Agriculture’s place in the national school curriculum received a boost recently thanks to the combined efforts of Australia’s rural CRCs and educators.
The country’s agricultural students now have more access to the latest educational tools and resources thanks to the enterprising work of the Armidale-based Poultry Cooperative Research Centre (CRC).
Poultry CRC representatives joined Australia’s agricultural teachers at the University of Queensland’s Gatton Campus last month for the National Association of Agricultural Educators’ 16th Biennial Conference.
The Poultry CRC sponsored the event, which included the launch of the Primary Industries Education Foundation (PIEF) and a Teacher’s Resource Kit developed by the CRC.
The Poultry CRC’s former Education Coordinator, Julie Roberts, and Communication Manager, Chris Day, along with Farmgate Training’s Susan Gleeson (who helped develop the Teacher’s Resource Kit), met with ag teachers from across the country, distributing more than 50 kits and receiving orders for at least 30 more, which are provided free to Australian schools.
Feedback from the teachers was extremely positive, with several teachers expressing their delight that such a valuable resource was available.
The kits feature poultry-related educational resources developed by the Poultry CRC, the Australian Chicken Meat Federation, the Australian Egg Corporation and the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Chicken Meat Program, including books, DVDs, posters and classroom activities. The CRC’s award-winning Poultry Hub website (poultryhub.org) complements the kit with a variety of online resources including a poultry encyclopaedia.
The place of agricultural education in the national curriculum was a key topic at the conference, and Tocal College’s Dr Cameron Archer gave teachers an update on the development of the PIEF, which encourages primary industries education in schools through a partnership between industry, government and educators.
The Poultry CRC is in a transitional phase following its successful bid for a second term, and its new education program will focus on building on the solid foundation provided by the first CRC since its inception in 2003.
The response to the Kit was incredible, said Julie Roberts, who finished her stint with the CRC last year to return to her position at the University of New England.
“The new CRC has a terrific platform to build from,” she said. “It was great to be able to contribute to the agricultural curriculum through my role at the CRC and I’m confident my successor will hit the ground running with the new Poultry CRC in 2010.”