Had a great teacher training session today. Mrs Prevost from Dominica’s Education Ministry, Terry from the local Youth Development office and Palesa from CaribWhale took care of all the logistics, They thought of every ingredients needed for a terrific teacher training session today. All I had to do was to show up and talk about whales.
I started with a bit of background on the Floating Classroom project, talked about the basic concepts, and tested a few of the activities. The picture in this post is of an activity I just sort of made up on how whales use sound. Everyone is blindfolded and divided into teams representing a species of whale. Each blindfolded team would pick a sound that would be their call they could use to locate each other. I'd then shuffle them around the room and when I said go had to locate another member of their team. What they didn't know is that I would be turning up some music to make it difficult. I think the activity does a good job illustrating the problem of ocean noise pollution.
The teacher training session was more of a training class for me to test out what ideas might work with local teachers/students and what would not. I learned a lot, but was most troubling was what I can only assume is the result of years of influence from Japan’s TV, radio, and print advertising campaign claiming whales, and not overfishing, for the decline in catches of large fish. The barrage of pro-whaling propaganda that’s bombarded Dominica has resulted in a lot of misconceptions out there about whales. It’s time to roll up my sleeves and start debunking!