On Saturday i was a panel participant for the 2011, 11th Peace Island Forum. It was a great opportunity for me to share some of my first hand knowledge of the ills impacting our oceans. Then yesterday i gave a two and a half hour presentation to a group of 8 students titled "The Environment and the Individual".
We started the session with some fun ice breakers before getting down to the main agenda. I showed several TED Talks (with Korean subtitles) and asked the participants to note down the issues that impacted on our oceans. Students then worked in pairs to make a list which they displayed to the rest of the class on a large sheet of butcher paper (provided by Big Swim team member Eugene - thanks Eugene!). Participants were then divided into 2 groups and told to choose what they felt were the 3 most important issues and justify their choices to the rest of the class.
Then each group spent time discussing what they, as individuals, could do to help solve the problems they had identified They then presented their ideas to the class.
My role was only that of presenter and facilitator. When some of the ideas or solutions presented seemed a little abstract i tried to get the students to think in more concrete terms. For example, one group suggested "provide environmental education". I then asked the hard questions such as what is environmental education? How can you, as an individual, provide it? To whom? By problematising the solutions presented and thinking critically about how to enact change at the level of the individual, students were able to see that they, as individuals, have the power to create change for the better.
I had a lot of fun and i hope the participants did to. If anyone would like to hold their own workshop i'm happy to pass on my resources. Please get in touch ~ jeju big swim (all one word) at gee mail dot com.