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BGCI Response to Survey of Education Materials

The survey on BGCI’s education provision was carried out in September / October 2006.  Since then, the education department have been making a number of improvements and developments, based on the suggestions and findings of the survey.


Roots

Finding 

Not all members receive Roots

Outcome

We shall market Roots and the need for it to be sent to education officer by:

  • promoting it further on the website
  • putting notes on envelopes – for the attention of education providers in the garden
  • announcing the next issue in Cuttings
  • if people are not members of BGCI already we should run a subscription drive for education membership

Finding

More users access the web materials of the resources section than hardcopy resources

Outcome

We are increasing the number of web materials recommended in the resources section of Roots.

Finding

84% of respondents said they found the different language sections useful

Outcome

We are continuing the translated sections of Roots

Finding

Respondents seem happy with the content of Roots – either asking for more of what we already provide, or the same amount.  However, thoughts were divided almost equally on whether we should have more or the same amount of theory and research and contributions from botanic gardens. 

Outcome

We may have to investigate this further before altering the content of Roots.

Finding 

Respondents are keen to get involved with Roots

Outcome

We shall be using the contact details provided to obtain articles and employing the suggestions for topics over the next few issues.  We shall make forthcoming themes more widely known (e.g. through the website, Education e-update and list serves) so that potential authors can offer to share their experiences on the subject.

Finding

Topics selected for future issues were Education for Sustainability, Interpretation, Marketing education programmes, Working with school gardens and Using volunteers. 

Outcome

The next issue of Roots is on education for sustainability, with a  focus on water


BGCI Education website

Finding

Respondents were keen to see further development of the website – the top five preferred developments are more case studies, on-line training courses for educators, more education resources or tool kits, links to education research and reviews of education resources.

Outcome

Case studies – we have added over 100 additional case studies to the website, by making all the past education congress proceedings available to download as individual papers – have a look at

We have also made all the back issues of Roots, the education review, available to download either as web page or as PDFs. 

On-line training courses:  we have developed  a proposal for funding for a an on-line training course for site-based educators.  This would be a big project, and would need a lot of funding support but we are very excited about the possibility and will keep you informed of any developments

Education resources or tool kits: the resources and tool kits we already have, the environmental education, education for sustainable development and interpretation guidelines we already have, are all available to download from the website, see education links page for all the most relevant material for BG educators.  Sections from these materials and other sources have also been developed into a  series of ‘How-to’ guides, covering topics such as running education programmes, suing themes, planning trails and decide on educational approaches. 

Links to education research: We are currently working n this, developing a basic list of key journals and review papers to help educators interested in research.  This should be available soon – we will produce a news article when it is done.

Reviews of education resources: We have also refurbished the resources section on the  website, with website links and resources reviews . The resources section from Roots available electronically, within  the Roots archive.  We need more input from you – with your own 100 – 200 word reviews of your favourite resources to populate this section of the website, contribute by using the education news form.

Finding

The least preferred response was the BGCI members only area with exclusive content

Outcome

We will not be restricting access to the education area of the website.

Future developments

Finding

87% of respondants were interested in having an international education list serve – 87%.  The on-line learning course was also a popular idea, with 71% feeling that it would be valuable to participate in.  Interestingly, 20% responded ‘don’t know’ – this may be a reflection of the need to find out more about the idea before giving an opinion

Outcome

We are looking to develop a list serve (probably through Yahoo) for the international botanic garden education community. If anyone has any good ideas about this, they would be most welcome

We have also written intial proposals for developing an on-line distance learning programme.  Watch this space for developments.

If you have any queries about this, do get in touch, education@bgci.org

   
 
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Roots is a bi-annual international education review and essential reading for anyone working in the area of environmental education. Content is in English, French and Spanish. You can receive your own personal copy hot off the press, with the BGCI Education Pack. Click the pic to find out how...