I've recently completed a week or so of Problem-based learning with my Year 11 Geography class. We had been learning about river regulation of the Mekong River as part of the Biophysical Interactions topic. The students were required to read a series of articles, concentrating only on the descriptions of environmental issues that were discussed. They had to list as many of these problems as they could and then categorise them. Students then had to find a way to incorporate as many of these problems into one general problem. They then had to think about the way the problems that they had originally thought of were all interconnected.
Students had to work collaboratively to come up with a range of solutions or management strategies to address their main problem. After exploring these solutions they had to develop a management strategy for the Mekong River incorporating local, regional, national and bilateral strategies.
The aim of this activity will be to identify a range of environmental problems affecting the Mekong River, and to explore possible solutions to some of these problems. Below is a very brief overview of the lesson sequence. The attached file contains much more detail including scaffolding of the activities.
Begin reading through the booklet of readings that you have been provided with. The readings all relate to issues impacting on the Mekong region. Summarise the articles in the table provided.
Continue reading and summarising the articles provided.
Pair work - Determine one underlying issue affecting the Mekong Region.
Create a flow chart which explores how your problem impacts on the biophysical environment.
Individual work - Write a summary of how the Mekong Region is sensitive to change.
In pairs, suggest a range of solutions or management strategies to address your underlying problem.
Design a management strategy that can be applied across countries, up and downstream to address the issues in the Mekong
Identify a range of professionals that you will need to employ to put your management plans into place.
Mekong overview and presentation of management plans.
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Deputy Principal at a Sydney high school. Coordinating author of the Geoactive text book series.