In an increasingly globalised world, science and technology are at the heart of life in the 21st century, indeed it is difficult to think of any aspect of these subjects which do not have global connotations!  Communication, the environment, infrastructure, biodiversity, health, nutrition, leisure, manufacturing these are a few of the areas where we look to science and technology to devise solutions which will improve our lives. But science and technology do not exist in a vacuum – how can we support young people to engage in real life situations and rise to the challenge of building a sustainable future?

With practical ideas from teachers, the suggestions in the sections below will support young people's skills of enquiry and critical thinking: 

We hope that these resources will inspire you to try some global learning activities in your classroom ~ we would love to hear how they went!

For details of our major EU-funded 2013-16 international teacher project, click here

Contact us to find out more about the support we offer, including our professional development programme and current teacher projects.

Climate Change

The online resource ‘Climate change ~ local and global’ link uses an enquiry approach to encourage creative thinking in response to the challenge of climate change. With lots of suggestions for classroom activities, this is for teachers who want to create space for young people to investigate their own ideas.

‘Learning to choose’ is an online resource for students raising issue and questions related to climate change, and challenging them to make difficult choices for themselves and the planet.

For further ideas go to Sustainable Development and Climate Change section.

Developing enquiry approaches in science and technology

‘It makes you think~ ideas for science with a global dimension’ and ‘Changing technology’ are both packed with ideas for classroom activities. ‘It makes you think~’ has links to further teaching material on the Association for Science Education website on 10 hot topics.

A starting point for many discussions about global issues has been the Development Compass Rose [DCR]. The DCR framework reminds us to consider a range of perspectives related to environmental, social, economic and political aspects and prompts deep engagement while encouraging the development of a range of communication skills. This process challenges our assumptions and stereotypes, while creating a space to listen to others viewpoints of the world. Especially useful for Design Technology students when considering the sustainability of a product.

Sustainable development

Science and Design Technology have a particular role to play in understanding sustainability through the curriculum ~ alongside geography and citizenship. Often working with other departments is a good way to re-enforce learning, while taking a holistic approach. For an example of  how science and D&T teachers worked together, see the Bill Scott Challenge.

Further teaching ideas can be found in ‘Food and farming’, ‘Lessons in sustainability’ and  ‘Educating for sustainability’, or look on the Sustainable Development and Climate Change section.

Using photographs and cartoons as stimuli

‘Changing technology’ comes with a photo pack and ideas of how to use them to encourage a wider understanding of how technology impacts on the world.

‘Thin black lines ride again’ is an engaging collection of cartoons that raise serious issues about development and perceptions of the world – thoughtful and stimulating, these are designed to provoke discussion.

Exploring global learning

‘Enabling global learning through the key stage 3 curriculum’ shares ideas about global learning, proposes an entitlement for young people and is supported by a range of downloadable material which can be used in the classroom or with colleagues in a CPD session.

Cross-curricular working

A cross-curricular approach supports the connections between different disciplines, and strengthens subject rigour.There are rich opportunities for collaboration between Science, Design Technology, Geography and Citizenship in considering sustainable development. For an example of how science and D&T teachers worked together, see Bill Scott Challenge.‘Enabling through cross curricular approaches’ - support section in  ‘Enabling global learning through the KS3 curriculum’ includes ideas for deep learning days, inter-disciplinary collaboration and issue based approaches.