"ENVIRONMENTAL TEACHERS WORKSHOP WITH US SPEAKER HENRY ORTIZ"

AT HUDDARD HIGH SCHOOL, KANPUR

 

(August 3-4, 2006)

 

Eco-Friends in collaboration with Public Affairs Section, US Embassy New Delhi organized two-day workshop (August 3- 4, 2006) in Kanpur,  to train 30 primary, middle and high school teachers on environmental pedagogical techniques.  Henry Ortiz, a Science Advisor and Coordinator of Ecology and Environmental Science programs for the Los Angeles Unified School District conducted the workshop for a mix of government, public and private school participants.  Ortiz designed a mix of indoor and outdoor activities teachers could use in helping students learn the concepts of earth systems through simple practical experiments.  The classroom activities comprised of four 90-minute sessions each on “Looking at earth as a system,” “Engaging students in the study of the environment,” “The need for tools in science monitoring,” and “Data quality, protocols and calibration” based on the GLOBE (Global Learning and Objectives to Benefit the Environment) standards.  The 3 hour outdoor activity was on “‘Weather, atmosphere and hydrology: Mapping, measuring and analyzing data,” held on the banks of the Ganges River.  All teachers who attended the workshop said it is useful to learn the environmental pedagogy used in the Los Angeles area “since they have a very well developed curriculum.”  The Indian Supreme Court passed a law in 2004 which mandated Indian schools to compulsorily and immediately include a subject on environmental studies in all grades from primary to high school.  Since the introduction of the subject last year teachers have been at a loss for classroom techniques to explain environmental concepts to students hence this was a very useful program.  The workshop attracted several Hindi and English media houses.  Several publications had articles on the Kanpur workshop:  “Times of India” and Hindi dailies, “Aaj” and Dainik Jagran.

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