University-College education partnership
The strategic partnership between Wellington College of Education and Victoria University is delivering dividends with the two organisations planning to jointly provide environmental advice to the region’s teachers.
The College is one of six providers nationally contracted to the Ministry of Education to provide a free advisory service for teacher professional development to kura and primary and secondary schools in the greater Wellington region. The Ministry has recently extended the contract to include providing environmental education co-ordination.
Instead of creating a new curriculum, the environmental education advisers will work with schools and teachers to integrate environmental concepts into the mainstream curriculum through workshops and developing a database of environmental education providers. They will also provide advice to schools wanting to implement more sustainable practices in their curriculum, property management, waste and energy management.
Janet Hay, WCE’s Director of School Support Services, said the College’s developing partnership with Victoria provided an opportunity to give the work a new edge.
“The alliance with Victoria meant we could tap into the wealth of the University’s knowledge to give added value to the service we provide.”
Laurie Jackson, Director of Victoria’s Environmental Studies Programme, says she was excited about becoming involved with the environmental advisers and their work.
“Environmental studies are inherently interdisciplinary, drawing not only on people in earth and biological sciences but in law, public policy and many other areas. We see Victoria’s staff as acting as a great resource for the advisers, not only our knowledge but also our contacts with people who are providing education in this area already.”
Dr Jackson said there were many ways in which environmental concepts could be incorporated into the wider curriculum. “In history, for example, students learn about the growth of the Roman Empire but what students often aren’t told is that they completely deforested North Africa to build their ships and buildings and such was the environmental effect that it turned the area into a desert.”
Issued by Victoria University Public Affairs. For more information, contact public affairs adviser Antony Paltridge by email: Antony.Paltridge@vuw.ac.nz or 04 463 5873