Demonstrating the interconnection...
between living things and the natural world in a meaningful way can be challenging to do in a classroom. Yet, exploring this interconnection is crucial as many of our most complex global challenges lie at the intersection of animals, people and the environment such as climate change, habitat loss, species extinction, food security and disease. Looking at these challenges, and others, through a One Health approach can provide a useful framework to get students thinking about real world problems in a holistic way.
One Health is a transdisciplinary approach to tackle the scientific challenges and address the social, economic, and political factors that can either promote or inhibit wellness in populations and ecosystems. Empathy, critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving are all skills that students need to equip them to tackle the big issues impacting the planet. Fostering a respect for nature, a care ethic for both animals and people, and the ability think holistically will position them to meet current and future challenges.
Due to the recent pandemic, One Health has become increasingly relevant. However, the concepts embraced by One Health have been long held by Indigenous peoples who understand that relationships between human beings, non-human animals, and the environment are central to health and well-being.
For a lesson that incorporates One Health into the Classroom, visit the tool ‘Off Leash Obstacle.’ This resource (Gr 4-6) was designed in collaboration with Michele Anholt, DVM, PhD, Senior Specialist from the University of Calgary. Resources for other grades are in development.