1. Welcome to 2018 and a Happy New Year from everyone at NAEE.
Let’s hope it’s a good year for environmental eduction and all who support and practise it.
2. A new website has been launched for the ANGEL project: Academic Network on Global Education & Learning. This will provide a focal point for the project that aims to bring together all those with an interest in research on global education. The site will allow members to share research and news, organise networking, and will also act as a reference point for policy-makers. You are very welcome to apply for your membership now using the online form. Membership is free for 2018 and only takes 5 minutes to apply for, and will gain you access to useful members newsletters, events, and the opportunity to share your research on the ANGEL platform.
3. The London Natural History Museum has a round up on the highlights of 2017. One of these is the erection of the blue whale skeleton in Hintze Hall. You will find the video here.
There is a lot of info on the website, but it’s video of the process that fascinates. 3 minutes 16 seconds seems far too short.
4. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has announcement the launch of the new PISA Global Competence Framework, which will form the basis for the 2018 PISA assessment. You can read more about this significant initiative here. It has been developed by the OECD Directorate of Education and Skills, together with Project Zero at Harvard Graduate School of Education. OECD says:
Learning to participate in interconnected, complex and diverse societies is no longer a luxury but a pressing necessity. Recognising the unique roles that schools play in preparing our youth to participate in our world, PISA has developed a framework to explain, foster and assess adolescents’ global competence. The framework is designed as a tool for policy makers, leaders, and teachers.
5. RSPB asks whether you fancy spending 6 months working in a fantastic place, with fantastic people seeing things you’d never normally see?
It has volunteer internships from March to September 2018 on various UK reserves – Rainham Marshes in Greater London, Minsmere in Suffolk, Pulborough Brooks in West Sussex, Sandwell Valley in Birmingham, Leighton Moss and Ribble Discovery Centre in Lancashire, Saltholme in Teesside, Fairburn Ings in West Yorkshire, Old Moor in South Yorkshire, Conwy in North Wales, and Loch Leven and Lochwinnoch in Central Scotland – and it’s looking for volunteers to deliver clearly defined sessions to groups of up to 30 young people of all ages and abilities throughout our summer season. The closing date is January 22nd.
6. The UK is committed to the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs]. The government says that the most effective way to do this is by ensuring that the Goals are fully embedded in the planned activities of every Government department through the departmental planning process. If you click here, you can see some of the ways that the government is supporting the delivery of the Goals. For Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, the strategies include:
- Close the word gap in the early years
- Close the attainment gap in school while raising standards for all
- Creating high quality technical education options to improve the choice for young people at age 16
7. Environmental Volunteering by young people (aged 16-24) is a new initiative from DEFRA. It is part of the Natural Environment and Rural Evidence Programme and is intended to inform implementation of the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan. The purpose is to review existing evidence and undertake primary research to gain greater insight into young people’s participation in environmental volunteering and inform the best way to increase participation by this age group. You will need to register through the Defra Bravo system in order to express your interest, and to receive and send tender documents. You can do this by following this link.
If you have any problems you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org The deadline is January 17th.
8. New Science Capital Teaching Approach resources from the Enterprising Science project are now available. The ideas for the approach were co-developed and trialled over four years by Enterprising Science researchers and 43 secondary science teachers in England. The pdf version of the teachers’ pack can be downloaded here. The project says:
“Some students struggle to see science as being relevant to their lives and as something that is for them. This can make their engagement with science difficult. This pack will support teachers in helping students find more meaning and relevance in science and, as a result, engage more with the subject. … In the UK and many other countries there are long-standing patterns regarding who continues with science post-16. In the physical sciences— and engineering in particular — women, working-class and some ethnic groups are notably under-represented. There are many reasons for increasing and broadening participation in science. For governments, a key issue is the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to national economic competitiveness, especially given a predicted future skills shortage.”
9. We end this welcome to 2018 with a view from North America. In her final message of last year, Judy Braus, CEO of NAAEE, offered wise words for us all:
“As we close out 2017, it’s a great time to reflect on the progress we’ve made this year and think with optimism about 2018 and beyond. Take a few minutes and think about the positive things that happened this year as a result of the work you did—the things that shined through and made you feel that rush of excitement when you know you had an impact. Education can truly change lives and improve society. It can bring hope and inspiration and empower those who need a boost. It can optimize human potential and open doors to unchartered adventures. It can motivate people of all ages to see their role in the world and take action to create healthier communities. It can also lead to creativity, a love of learning, new insights, and more reflection. And it can build the leaders of the future who know that without a healthy environment we won’t have a healthy anything!”