Current Curriculum Project Underway
MiningWatch Canada is finalizing a workplan and proposal for the development of a multidisciplinary educational resource about mining issues. Recognizing the importance of developing critical-thinking skills in young minds, we want to create a module about the economic, social, environmental, and cultural impacts of mining activity and metals extraction. The resource, which will be in the form of a series of posters accompanied with a teacher's activities guide, will meet the Ministry of Education's Ontario Curriculum standards for Grades 4-7. This is a pilot program that we hope will lead to the development of educational materials for other grade levels as well.
We plan to develop several key themes: We want the module to be holistic, taking a critical look at all aspects of mining practices and our use of metals. We want to show students the connections between the origins of every-day objects that we use — where did they come from, by what path and at what cost to natural and social capital did they arrive in our hands and our homes, and what are the seen and unseen contributions that went into making that object (i.e. from ore to spoon).
We want students to understand the impacts mining has on our precious and finite resources such as water. Also, we hope to clearly describe alternatives such as reducing waste, recycling existing metals that are already above ground, substitution (i.e. using fibre-optics instead of copper wiring), the re-mining of old mine sites, and the mining of tailings (waste leftover from the milling process) that still contain minerals. This resource will seek to explain the full story of mining and let students explore how mining affects their lives.