You may have heard Dr. Ove on the National Geographic documentary “Years of Living Dangerously” (Season 2 episode 5) or more recently on the Netflix show with Zac Efron called Down to Earth (Season 2 episode 3). He is a world renowned coral reef researcher and sounded the alarm on the plight of the corals in 1999, predicting their complete demise by 2050.
I would consider listening to this episode in one of two ways: either at a time when you can take it all in at once, or in junks over a period of time. The reason is because I believe this episode represents the essence of what I consider to be the sort of scientific education needed in high schools today, and I really want you to concentrate and even “read between the lines” on this one.
You see, education will be most effective if it is linked to something that is tangible, meaningful and relevant. It has to have the potential to affect our students’ emotions, to draw them into a deeper understanding of the science that we’re teaching them. Between the lines, you’ll find that what we teach regularly and routinely on a day to day basis, actually has meaning to the health and well-being of our planet.
The oceans are the great regulator of our ecosystem and framing science lessons and tasks within that, will connect our students to something bigger than themselves, that they will want to get to know better.But further, all of our lessons should have something to tie knowledge to meaning.
I’ve said to my students that if it doesn’t have a meaning that I can explain, then I simply won’t bring it to class. That’s my pledge to my students. But it’s also my responsibility as a teacher to find that meaning. And this episode brings meaning, to me, and hopefully to you too.
Check out these links to some of the work of my students but also the work of Ove:
50 Reefs: https://www.50reefs.org
Catlin Seaview Survey: https://youtu.be/wpZKGP9P8v0
Catlin website: https://www.catlinseaviewsurvey.com
My students’ ocean research documentary: https://youtu.be/7mKcs_3LHpg