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Nov 30, 2009

Learning With Nature

Learning with Nature from Chester Zoo - North of England Zoological Society  
Learning with Nature: taking students back 400 years to a pristine Mauritius 

Ile aux Aigrettes is a coral island – a 26 ha Nature Reserve off the coast of Mauritius and leased by the government of Mauritius to the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation.

Chester Zoo works in partnership with MWF across a range of conservation initiatives, now including schools’ education. In May 2009 the official launch of ‘Leaning with Nature’ took place. This launch was the culmination of three years of planning between MWF and the Education Division at Chester Zoo. During this time the island and the MWF staff have been made ready to deliver immersive conservation education to local secondary school students and their teachers.

Through a process of consultation, the institutional aims of MWF were carefully married to the schools’ syllabus, for without clear links to the curriculum and exam content it was thought highly unlikely that the project would attract teacher support. Four secondary schools, 119 students and 12 teachers took part in the pilot that was part of the launch. Post-visit evaluation was carried out in schools; teachers were interviewed and students completed concept maps and written accounts. Teachers were satisfied that curriculum needs were met and students demonstrated understanding of the impact of alien species, including humans, on endemic flora and fauna.

The official launch attracted Government Officials, VIPs and the media thus raising the profile of both MWF and Chester Zoo. The CEO of Chester Zoo attended the launch which was broadcast on national television. 

Developed by:  Chester Zoo - North of England Zoological Society 


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