EIT’s education department is about to get a whole lot greener thanks to a partnership with the Cape to City and Poutiri Ao ō Tāne projects.
Cape to City and Poutiri Ao ō Tāne are collaborative large-scale ecological restoration projects in Hawke’s Bay.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was launched today between EIT and the projects. This will formalise the environmental education goals of the initiatives, while also providing EIT students and staff with direct access to innovative and leading-edge conservation.
Dr Jo Blakeley from EIT says she hopes this exciting collaboration will enable EIT students and staff to benefit from direct access to transformational ecological restoration projects in Hawke’s Bay.
“The projects vision of encouraging native species to thrive where we live work and play aligns well with EIT’s vision to engage, inspire, and transform,” adds Professor Nat Waran, executive dean of the Faculty of Education, Humanities and Health.
Initially, Cape to City and Poutiri Ao ō Tāne education coordinators will work with the Bachelors of Teaching (Early Childhood Education and Primary). This will include workshops, resources, and advice on how to get better outcomes for schools and the environment.
By using the environment as a context for learning throughout the curriculum, environmental education no longer needs to be a separate subject, but can be integrated in all subject areas using the resources nature provides. This programme aims to teach trainee teachers how to do this, following on from a three-year pilot programme, which has already been running between the projects and EIT.
It is also hoped that there will be possibilities for wider interaction with other disciplines at EIT, such as horticulture and art and design.
Robyn McCool, a Cape to City education coordinator says “EIT’s desire to engage students in environmental experiences and opportunities aligns perfectly with Cape to City and Poutiri Ao ō Tāne’s goal for citizens to value the importance of biodiversity and act accordingly, so that sustainable behaviours become part of the social norm.”
“‘Nature Literacy’ is an important part of being environmentally responsible. If you don’t know about it, you can’t care about it!” adds Mrs McCool.
The agreement is to be reviewed annually.
2 September 2019
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