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Teachers' education on environmental resources
Jul 20, 2005
Author: Weedbusters

Teachers in Wanganui next month will have the opportunity to learn more about what Horizons Regional Council can offer schools in the way of resources, support and expertise.

The information session, organised by Horizons Regional Council and the environmental education adviser with Massey University’s College of Education Keith Beautrais, is being held at Wanganui High School on 2 August as part of Conservation Week.

It follows a similar session successfully held in Palmerston North in February this year for the Manawatu/Wanganui branch of the New Zealand Association of Environmental Educators.

One of the organisers of next month’s information session, Craig Davey from Horizons Regional Council, says teachers will be able to access information about the wide range of environmental expertise available to them within their regional council.

“At Horizons we have expertise in natural sciences and soil conservation, along with biodiversity and biosecurity,” Mr Davey says.

“A good example of this is our involvement with the national Weedbusters campaign that aims to educate New Zealanders about the effects of introduced plants on our native flora and landscape, and encourage them to take action in their town. The schools programme is an important part of this initiative, and Weedbusters provides a wide range of support for teachers and schools.

“This meeting will be a great opportunity for local teachers to learn more about how to incorporate environment issues and education into their teaching, and the support networks available to them,” says Mr Davey.

Keith Beautrais has encouraged teachers to register for next month’s session, saying it’s a good opportunity for teachers interested in education that relates to real-world issues.

“It fits with many areas of the curriculum, as well as being a chance for a quick catch up with other educators about how our environmental education is going," Mr Beautrais says.

The organiser of the Palmerston North session earlier this year says it was very successful and well received by educators.

Adie Leng, the Coordinator for Environment Network Manawatu Incorporated, says Horizons Regional Council officers described the broad range of roles they fulfil in assisting the protection of the natural and physical environment.

“Teachers appreciated finding out how these roles can support school environmental programmes, and how different aspects of the environment can be connected and integrated into a project,” Ms Leng says.

“For example, a school wanting to be involved in a local restoration programme (bush, wetland, hillside or riparian) can grow native trees in the Trees for Survival Project, be guided with eco-sourced seed collection, record before and after bush or water monitoring data, and participate in the Weedbusters programme for further support,” she says.

Information about the session can be obtained from: Craig Davey at Horizons Regional Council, Wanganui, ph.3491700, or Keith Beautrais, Massey University College of Edcuation’s Advisor to Schools – Environmental Education, ph 027-6522289