Eventually, we all made it down to the beach and
some fresh air as I ran a beachcombing activity.
On a cool March Saturday morning, teachers from all around Adelaide (and a few from Port Augusta) were up before dawn and packing their bags for a training weekend on beautiful Kangaroo Island. Some had not been there before, so what a brilliant opportunity to combine some PD with a little tourism!
I was fortunate to be able to car pool with the MESA Treasurer, also a teacher in Adelaide. We met some other teachers on the ferry, which, fortunately, was not too rough and we all carried on to Kingscote.
The weather held off as the participants collected all sorts of beach-washed items including man-made as well as natural objects. I had placed a series of cards with simple words on them, on the ground. The words were adjectives such as: round, smooth, soft, hard, heavy, light, etc. Words that, in the words of one participant, even he could understand!
Objects collected by everyone were placed by each word according to each participant (right) and we ended up with a large diversity of objects. This exercise is amenable to a large range of ages and is excellent for cross-curriculum activities and connections.
After this activity, Kathy Paige & David Lloyd from the School of Education at the University of South Australia, delivered a session on using constructivism and the SACSA curriculum framework for marine education.
Kathy and David are experienced educators and helped to write some of the more recent SSABSA science stuff.
They brought loads of handouts about the praxis of constructivism (of which I have plenty spare) and split the group into primary and secondary teachers for the end of the session.
After a hurried lunch, Lauren Monks, from the Coast & Marine Branch of the Department for Environment & Heritage spoke about the Marine Planning Process and some of the issues that it is attempting to address, including Marine Protected Areas. (Sorry, Lauren, didn't get a decent photo!)
Following Lauren came Tony Flaherty, from the Marine & Coastal Community Network, who has provided most of the photos on this website. (Thanks, Tony.) Tony spoke about the uniqueness of southern Australian temperate waters, as well as some of the threats they face.
The penultimate speaker was Chris Ball, Coast & Marine officer for the Conservation Council of SA (CCSA). Chris spoke about how CCSA's marine program Reef Watch, incorporating the Feral or In Peril project, as well as other ways in which the council is dealing with marine and coastal issues. He was also looking for feedback as to how CCSA could assist schools.
Finally it was my turn to wrap up this part of the day (yes, there is more to come!). I tried to inject some energy into this last presentation. I spoke about several things: first and probably best received was the Jewels of the Sea kits. There are six of these kits available for hire from the Nature Education Centre, Norwood. They are contained in large plastic tubs and are so heavy that they need 2 people to lift them! I unpacked one of these kits in front of the audience and there were lots of oohs and aahs!
I also spoke about MESA and our role in Australian marine education and finished with a few slides of some of the most astonishing South Australian marine life to inspire all those tired educators!
On Sunday our venue was the Kingscote Area School - their generosity was wonderful and gratefully appreciated. They photocopied like mad, and all the teachers attending the workshop brought dishes of food to share during lunch - a BBQ prepared by the school, on site, and a fabulous feast, well done!
The morning focused on the new Coast and Marine Education Framework created by the Department for Environment & Heritage. Our presenter was Jonathon Shankar-Noble. An experienced educator, Jonathon has also worked on some water theme units ('Water - Learning and Living') for one of the water management catchment boards, so this framework ties in well with this previous catchment work.
After a computer-heavy, but fascinating morning
it was finally time for lunch.
On Sat. 1st March, our venue was the Kangaroo Island Marine Centre.
Thank you John, Jenny, Eve and Rose for your fantastic support during the workshop!
Jenny Clapson is one of the Ayliffe family that own the KI Marine Centre. A local artist, her work is for sale in the shop, which she takes care of. Here, she is in deep conversation with Peter Hoskin, MESA Treasurer.
John Ayliffe takes care of the aquaria and animals at the centre. Here he is telling us about some history of the area. Each afternoon at 5 pm he feeds the local pelicans here and tells wonderful stories of their behaviour.
Our venue on Sunday 2nd March was the Kingscote Area School.