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RCE Writing Workshop: Crafting your ESD Story


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RCE Writing Workshop: Crafting your ESD Story
Ms. Ushio Miura, Programme Specialist, UNESCO Bangkok
Prof. Mario Tabucanon, Senior Visiting Professor, UNU-IAS
Dr. Philip Vaughter, Research Fellow, UNU-IAS
12th Asia-Pacific Regional RCE Meeting
4-6 June, 2019, Hangzhou, China

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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RCE Writing Workshop: Crafting your ESD Story

  1. 1. RCE Writing Workshop Crafting your ESD story June 6th, 2019 Ms. Ushio Miura, UNESCO Bangkok Prof. Mario Tabucanon, UNU-IAS Dr. Philip Vaughter, UNU-IAS
  2. 2. The Big Question: How does transformation take place? Recommen- dations: Looking back, looking into the future What came out of it?How?What? What is the problem? What is the change you want to bring about? How did you try to bring about the change through: - Multi-stakeholder engagement; and - Education? And how did it go? What are the outcomes of your action? Did the change you wanted happen? Did unexpected changes happen? What led to these outcomes? (both successes and failures) Looking back, what would you recommend to yourself and to others? What would you have done differently? Next steps?
  3. 3. The components of a writer’s workshop – For this writing workshop, we will follow the below pattern to give the authors time to work on the four sections of their chapter – the context, the analysis and methodology, the outcomes, and the recommendations – Each section will have a workshop devoted to: – A mini-lesson on writing for the particular session (10 minutes) – Independent writing time (20 minutes) – Conferencing (10 minutes) – Sharing (5 minutes)
  4. 4. How long do we have to be here? – The total time for each sections’ workshop will be 45 minutes – The total cumulative time of the writing workshop will be three hours – but don’t worry there is a tea break between 10:30 and 11:00!
  5. 5. Crafting a title – A title should tell what the chapter is about – It should also grab the readers’ attention! – Finally, it should introduce the tone of the chapter – Don’t be afraid to use a subtitle!
  6. 6. Setting the context – The context section is the shortest (only 200-300 words) part of your chapter, but also one of the most critical – Here, the author must convey how a problem relates to the sustainability of a community – There is no need to go big scale here – it’s ok to mention a problem exists globally, but use only a sentence to state this. Narrow in on how it impacts your region early in the paragraph – Situate the issue by stating how it relates to environmental, social, and/or economic sustainability. Remember: you don’t have to address all three!
  7. 7. Setting the context – Remember, most good writing is simply telling a story, and the characters in a story are usually people – Describe how the problem you are facing impacts the people in your region – How aware are people that there is a problem? What was their knowledge about the situation before you began your ESD project? – Are people active or passive in engaging with the issue at hand?
  8. 8. Setting the context – Ideally, you should be able to set your context using one or two paragraphs – Create a compelling topic sentence (the problem) – Provide detail 1 (impact of problem) – Provide detail 2 (people’s awareness) – Provide detail 3 (people’s engagement) – Concluding sentence (what needs to change to fix the problem?)
  9. 9. Setting the context – Mini lesson: grab the readers’ attention! • Question: What if you were responsible for growing enough food to feed a town? • Amazing fact: Over 90% of flowering plants in the tropics depend on animal pollinators. • Quote: “Even the insects in my path are not loafers, but have their special errands.” – Henry David Thoreau, 1906 • Shocker: Parents in my community apply insecticides the way other parents apply soap. • Curiosity: What would a world without insects look like? – Try using one of these techniques for getting the readers’ attention for the ‘hamburger’ style context section of your chapter
  10. 10. Describing your approach and analyzing the process – This section of your chapter is the space for you – the author – to describe how your project engages in multi-stakeholder involvement and education/learning in order to make the region more sustainable. – Try and set the stage in a few sentences before moving onto the two sub- sections underneath it: – Methodology and analysis of the multi-stakeholder involvement – Methodology and analysis on learning – Remember, you have between 1,000 and 1,200 words to work with here!
  11. 11. Multi-stakeholder involvement Multi-stakeholder involvement is considered the key to achieving the SDGs, hence to ESD as a strategy for SD. We would like RCEs to share examples where multi-stakeholder involvement facilitated a community’s pursuit of sustainability. In this sub-section – Describe which actors were involved in the process, and what each partner contributed. Please also mention why you wanted to involve them, in relation to the changes you wanted to make. – Describe how you have managed to bring them on board and have them collaborate with each other. Please describe this for each stakeholder. Please share specific examples of successful collaboration cases as well as failures, and challenges faced along the way, and how they were overcome.
