Sustainability Values Mapping Process
For further details, contact Dr Laura Stocker, Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute (Declan's mum)
Sustainability Values Mapping Process
The purpose of sustainability values mapping project is:
- to identify and understand what aspects of our place sustain our children and what in turn they support or care for;
- to map these values;
- to identify ‘hot-spots’ or special places;
- to share our experiences with other schools in the cluster.
The sustainability values mapping process:
- is underpinned by ideas of what nourishes children and what gives them strength; and how they in turn care for their special places;
- is about sustainability so is much broader than an environmental approach;
- is about drawing out from children about their own experiences and knowledge, and building on that with discussions, excursions, elders’ stories and interviews;
- builds on previous projects;
- needs to be interpreted by teachers to suit the ages and needs of their classes;
- works with the layers of a place, which allow for critical analysis and synthesis - cultural, social, ecological, economic;
- can incorporate poems, photos, stories, pictures;
- has six steps –
- choosing a base map,
- walking/riding around the place with the map;
- developing the 4 overlay maps;
- putting them all together;
- developing a composite map to highlight the sustainability hotspots;
- making an interactive digital version.
UN Decade of Education for Sustainability
The UN Decade of Education for Sustainability runs from January 2005 - January 2010. It builds on the UN Sustainable Development process that began in 1972. It also builds on the environmental education movement.
UN definition of SD
The UN definition of sustainable development is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED, 1990)
Formal sustainability values include:
- Integration of dimensions in decision-making: social, cultural, ecological, economic
- Indigenous rights
- Participation and self-determination
- Local - global interactions
For the purposes of working with young children, we considered the above values in terms of their rights and responsibilities to a place.
Right to be sustained
- To be nourished
- To be strengthened
- To be cared for
Responsibility to sustain
- Caring for each other - going along together
- Stewardship of local places - caring for country
These values also relate to the National Framework values of
- Understanding, tolerance and inclusion
- Care and compassion
Layers of place
In this process we use the idea of layers of place to deconstruct the reconstruct our understanding of place. The layers are:
- social and
Where these layers interact and synergise we call ‘sustainability hotspots’.
We may think of them simply as ‘special places’. Of course, the real world is not literally in 4 layers.
The ecological layer consists of:
- The biological world: ecosystems, plants and animals
- The physical elements: water, geology.
It includes beaches, rivers, bushland, welands, sky.
The social layer consists of:
- Where and how people organise to meet their needs
- Where and how do people belong?
It includes hospitals, police stations, train/bus stations, markets, cafes.
The economic layer consists of:
- Where and how people earn livelihoods
- Where and how people spend money
- Technology used to generate wealth
- Life cycle of production, consumption, waste disposal.
It includes shops, malls, industrial areas, offices, ports, farms and gardens, mines, recycling centres, rubbish dumps.
The cultural layer consists of:
- Where and how people make meaning of their world
- Where and how they express that meaning to themselves and to others.
It includes art galleries, sacred sites, theatres, parks, cafes, markets, dance and music venues.
Juice of sustainability
In looking for sustainability we ask:
- How do the layers interact and synergise?
- How does the place sustain us and how do we sustain the place?
Mapping Exercise - Stages
- Choose a base map of your area
- Walk or ride around the place you are looking at
- Use 4 transparent plastic overlays and mark the cultural, social, ecological and economic features on them (separately)
- Superimpose them all on the base map by putting all the transparencies over the base map
- Look for sustainability hotspots - that is, where features from all or several layers coincide
- Develop final composite map (perhaps as a digital map) and attach including photos, poems, drawings, comments.