The Cities Project~ creative KS3 curriculum development is an exciting Tide~ teacher project funded by DFID.
By global development issues, we mean those related to the environment such as the impact on human development of climate change and waste management; economic development such as global trade; and social issues such as migration, poverty reduction, conflict and interdependence within and between countries.
Are you a secondary teacher or educator, who would like to be involved in taking this work further? These pages highlight ongoing professional development opportunities and materials developed through the project as it progresses. Use the links on the left to find out more or contact us to get involved.
A seminar Birmingham ~ the view from here kick-started the project in October 2009. It involved teachers and representatives from Birmingham, and helped to provide an initial framework for the project. It raised some challenging questions about city development which have been taken forward into other parts of the project.
Click here to read the seminar report.
The project steering group met in December 2009 to support Tide~ in planning the project. They continue to meet and support decision making and evaluation.
Steering Group Members
Niall Crawford ~ PSHE & Citizenship Adviser, Birmingham Advisory and Support Service
Gill Fox ~ Headteacher, King’s Norton Girls’ School, Birmingham
Darius Jackson ~ Lecturer in History and Citizenship in Education, School of Education, University of Birmingham
Sian Roberts ~ Head of Collections Development, Birmingham Archives and Heritage
A group of teachers met several times in 2009/10 exploring the potential of a cities focus for innovative curriculum development with a global perspective. Materials developed around geography, modern foreign languages and humanities were shared with colleagues at a conference Making it work ~ creative KS3 curriculum development on 24th June 2010. This event brought together teachers, partner organisations and advisers to explore cross-curricular approaches to exploring challenging global issues such as poverty and interdependence with young people and provided the impetus for the next phase of the project.
Click here to view the conference report
Birmingham Archive and Heritage Service hosted a workshop in April 2010 for teachers and educators with the theme of using archives to think about community cohesion at KS3. It was an opportunity to explore how archive materials such as photos, maps or artefacts could be used to support thinking about community cohesion and city development.
Big Questions Online ~ Izzy Mohammed [Community Outreach and Education Officer, Birmingham Archive and Heritage Service] wrote a thinkpiece addressing the question ‘Is diversity a threat or an opportunity?’ which was raised at the first seminar of the project. Izzy shares his view that diversity, whilst being a challenge, is a positive aspect of society, and reflects our interdependence with places around the world. Readers are invited to respond to his thoughts – visit the web page to read responses.
Birmingham KS3 Active Citizenship Event took place on November 24th 2010 at Millennium Point involving 100 young people from Birmingham schools. It offered them the chance to voice their opinions about big global issues such as interdependence and human development, and to think about how they might be involved in change for the better. It was an exciting day involving eight schools and sixteen workshops facilitated by key organisations. Envision and Birmingham Young People’s Parliament worked in partnership with Tide~ to plan and organise this event.
Click here to view the event write up
These events, meetings and activities now come together in the next phase of activity in schools. Teaching materials will be developed by four curriculum working groups through a focus on geography, languages, humanities and citizenship. These will explore challenging global development issues and their impact on people around the world, such as:
* Globalisation, trade and economic regeneration
* Commonality and interdependence
* Flooding and the impact of climate change on human development
* Active citizenship and making a difference
These ideas and materials will contribute to a major publication and sharing event in Spring 2012. Click here for more details.
Cities Project working groups
In the next phase of the Cities Project teaching materials will be developed by four curriculum working groups through a focus on geography, languages, humanities and citizenship. These will explore challenging global development issues and their impact on people around the world, such as:
A meeting on Wednesday 2nd February 2011 [1–4pm] brought together people interested in the four strands to plan activity for the next two terms.
If you are interested in being involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org
A major event for 100 Birmingham students took place on 24th November 2010 at Millennium Point. It offered young people the chance to understand some big global issues such as interdependence and human development, and to think about how they might be involved in change for the better. It was an exciting day involving eight schools and sixteen workshops facilitated by key organisations.
Click here to read the event summary.
This is an online forum for teachers and young people. We have invited guests to respond to questions about interdependence, development and cities. Diversity is the current focus. You can have your say at Big Questions Online
This is an online forum for teachers and young people. We have invited guests to respond to questions about interdependence, development and cities.
Here, Izzy Mohammed shares his personal perspective on diversity. Do you agree with his opinion?
Is diversity a threat or an opportunity? When considering this question I have been thinking about cultural diversity. Britain is not alone in becoming a culturally diverse place. There are many countries around the world that are becoming increasingly diverse. Although we all have our own ideas about how we want our society to grow and evolve, change itself is a natural thing – even if we sometimes aren’t prepared for it or are challenged by it. People have always moved around. Some have been looking for a new life, better opportunities, or even adventure. Others have had to move because of factors very much outside their control, like environmental, human or social factors. Whether locally, nationally or globally, our lives are ever more connected. The world prospers together – and suffers together.
In Britain, diversity offers huge economic, social and cultural opportunities and helps us to develop a range of perspectives on the world around us. There are entire industries that have grown from this diversity, industries that would otherwise not exist. There is also a huge amount of pleasure, enjoyment and fulfilment that people get out of their contact with diverse cultures. Food, fashion and music are great examples as well as the profound fulfilment and joy that many get from their friendships and relationships with members of different cultural backgrounds. We are richer for it.
But there are challenges. ‘Diversity’ often suffers from a bad image. News stories often create a general sense of disorder, raising people’s fears and giving rise to myths, and even prejudices. [see newspaper headlines on the left] It is well understood that not all people see diversity in a positive light. The task here is to help to calm fears, and to enable people to participate better and benefit from being involved. There is the challenge of how we support communities to better integrate and get involved in normal mainstream, everyday life. How do we encourage communities to develop interests and a life not completely confined to their own area or community? This could be applied to all communities in some way or another.
Right now, in 2010, we are in challenging times. We are in a recession that has cost many people their jobs, livelihoods, even homes and families. In such times, it is easy, and maybe even understandable, for people to blame others for the difficulties they face or see around them. The challenge for society is to work out how to help develop attitudes, ideas and views that help society work properly, and help each individual person get the most out of life. It requires people to be prepared to be open, as having an open mind leads to many more opportunities than having a closed mind. A term that is often used is ‘community cohesion’. This involves ideas around different communities having a better understanding and appreciation for each other. This in turn, it is hoped, leads to better relations between different people, and to society as a whole working much more effectively. Whether locally, nationally or globally, it is important to remember that our lives are connected; the success of the individual is tied to the success of the whole. We can see this in the recession. We all suffer together.
There are some questions that need asking when we think about our society, particularly, when we think of the diversity of groups and communities it is made of, and the range of attitudes and ideas that exist:
* What is already being done to bring about greater harmony and understanding? Is it adequate?
* What can or should we all be doing to bring about change? Who should take responsibility?
* What should our efforts involve?
What do you have to say in response to Izzy’s perspective on diversity? Does this raise any questions for you?
Send your responses to email@example.com, starting with BQO in the subject box. We will post your responses here, as they come in.
Click here to read the responses
The following Tide~ resources may be useful in thinking about interdependence, development issues and KS3 creative curriculum development.
Key Stage 3 curriculum development
Enabling a connected curriculum ~ opportunities for global learning at KS3
Weblinks to support investigation of the UN Millennium Development Goals
Responding to global events
Diversity and social justice
Contributing to Community Cohesion ~ Recommended resources and links
The International School and Community College, East Birmingham
Birmingham City Council – Planning, Regeneration and Sustainability Team
Birmingham City Council - Waste management and recycling
SMILE/ Refugee Council
Click to download in your preferred format.