Iimbovane preps science educators for effective hands-on science

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On the 4th and 11th of April 2022, the Iimbovane Project lectured the Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) class of 2022.

The class of 44 students, from the SU Faculty of Education, Department of Curriculum Studies, were exposed to a blend of theory and hands-on experience in teaching biodiversity science. It also explored key concepts of biodiversity and classification of living things within the context of the national curriculum.

The first lecture focused on the use of ants as a model for teaching theoretical ecology, for example ecological interactions between species, adaptations, invasions and biological organization and classification.

During the latter part of this lecture, the students used microscopes for observing and identifying the various species of ants.

The second lecture took the students outside and they were engaged in different sampling techniques for collecting various invertebrates – depending on the purpose of the sampling. This took place in the Jan Marais Nature Reserve, Stellenbosch.

Each student also received a ‘Biodiversity starter kit’ that will come in handy in their career as formal, informal, or environmental educator.

Following the two lectures, as part of their PGCE degree requirements, the students had to reflect on and identify aspects of the lectures which they could use to create a lesson plan for learners.

This unique lecture experience was also used to promote environmental education at schools seeing nature as an educator as well as to reflect on themselves as both educators and learners in spaces such as school grounds.

A Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) student sampling ants at the Jan Marais Nature Reserve.