  12. 12. How did learning take place? Methodology: What was the methodology you used or planned to use to embed and stimulate learning to bring about the change you wanted? How did you engage people in the learning process? Analysis: Where and how did learning happen for whom in the process? Did it go as planned? Did learning occur as expected, or did it occur in unexpected ways, in unexpected places for unexpected people? Did you face challenges? What seemed to work/help?
  13. 13. Analyzing the situation – Mini lesson: relevant details – Within the body of the chapter, its critical to stick to the topic – which here means discussing stakeholders in one sub-section and discussing learning in the other sub-section – Who learned what? – Within your text, try to only use text that: – Supports the topic and meaning of the subsection – Helps create imagery or a picture in the reader’s mind – Includes an experience or example that directly relates to the topic – Try and make it as succinct as possible and add more detail through revision!
  14. 14. What are your outcomes? – The outcomes section of your chapter is your conclusion. – Conclusions are difficult to write, but they are worth investing the time in as they have a significant influence on the reader’s experience – A good conclusion should give the reader feel glad they read what you have written – it helps them take away something that allows them to see things differently or appreciate your topic in a personally relevant way
  15. 15. What are your outcomes? – For describing an ESD project, readers what to see a transformation in the learner: what was different at the end of this project vs. the beginning situation? – Here, it’s important to link what is different not only in terms of what is now known, but what is being done – what actions/behaviors are changing in response to the education your RCE provided? – This is also a good space to talk about what was innovative about your project. Were you able to engage with an audience not reached by other kinds of education? Was this a new type of teaching/learning for the area? Tell us! – If your project is not yielding the outcomes you wanted, what do you think led to the situation? Please share your reflection. Lessons learnt from your failures are highly useful for others!
  16. 16. Ineffective conclusions – what to avoid – “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it”: avoid a conclusion that just restates the thesis and does not show how the situation changed – The mystery conclusion: make sure you have evidence in your previous section that supports the concluding remark – education is a process, don’t just say ‘things changed’ – The emotional conclusion: while emotion and sentiment might be heartfelt, it’s usually not appropriate in this type of publication – it is out of character with the rest of the content – The ‘grab bag’ conclusion: avoid putting material into your conclusion that you could not integrate into the rest of your chapter
  17. 17. Outcomes – Mini lesson: Strategies for effective conclusions – Play the ‘so what’ game: ponder why someone should care about your topic and then answer it – Return to the theme in the introduction (context): bring the reader full circle – use key words, parallel concepts, or images you also used in the introduction – Synthesize, don’t summarize: include a summary of the chapter’s main points, but don’t repeat things you already wrote; instead show reader points your made fit together to change the situation – Point to broader implications: talk about how action at the local level relates to global frameworks
  18. 18. Recommendations – All learning is iterative – the recommendations section of your chapter isn’t so much a part of your storytelling as it is a reflection on the story itself – Think of it as a time machine – if you could go back to the start of your project with the knowledge you have now, what would you change? – Remember, a recommendations section is the direct bridge between you and the reader – it is a way of offering your knowledge and experiences as a way to help someone facing a similar issue
  19. 19. Recommendations – In the UN, we like to talk about policy – in your recommendations section, talk about what policies supported (or could support) your RCE’s project – Does the city you are working with have a mandate to communicate to the public about SDGs? – Could an existing health initiative support addressing your chosen SDG? – What lessons did you learn from challenges or synergies your encountered? – Would you have started the project at a different time when students were not in school? – Did you find there was a lot of interest from parks and museums in participating, and you would recommend reaching out to these actors first?
  20. 20. Recommendations – Mini lesson: go big! – Propose a course of action to upscale: if your project was a success, what could help it be replicated in other cities or regions? – Propose a question for further study: if you encountered challenges, what research might be useful to understand how these can be overcome? – Propose a connection: if you see your project can be connected to a national or global initiative, say so – what global frameworks of national initiatives could this project help implement?
  21. 21. The end… sort of – Writing is an iterative process, hopefully today was helpful – As authors we must always walk a line between perfectionism and ‘good enough’ with sharing our works – However, it’s important to keep to deadlines – Remember: most of the time people spend ‘writing’ they are actually agonizing about writing – just write! You can always edit later… – Remember, no one is born a good writer – it takes practice, practice, and more practice!