Teacher trainees do schoolyard ecology course
Stabroek News
July 2, 2003

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An innovative teacher training course called Schoolyard Ecology (SYE) was organized last week, mainly in the Greater Georgetown area, through a partnership between the Audubon Society and the Cyril Potter College of Education with support from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Iwokrama International Centre.

According to a press release from Iwokrama, SYE makes the schoolyard accessible to children and teachers as a “living laboratory”. Small portions of the schoolyard become living science labs for students of all ages. Children and teachers can then observe and investigate ecological processes, interactions between species, and the varied effects of human activities using their schoolyards.

From June 19-25, the release said, course participants were busy generating science questions and scientific investigations in the schoolyards of South Ruimveldt Park Primary, Leonora Primary, St. Joseph’s High School, St. Gabriel’s Primary, and Laluni Primary.

The majority of the participants were from the Cyril Potter College of Education. According to the release, these student teachers will be able to make use of the course techniques as they begin their teaching careers. Teachers from area schools, as well as representatives from the Education Department at the EPA also attended the course.

The release noted also that the SYE approach aims to demystify science, stimulate critical thinking, and help children to develop enquiring minds while promoting learning through experience and discovery.

The Audubon Society, founded in 1905, is an environmental organization with a long history of teaching children and adults about nature and has a partnership in Guyana with Iwokrama and the EPA, the release added.