HOW communities respond to natural disasters is one element delegates to the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education biennial conference will be exposed to, beginning January 15th.
This conference comes at the end of the United Nations Decade for Education for Sustainable Development. It is a chance for educators to reflect on what has been achieved over those 10 years and to celebrate the 30th birthday of the association. Delegates come from all corners of New Zealand and as far away as the United Kingdom with presenters from the USA, Papua New Guinea and Australia.
Delegates will be welcomed with a mihi whakatau on Wednesday followed by a panel presentation by a dynamic team from Ngai Tahu. The afternoon is turned over to experiential journeys to showcase the wonderful, sustainable projects going on all over Christchurch at the grassroots, community level. These journeys will end at the University of Canterbury where Dr Mike Brown will give a keynote on place based education in the outdoors.
The programme on Thursday aims to shake delegates up with respect to their perceptions, programmes, practices and political activities with keynotes by leading academics Dr Bronwyn Hayward (University of Canterbury) and Dr Niki Harre (University of Auckland). Friday’s programme opens with an address by US educationalist Professor Greg Smith from Lewis & Clark Graduate School in Portland, Oregon. Greg has been training teachers on environmental issues for a number of years with the aim of implementing sustainability projects in schools. In his keynote he will address the issue of grounding sustainability education in place and community.
The conference will round off on Friday with an Open Spaces session facilitated by the inimitable Margaret Jefferies of Project Lyttelton fame, well known for her skills in helping people explore the ideas they may have and bringing them to fruition.
More information on the conference programme can be found here: www.nzaeeconference.co.nz