- Review Process
- Take Action
- A project of
Students build on their knowledge of individual impacts on the ocean to see how the whole system can react to threats and changes. They examine ways in which human actions throw marine ecosystems out of balance, explore the concept of how impacts can build, and review their understandings of ecosystem dynamics.
The resource consists of two activities:
Activity 1. Coral Reef Succession - Students use coral reef ecosystem case studies to explore the ecological principles of shifting baselines, natural and anthropogenic disturbance, succession, and sustainability.
Activity 2. Combined Impacts - Students make predictions about marine ecosystems based on combined impacts of anthropogenic and natural disturbances. They evaluate others' predictions and create concept maps to identify cause-and-effect relationships
Students have opportunities to practice those skill associated with
The issues addressed are critical. Coral reefs are under significant pressures as are other marine ecosystems. The pedagogy employed (cooperative learning, discussion, information organization, multimedia instruction) are interesting and effective and the background material provided for teachers is helpful.
The resource has relevance for selected units in Ecology, Oceanography, and Human and Physical Geography. It is particularly useful for those units of study focusing on ecosystems and the sustainability of ecosystems.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Good|
The resource uses a combination of videos, guided questions and student exchange to gain an understanding of the nature of coral reefs and the challenges they face. The understandings reached are largely generated by the student's individual and collective efforts in exploring the information provided by the resource.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Satisfactory|
The focus is on marine environments, particularly coral reefs, and the changes that occur in these environments as a result of natural and human factors. Further study is required to explore the economic and social forces at play here but that might arise naturally as students and teachers make their way through the material.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The resource acknowledges that research is giving us a better understanding of what is happening and why in marine systems but more study is needed because of the complexity of the ecosystems and the need to create concept maps that link causes and effects within the systems.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Good|
The lesson does not have a discrete component that focuses on student action but does include a number of suggestions in this regard. Examples include citizen action groups conducting volunteer monitoring projects; community groups participating in beach cleanups; and families selecting biodegradable or alternative products to decrease the addition of nutrients and harmful chemicals to their nearby waterways. Students are asked to list ways that they can get involved and help address these impacts in order to restore balance and improve the health of the world oceans.
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
The lesson asks students to reflect on the integrity and worth of marine ecosystems and to consider our role in the degradation facing many of these systems.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Poor/Not considered|
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Good|
The powerful videos that are included in the lesson and the passion of the researchers who speak about their work in marine ecosystems and who point out the human impact on these systems may be expected to make students more concerned about these fragile systems.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
The marine ecosystems that are investigated in the lesson are in quite exotic locations but the issue of marine degradation is very real and widespread. Teachers may extend the learning by having students explore the health of a local marine ecosystem to identify harmful influences and what may be done to mitigate these influences.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
Part of the lesson reveals how past events such as American military operations in the pacific impacted the coral reefs there and how current fishing practices may be damaging. Students are also asked to make predictions about the future of marine ecosystems based upon the understanding they have gained about anthropogenic and natural disturbances and cause -and -effect relations.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
Once the lessons have helped students understand certain fundamental principles regarding marine ecosystems and the potential impact of disturbances on these systems, students are asked to consider and predict the possible impact of selected disturbances on specified marine systems. Students then share their predictions and create concept maps that illustrate their predictions.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Integrated Learning||Very Good|
An understanding of the interdependence that characterizes a marine ecosystem and the possible impact of human and natural disturbances touches upon a variety of subjects such as Biology, Ecology, Earth Science, Human and Physical Geography.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
Students investigate the workings of marine ecosystems by viewing a number of relevant videos and by discussing what they learned, charting their conclusions and making predictions based on their acquired understandings.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
The resource uses videos to first engage students, followed by small and large group discussions, recording of information gained, capturing that information in concept maps and charting predictions based on their new knowledge.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
Students use coral reef ecosystem case studies to explore the ecological principles of shifting baselines, natural and anthropogenic disturbance, succession, and sustainability. They make predictions about marine ecosystems based on combined impacts of anthropogenic and natural disturbances.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Students work in groups to to complete charts outlining shifting baselines in marine ecosystems, to explore examples and explanations for various patterns of ecosystem change, and to predict the consequences of certain impacts on the natural marine system.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Good|
Students predictions about the consequences of various impacts and the resulting concept maps may be used to determine student level of understanding of the material. Completed student worksheets also provided further evidence of their learning.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
Peer teaching emerges in part from student cooperative learning opportunities and in sharing their concept maps with their classmates.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|Case Studies||Very Good|
In Activity 1: Coral Reef Succession, students use coral reef ecosystem case studies to explore the ecological principles of shifting baselines, natural and anthropogenic disturbance, succession, and sustainability.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Good|
The lessons are based upon the principles of guided inquiry.
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|