First Teacher Training Workshop Hosted by Neotropical Environmental Education Program
Marta Curti— 31 October 2005 — in Neotropical Environmental Education Program ShareFor the past two years, we at Fondo Peregrino-Panama’s Neotropical Environmental Education Program have been working on an educational guide based on birds of prey, designed for teachers working with students from kindergarten through sixth grade. The guide, entitled “Las Aves Rapaces” (Raptors), contains five chapters on the biology, taxonomy, cultural importance and conservation of raptors and a sixth chapter with a variety of educational activities that use birds of prey to teach concepts in language, science, art, math and even physical education. With the help of Panama’s Ministry of Education, we hope to distribute these guides to teachers and schools throughout the country. As a means to better ensure that the guides will be utilized once in teachers’ hands and that they won’t simply sit on a shelf collecting dust, we knew it would be essential to train teachers in the use of this guide.
During the last week of October we hosted the first teacher training workshop for twelve of the thirteen regional coordinators in the country. The workshop began with a tour of the Neotropical Raptor Center where participants came face to face with a live Harpy Eagle and were able to observe the captive breeding pairs on television monitors. We then traveled to Gamboa, where the remainder of the workshop took place. We were staying in an old three story home, converted into a guest house, which is situated along the edge of the Neotropical forest. Upon our arrival and throughout the course, we were visited by coatimundis, agoutis, monkeys, and a number of colorful birds, like the Red-legged Honeycreeper, the Blue-gray and Scarlet-rumped Tanagers, and the White-necked Jacobin, all of which added to the overall ambiance and enjoyment of the course.
This workshop was conducted over a two and a half day period and was a condensed version of the 40-hour workshop we will begin giving to teachers this year. We used this initial course as a “trial run” and we are very happy with the results. We received nothing but positive responses and the only complaint was that the course was not long enough.
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