Dr Jennifer Pearson is the President of the national Australian Association for Environmental Education Inc (AAEE) and the Convenor of the WA Chapter. Dr Pearson will deliver the keynote “Professional development needs of waste and water industry trainers to educate for sustainability” at Flourishing Futures forum in Perth this week. The conference is an event organised by the Western Australian 2014 graduates of the Vocational Graduate Certificate in Education and Training for Sustainability (VGC ETfS) – also known as the Sustainability Champions program.
We spoke to Dr Pearson this week about sustainability education and industry trainers.
SESA Project – Thanks for joining us. What makes professional development work for sustainability?
“Providing quality professional development opportunities to orientate teams to understand and incorporate Education for Sustainability (EfS) principles into forward planning models, requires time and precious resources commitment from stretched budgets. SESA is refining the what to deliver, how to deliver, in time and effectiveness of delivery of a range of units to engage with the core business principles of making sure EfS guides the changes required by ‘Smart Leaders’.”
SESA Project – Why do you advocate a diverse range of professional range experiences for educators to build sustainability?
“For those workplaces with a diverse range of skills across their existing teams it is a challenge to provide a ‘once size fits all’ professional development. What knowledge, skills and attitudes are required by your administrator, the scientist, the project manager etc? While an EfS 101 could be essential to drive shared experiences and understandings of how to effect change, a vibrate team needs diverse learning experience to enable them to consider issues and program implementation from a range of perspectives.”
SESA Project – Step us through the importance of transformative learning to the sector
“While many organizations and government bodies agree that the community requires education around issues that they consider important it is often carried out as ‘passive transmission’ through brochures. For ‘transformative learning’ to occur requires educators to understand the complexities of issues and the ability to deliver a personal deep learning experience. In our busy working environments time for thoughtful reflection can be difficult to achieve but the SESA modules are including this as a matter of priority. Using online methods, through mentoring strategies, to engage across sectors, states and organizations will deliver this timely and important aspect for individuals and teams.”
Dr Jennifer Pearson is the President of the national Australian Association for Environmental Education Inc (AAEE) and the Convenor of the WA Chapter.
In her role as President of AAEE, she has been an active member of the Skilling Educators for Sustainability Australia (SESA) steering committee. Jennifer has a teaching & lecturing career spanning over 30 years working with early years, primary, secondary and tertiary pre-service teachers in science and technology & enterprise learning areas.
Her passion is for Education for Sustainability (EfS) and she was instrumental in initiating the Australian Schools Initiative in WA. Jennifer has also initiated and driven the Little Green Steps program that works with the early years sector to skill practioners in EfS in the 0-8 years.
In the last few years of her working career she also worked with a Junior Gold mining company as their environmental manager. A short contract with Air Quality division of DER saw her skills reactivate the CleanRun EcoDrive program which up skills fleets of trucks drivers to conserve resources and reduce air pollution. Jennifer is currently volunteering to support the work of Little Green Steps implementation into the WA early years sector.
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