How to engage in richer conversations – Part 1

Whether you are in the YMP or are part of any other learning setting wouldn’t you sometimes like to engage in deeper conversations with your classmates? A conversation topic that I find powerful is how we apply the things we learn in our lives. Why is this powerful?

Communicating and discussing a new topic learned can be interesting, it is an effective way to deepen your understanding, and it may allow you to know the other person better. “What kind of communication is this”, you may wonder? Interestingly in many cases we do not engage in conversations related to what we learn at school, and other learning settings, in part because it is considered “un-cool”.  Perhaps the reason for this is because we are not familiar with connecting what we learn with our daily activities or with what happens around us.

In the YMP discussing the connection between concepts learned in sustainable development and your daily life with other students and teachers around the world is easy and exciting. Imagine, you not only test and experiment new knowledge in your life, but you also see it tested in the life of other young people around the world. You learn globally and locally!

How do you do this?

Make questions. Ask!

When I asked on the learning platform, “Have you tried adopting a more sustainable habit in your life?” I got these answers:

I’m trying to use less washing powder when doing the laundry. Perhaps the pollution caused by chemicals does more harm to the earth (than) the wasting of water … Wang Xiyue (student – China) This answer poses a good sustainability question: What causes more harm, and more environmental and social costs, the chemicals used in our products or the amount of water we use along with those products? Wang Xiyue is making the effort to modify his consumption pattern instead of putting all the cost on the environment. Is that easy? What does it take? How about environment friendly detergent? It is a substitute good. Is it affordable? How would you minimise the use of water and washing substances? Do we always need to use soup, washing powder and detergents? Many questions and creative conversations can derive from this. We just need to ask! If you are in the YMP review your classroom stories, you may find that another student or teacher has already posted a question or comment to you!

India has many sustainable practices. While they are considered primitive by the current generations, with the new focus on sustainability they appear to be the way to go … The practice of eating on a banana leaf. The fresh banana plant leaves are cut, washed and put on the floor in a line and fresh food is served on them. They are discarded after the meal and the discarded leaves may be eaten by the animals perhaps or may get disintegrated as the case may be. In both cases it is good for nature. No plastic / disposal plates menace.Sailaja Chintalagiri (teacher – India) It was interesting to know about this practice and it even gives an idea for a product to develop in my country. Now I ask you: Would eating on a banana leaf plate work in your country? (let me know in the comments section at the end of this article!)

Some questions have conversation power others not. If a question does not work, try another one, or another person, or occasion! Sometimes it can feel scary to ask, but once you do it the fear and doubts are gone!

Talking about what you learn and try is cool, fun and gives credits in the YMP. Making the connections between new concepts, ideas, and your life, while also discussing them with others makes any learning received long lasting. This can make your studies in general more efficient!

Remember that commenting in the YMP gives you credits! Bring value to your communication, you can do it, and the world today needs it!

How often do you talk about what you learn at school or the YMP with friends or family?  Leave your comment!

Try it this week. Choose a topic or a difficult concept that you have learned at school or in the YMP. Discuss it with a friend, family member, or on your YMP classroom. You may find a different way to understand it or realise how it is linked to your daily life. Share your comments and experience below.

Just click on “Leave a reply“!

Written by Paola Mendoza – YMP Team

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30 thoughts on “How to engage in richer conversations – Part 1

  1. Hai every1,
    I think sharing the views may help in understanding the subjects in a better way.It is always good to share things than to have a one sided view.
    I hope this blog will help students and others involved in YMP to have a greater knowledge on the happenings in the ymp global classroom.I suggest that blogging and sharing helps me to come to conclusive opinion on things .

    • HI Indu! I fully agree with you “it is always good to share things than to have a one sided view”. A broader view of things (ideas, problems, attitudes, conceptions, …) brings better understanding, a key in finding more inclusive solutions to problems of common goods and common interests.

      I look forward to reading more of your conclusions and opinions Indu!

  2. Whenever the time permits ! like talking in lunch time- Our most favourite topic is Transportation. Now in summer vacation i and my friend Aadit are meeting twice a week and i am showing this YMP missions as well as Assignments of others. He is really amazed to see this. This is how i am sharing my knowledge with my friends.

  3. i want to share my experiences with students exchange between Austria and Thailand. a rich diversity of topics and a focus on sustainability…

    • Hi Albert! I saw the pictures with the students. Looks like a lot of fun. Your site is in German so I could only be guided by the pics. Would you write about “brgnewuleoben schule” and the exchange activities. It will be interesting to know and perhaps anybody else reading this could find it interesting. Thank you!

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  4. Pingback: Teaching and learning sustainable development in an international environment. YMP teacher experience | YMP Blog

  5. That is really good. If your cousin suggested this to you, you are lucky for having such a supportive person in your family! This blog post was inspired by many courageous students that have dared to ask questions related to their troubles, and that have been generous in sharing their challenges in this topic. So thank you all those courageous students. It is also interesting that the question(s) and challenges of one are also the questions and challenges of others. So it takes one daring person to start the conversation that can benefit many others.

    • Are you between 15-18 years old? Then you can join the YMP for free, get other friends from your school and take the YMP journey. You will:
      – learn much more about the main topics related to sustainable development
      – learn the views of this topic(s) from other young people around the world
      – make international contacts with young people around the world
      – get a diploma if you complete the free course
      – and more!

      Have a look at! Sign in and if you want to take the free course, you are more than welcome! Check it out!

  6. Its such as you read my thoughts! You appear to understand so much about this, like you wrote the e book in it or something. I feel that you simply could do with some p.c. to force the message home a bit, but other than that, that is great blog. A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.

  7. Thank you Bethany! And also for the link, that call seems very interesting and you are sending it perfect in time to prepare something!

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