1. Teacher Development Programme

Interactive teacher workshops that are linked to the Fundisa for Change programme aim to equip educators, educators in-training and education officials with knowledge and skills that can be used in the classroom.

Teachers participate/engage in activities linked to the theme Biodiversity highlighting the importance of biodiversity, current status of biodiversity globally and in South Africa,  the threats and pressures to biodiversity, responses to the loss of biodiversity as well as highlighting the findings from the 2018 NBA report) for a full NBA report please follow the link provided here.

Teachers are also given an opportunity to engage on practical activities such as investigating where the topic of biodiversity is located within the National Curriculum Statement and are assisted to develop lessons based on the biodiversity of their local context. If the workshop is based at the Kirstenbosch NBG, the participants are taken into the Garden and shown various teaching and learning activities based on the topic.

Sustainable Development

Workshop participants play the sustainability game and then develop their own definition of sustainability. A discussion about the history of the term ‘sustainable development’ leads to an understanding of the current four dominant perspectives of this topic.

They are shown graphs of the current ‘ecological footprints’ of the various countries of the world which illustrate the disproportionate resource usage globally. An article illustrating the production of a cotton T-shirt is used as the focus of an activity which interrogates the idea that modern production processes of everyday items use and waste large amounts of resources.

Using a newspaper article which describes the tension between the need for housing development and the need to conserve the critically endangered vegetation type on a particular site, the participants develop and act out a role-play thus illustrating the various viewpoints within this issue.

Global Warming and Climate Change

Various activities (a picture-building activity, viewing a screening of the film “An Inconvenient Truth” and a Power Point presentation) are used to assist participants to develop an understanding of the concepts. This is followed by an activity which allows the participants to understand how closely lives and livelihoods depend upon a predictable climate.

The current climate change predictions for South Africa forms the basis for an activity in which the participants investigate the predicted effects of climate change on agriculture, biomes, spread of diseases, etc. in South Africa. Finally, both mitigation and adaptation solutions are brainstormed and discussed in the light of the National Climate Change Response White Paper.

Active Learning Framework

This framework is ideal for the development and implementation of environmental action projects in a local context. Workshop participants are introduced to the framework via a PowerPoint presentation. They then use newspaper articles illustrating various environmental issues together with the active learning framework as a basis for developing theoretical environmental action projects which are shared with the group. They are then required to start the development of an environmental action project for their own school context.

Ad hoc Workshops

These are facilitated in response to specific requests from different educational organisations. Some examples of these workshops are Resource Development, Science Process Skills, Science and Maths in Early Learning Childhood Development and Environmental Education Activities for In-Training Educators.

2. Careers programme

University Careers Expo

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden participates in various career fairs around the Western Cape Province where Universities host the events. The career fair involves students in the Environmental Science Field and expose them to different careers within SANBI. Various opportunities such as Scholarships, Bursaries, Jobs and Internship opportunities are shared with the students. Students are given an opportunity to interact with a number of SANBI staff members and ask questions about opportunities at SANBI as well as offering advice on career choices.

High School Careers Expo

The High School Careers Expo involves selected groups of high school learners interacting with a number of SANBI directorates and units (especially within the Research Division) as well as external organisations in a highly structured manner. The aim is for learners to engage with information about a variety of biodiversity careers as well as which university courses to study directly from practitioners.

Primary School Careers Visit

The Primary School Careers visit involves the primary school learners doing research on biodiversity careers, developing and eventually presenting small dramas or role-plays to illustrate their selected career. This fun-filled, dress-up activity has proven to be really successful because the learners realise that they need to maintain certain science subjects into high school if they wish to follow a particular biodiversity career path.

Contact us:
Gold Fields Education Centre
Omphile Khutsoane
Tel: 021 799 8670/22
E-mail: o.khutsoane@sanbi.org.za

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