with it regardless.


Ethics Form

Charles Howe Ethics
.pdf
Download PDF • 267KB

Conclusion


I've discovered a lot of information regarding the importance of education in making big changes in the reduction of plastic pollution and methods of teaching that have proved to be the most effective in doing so. It's clear that the most effective method of teaching (regardless of subject) is a hands-on approach, games, and simulation. With this in mind, the last point I made this week about creating something similar to Migrant Journal as an educational resource probably wouldn't work unless it was accompanied by activities where students would be more involved, engaged and active.


References


flex.falmouth.ac.uk. (n.d.). Log in to canvas. [online] Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/1013/conferences [Accessed 24 Feb. 2022].


ResearchGate. (n.d.). (PDF) Plastic Waste Problem and Education for Plastic Waste Management. [online] Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/313898837_Plastic_Waste_Problem_and_Education_for_Plastic_Waste_Management [Accessed 247 Feb. 2022].

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