Friday, February 6, 2015
Staff from Salthaven Wildlife Rehabilitation and Rescue Centre visited the Faculty of Education today to kick off a day-long series of professional learning and development sessions for the Faculty’s Bachelor of Education students.
The staff discussed the importance of conservation and the proper way to treat wild animals, but within the context of thinking outside the standard curriculum to find new ways of engaging students in learning.
“We wanted to come in here and get to the next generation of teachers,” said Andrea Wishart, Education coordinator with Salthaven. “It’s important to show them there are various ways they can teach and engage children in the classroom.”
The Salthaven team does targeted presentations, by age, to help teachers engage students in a number of standard concepts and topics. Each presentation features a variety of animals that can help teach students, like using Chaucar, the Laggar Falcon, to discuss the physics of flight.
Chaucar was brought to the Salthaven team after a runner found him hanging upside down a tree branch by leather tresses attached to his legs.
“He’d belonged to a Falconer, and had evidently gotten away one day,” said Wishart. “He was emaciated and dehydrated when we got him, but we nursed him back to health.”
Normally, the Centre releases all rehabilitated animals back into the wild, but because Lagger Falcons are from Southern Asia, Chaucar couldn’t be released outside his native environment. Instead, he became an educational bird and now spends his days visiting students with the Salthaven staff.
Involving students in learning in unique ways is incredibly important, said Anna Zuber, manager of the Bachelor of Education program.
“We encourage our teacher candidates to think outside the box in terms of engaging students,” said Zuber. “The same concepts can be taught in a number of ways, and no two children are the same, so it’s great to have variety.”
The day also featured a number of student-led educational sessions, on topics ranging from art to aboriginal students to space.