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Earthwatch at 50: Ben Sperring's story

In 2012, Earthwatch Europe set up Teach Earth, an 18-month programme of environmental education focused on getting kids outdoors as citizen scientists and making the natural environment their classroom. It complements Initial Teacher Training across the country and includes interactive online and in-college learning sessions. Teach Earth has partnered with the London East Teacher Training Alliance since 2017. Ben Sperring is Director of Teaching School there.

“Our trainees serve inner city communities where opportunities for outdoor activity and connections to nature are few. Outdoor activity promotes healthy and active lifestyles, provides children with direct contact with nature and promotes exploration, experimentation and discovery. To ensure children have access to these opportunities, trainee teachers need confidence, subject knowledge and pedagogical skills to move learning outdoors.”

The unique programme gives trainee teachers the tools to lead outdoor experiments through citizen science, incorporating science, the environment and the UN Sustainable Development Goals with the National Curriculum.

“We know that the workshops have an impact because we have observed trainees applying their new knowledge and skills in the outdoor classroom - and student engagement is high” said Ben.

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