International Diploma on Education in Botanic Gardens
International Diploma in Botanic Garden Education
Every two years between 2006 and 2014, BGCI and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew ran a five week International Diploma on Education in Botanic Gardens. The course saw great success with attendees from every corner of the globe including Oman, Latvia, India, Norway, Argentina and Ireland in attendance.
The programme had a packed itinerary of lectures, workshops and visits to important botanic gardens around the UK. These trips provided the opportunity to learn from and network with experts in the field. A large variety of topics were covered including pedagogy, fundraising, project management and science communication, to ensure the attendees were exposed to all aspects of education planning and delivery. To earn the diploma pupils also had to complete a written project and reflective journal. The course aimed to improve the public education offered by botanic gardens around the world by offering professionals the skills, training and theoretical understanding to develop robust and innovative programmes. In doing so, it addressed target 14 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation which requires that botanic gardens have the ability to communicate science effectively to a range of audiences.
Past pupils highlight the success of the diploma when asked how the course has impacted or improved their work.
• "Big budget is no more a problem, even a small budget is sufficient for imparting basic knowledge regarding conservation aspects." – Hitendra K. Ram, India
• "It was a great opportunity for me to see professional experiences in education, good results, bright people, fantastic places and new possibilities to work with others in the conservation of our plants." – Eugenia Alvarez, Argentina
• "The course has furthered my expertise, experience and resolve to put into practice education about, in and for the environment." – Roberto P. Cereno, Philippines
• "It has provided me with educational, communications, language and managerial skills which I am currently putting into action for efficiency in environmental education." – Godwin Tanda, Cameroon
Future Education Plans for BGCI
Based on the success of the diploma course, BGCI are now looking to move forward and create a new programme. We hope to pilot a new modular course with both online and face-to-face training in 2015.
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