Written by Julia Morton-Marr, President IHTEC. Updated 13 March, 2018.
This is a research article on the development of the International Holistic Tourism Education Centre – IHTEC’s Global Sustanability Education (GSE). This towards developing a preventative strategy on Climate Change, so vital for 21st Century Educational Curriculum Change. Some of this research is the result of studies taken as part of my role on the committee with the ‘Interdisciplinary Conferences on the Evolution of World Order” held by Prof Anatol Rapoport University of Toronto, and Prof Emeritus Helmut Burkhardt, Ryerson University from 1995 – 2004. After that time Professor Emeritus Derek Paul, University of Toronto, co-founder of Science for Peace, and the Global Issues Project, with the same committee, held a number of international academic round-tables.
IHTEC has developed Global Sustainability Education lesson plans, on the global commons issues and has begun their implementation in this series of teacher training modules for classrooms around the world. IHTEC was a Canadian Educational Charity non-government organization (NGO) with a focus on schools. Begun in 1993 with the International School Peace Gardens (ISPG) curriculum. IHTEC closed on 15 December 2014. The International School Peace Gardens continues now under the umbrella of the `Council on Global Issues – An Educational`a Canadian Federal NGO.
This curriculum has a focus on purposeful teaching with regards to bio-diversity loss, reduction of carbon emissions for climate change, food security and now discussion of the removal of plastics on land that get into rivers, the great lakes and the ocean, and its effects on the web of life.
Since its inception IHTEC has worked in Ontario but has helped when other countries have contacted us. Where the world’s food resources were depleted to 40 days in 2008, and where students in the Huron region didn’t know the seeds that grew food. This food security work is vital in every school. The peace garden is a place of conflict resolution, analyzing global issues and teaching them locally to find a resolution. Schools in Ontario are invited to register their peace gardens, and will receive a certificate if they haven’t already done so. If the original is lost, please hold a re-dedication ceremony, and contact us for another certificate. IHTEC Time Line is here http://www.ihtec.org/IHTECPages/IHTEC-History.html
IHTEC has been a virtual online member of Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) International in Hawaii since 2005 and has fostered the PDK Hawaii School Peace Gardens. PDK members at the University of Hawaii Manoa, have linked a ‘path of peace’ from Kindergarten through elementary, secondary to the University of Hawaii Faculty of Education. They have been developing and implementing sustainability education at all levels. IHTEC has held International School Peace Gardens (ISPG) workshops, and encouraged school principals to hold annual dedications with their 12 schools involved. As Hawaii has only two weeks of food on the islands at any one time, and a water problem, due to over consumption, it has been a vital example of cooperation, with several other Hawaii NGO’s, in food security. Their inter-cultural understanding of ‘aloha’ values and the significance of the taro plant, coupled with the urgent need to nurture their fresh water, where the freshwater table is close to the salt water, has made this work important towards curriculum change. This research has begun to point to the effectiveness and importance of IHTEC’s work.
As an extension of IHTEC’s involvement, an invitation was extended from the Polynesian Voyaging Society, to help with peace and sustainability education. Their trained youth, have returned from a three year epic voyage in the ‘Hōkūle’a a replica of the original Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe. Navigating by wind, stars, and ocean swells, around the world from June 2013 to 2017. They went to 190 ports and visited their schools at every port. They planted trees and held traditional ceremonies everywhere. They also encouraged the implementation of the ISPG program wherever they visited.
Since 2008, in the Niagara Region in Ontario, five secondary schools have
planted peace gardens, as part of many partners working together with the City of Niagara Falls and the Niagara Parks Commission. IHTEC has been a partner of the Binational Alliance, who launched a Binational Heritage Peace Garden Trail as an 1812 Bicentennial initiative in 2010 and now has 24 Peace Gardens located around the southern Great Lakes with more than 60 anticipated by the end of 2014. Complete details are available at www.binationalheritagepeacegardentrail.com
IHTEC has developed programs for community action and involvement. For
example: World Water Day involved the relationship between water held in large trees, the replanting of the Carolinian Life Zone and keeping water where it is.
IHTEC was requested to develop nine global issue lesson plans, from ozone to core of the planet for students at the University of Toronto Mississauga, Peel Summer Academy in 2012. IHTEC was invited by the MexProCan – the Mexican Professional Group of Canada, ‘Children’s Connection’ to develop ideas for a student exchange of peace and sustainaiblity hand-drawn cards.
IHTEC has been training volunteer University of Toronto Mississauga students as interns since 1994. Currently we have developed a six month program for interns who wish to work with IHTEC, which is now available online. University graduate students are invited to apply to become an Intern.