Sunday, December 4, 2011

Service-Learning PIE Sustainability ….

The previous blog Service-Learning PIE …. introduced Service-Learning and Productive Innovative Engine (PIE) framework as synergistic in connecting students to the future economy.  Emphasis was placed on the importance of Learning as applied to Service.   
Repeating the Service-Learning Example here clarifies the distinction between service, learning and service-learning:
  • Picking up trash on a riverbank is service
  • Studying water samples under a microscope is learning
  • Science students collecting and analyzing water samples, documenting their results, and presenting their findings to a local pollution control agency is service-learning.
Thinking about PIE in conjunction with the above emphasis is a logical enhancement to the Learning aspect.  The PIE framework brings relevance to the education curriculum by putting application to subjects in a project learning context.  By so doing it strengthens the knowledge and skills of student in a concrete manner by creating a product, process or service.
Project-based learning as implemented in other states has an interesting way of incorporating the education standards criteria by having the students define as part of their project the state education standards that apply.  Service-Learning PIE Sustainability projects should include state education standards as part of their project; this ties the project to objectives of state standards.   
In the April 2008 blog M21C .... HEIFER referenced the saying "Give a person a fish and they will eat for a day; teach them how to fish and they will eat for a lifetime; build a fishery and the community will eat for generations".  Heifer International is creating peace through programs described in "Best Friends Instead of Enemies" that emphasizes how new thinking inside and outside the box makes a difference.  Their programs stress the ownership and passing on the gift; also they incorporate an excellent training and sustainability mindset in the recipients of the gifts. Their training helps to build the "fishery" concept mentioned above.  I suggest we use the following to clarify the approaches:

By adding PIE to the Service-Learning concept it brings positive "Building & Sustainability" into play.  Sustainability is a concept that is needed in our world today and by engaging students with it in the Service-Learning PIE effort they will be better prepared as citizens and workforce of the future.
The Piedmont Triad has a Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Project underway to create a regional plan intended to build economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation.  Wanted: Economy with a motor ... discusses creation of jobs in more detail.
AchieveGuilford is a community-based commitment to the educational success of all children in Guilford County that aligns community resources to ensure students are successful at each critical point in their education and future careers.  It works with businesses, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, families and government to realize its mission of Every Child Ready: Cradle to Career.

In the November 10, 2011 News & Record article AchieveGuilford sets crucial education goals”  Dr. Margaret Arbuckle and Richard “Skip” Moore state the following:
“There are two realities that our community must face: The competitive global economy is here and students in today’s schools must graduate with the knowledge and skills that prepare them for success in this environment.

Our students’ future jobs will require sophisticated thinking, use of communication technology and problem-solving skills, and advanced levels of knowledge, particularly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).”
The above initiatives are ways people of our community can engage to create sustainability.  Specifically Service-Learning PIE Sustainability is a vehicle that applies to both objectives. 
Having promoted STEM for several years, I now feel the PIE framework best focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) as the STEM-NOTSTEM website advocates:
“STEM is based on skills generally using the left half of the brain and thus is logic driven. Much research and data shows that activities like Arts, which uses the right side of the brain supports and fosters creativity, which is essential to innovation. Clearly the combination of superior STEM education combined with Arts education (STEAM) should provide us with the education system that offers us the best chance for regaining the innovation leadership essential to the new economy.”
This stresses the creative skills advocated by Richard Florida author of the bestselling “The Rise of the Creative Class” in addition to STEM. The creative skill is essential to the magic that occurs between idealization and usability of a product/process/service as shown in the graphic.

Initiatives such as the Center for Design Innovation in Winston-Salem is an example of efforts to incorporate creative juices in new product development.  PIE is right in sync with this.  There are two types of design; functional and creative.  Transportation can be provided by a jalopy but we pay money for creative stylish vehicles.  Shelter can be provided by simple structures but we feel more satisfied in architectural aesthetic designed structures.
The August 25, 2010 Design Funnel ... Fish-Hook-Fry Metaphors .... blog discusses this concept in more detail.
The VentuRealization Workshop Series was interactive goal-directed designed for entrepreneurs interested in transforming an early-stage idea into a compelling business opportunity.  Critical elements of this process include:
  • Creating an attractive value proposition
  • Developing a simple action plan
  • Defining goal-directed resource requirements
  • Forming the initial team
  • Identifying potential partners
  • Presenting the opportunity to stake holders
I include one of the visuals that were part of the workshop that illustrates Idea to Opportunity.  This is an example of Helping Translate Ideas to Action.
In Service-Learning PIE Sustainability the PIE framework applies to this mapping of Idea to Opportunity.   
The Sustainability Helix chart gives another perspective to the life cycle of a product, process or service.  During the design an effort should be made to consider this life cycle sustainability. 
Also the waste hierarchy should be considered in the design process.

Hopefully information included in this blog will be helpful toward implementing Service-Learning PIE Sustainability.

It is proposed that at least three schools be incorporated into a pilot implementation of PIE in support of Service-Learning.  By doing at least three pilots from GCS Regions it will give insights/perspectives on each school’s approach to Service-Learning and would establish a collaborative base as the pilots are designed, developed and implemented.

Information in this blog is thoughts of the author and will be revised as planning with GCS proceeds.

Thank you for considering this blog, feedback is welcomed.

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