Welcome to the Environmental Learning Research Centre
The Environmental Learning Research Centre is a new facility at Rhodes University for teaching and research in environmental education. It houses a post-graduate programme in environment and sustainability education, a social learning research network, and an internationally recognised research programme focussing on environmental learning, agency and societal change; and associated implications for education and training systems in South Africa. The ELRC also hosts a number of community engaged programmes and projects, which form part of our Sustainability Commons initiative. The Sustainability Commons is a social learning project which is an integral part of the Makana Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development.
To learn about campus-wide environmental initiatives, visit: http://www.ru.ac.za/environment
The African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) recently agreed that it was necessary to develop an African Environmental Education and Training Action Plan to guide regional organisations, donors and national governments. African Ministers, in their 14th session and via the Arusha Declaration that emanates from this meeting, agreed to strengthen environmental education and training and develop an action plan for Africa, covering formal and non-formal education, capacity building and information networking components, among others, and to explicitly include a focus on technology enhanced learning in this action plan. ...read more
Many Canadians have become increasingly uncomfortable with their government’s movement towards a right-wing corporatist agenda. Those of us with environmental concerns were particularly embarrassed when our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, travelled to the Copenhagen climate conference (COP 15) for the purpose of blocking progress towards a meaningful international agreement. A frequently used excuse is that our economy is a priority; we cannot afford to take action; or, it would cost too many jobs. Yet, somehow there isn’t a sufficiently strong rejection of this narrative in our country to overturn his actions. We know that the outlook for future generations on a severely degraded earth is bleak, perhaps even catastrophic. Yet, when confronted with radically opposing views, we cannot seem to connect all of the dots and make a break from the economic narratives and cultural metaphors that dominate contemporary discourse in our country, and elsewhere. They are, in short, thoroughly normalized. ...read more
Professor Bob Jickling, from Lakehead University is visiting ELRC, RU for three weeks. Bob Jickling is Professor Emeritus at Lakehead University where he taught environmental, experiential, and outdoor education and environmental philosophy. He founded the Canadian Journal of Environmental Education (1996) and more recently Co-Chaired the 5th World Environmental Education Congress in Montreal (2009). He has also received the North American Association of Environmental Education’s Awards for Outstanding Contributions to: Research (2009) and Global Environmental Education (2001). As a long-time wilderness traveller much of his inspiration is derived from the landscape of Canada’s Yukon. ...read more
Sequel to the ‘celebrating 'four' PhD graduates in 2013 - part one’ article, the entire Environmental Learning Research Centre (ELRC), Rhodes University community of practice is proud to present to you her newest and outstanding ‘Dr’s in the house’. Their significant contributions to environmental learning and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), including remarkable comments from their examiners are as follows:...read more
The prestigious Environmental Learning Research Centre (ELRC), Rhodes University is proud to announce the graduation of her four PhD scholars this year (2013). Namely: Dr Clayton Zazu, Dr Charles Chikunda, Dr Ingrid Joan Schudel and Dr Dylan Kenneth McGarry. Look out for details of their important contributions to environmental learning and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in a follow-up article. Including a glimpse of their graduation ceremony....read more
CATHSSETA (Culture Arts Tourism Hospitality Sport Sector Education and Training Authority), in conjunction with GreenMatterza (the engine for growing BioDiversity skills and developing the right people at the right time for the green economy) is providing the means and platform to support a university-based research programme in HCD (Human Capital Development) for BioDiversity sector. ...read more
The Faculty of Education is currently advertising the 2013-2014 Masters degrees programme. These include masters in environmental education, masters in geography education, and masters in science education. All three degree programmes address issues of educational quality and relevance, within a wider vision which critically probes the role of education in contributing to just and sustainable societies. The degrees foreground theoretical and practical knowledge of Environmental, Science and Geography Education; while also addressing wider education and learning questions in society such as: education and inequality; education and access to learning; and education for sustainable futures. ...read more
The building of the Environmental Learning Research Centre (ELRC), an important, significant and timely university-community facility at Rhodes University (RU) was officially opened today 13th September, 2012. The meeting commenced with a welcome address by the Director of the centre, a rear gem and the ‘golden girl of the Rhodes University’, who has held the Murray and Robert Chair of Environmental Education at Rhodes University since 1990, Prof Heila Lotz-Sisitka. In her address she acknowledged the presence and impact of people who have made the centre what it is today, without which the ELRC would have been nameless.
The ELRC was developed as a partnership between the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), the Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs (DEDEA), Makana Municipality and Rhodes University, with funding that was channelled through the South African National Biodiversity Institute as part of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), in order to develop the Makana Botanical Gardens and link it to the education activities in the university and community.
The Umthathi Training Project, located in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape has a new Director in the person of Mumsie Gumede who took over from Marlene Mitchener this year. Today, Friday 7th September, the Environmental Learning Research Centre (ELRC) staff members and postgraduate students, including the representatives of the SADC REEP, and the 2012 RU/SADC REEP Alumni made a grand visit to the Umthathi Training Project to joyfully welcome the new Director....read more
As the second week RU/SADC ESD Leadership alumni course 2012 ends, the class had a fantastic time with Michelle Craig, who came to ELRC from WESSA to facilitate a workshop in which waste cardboards were used to make earrings , necklaces and bracelets. In a space of 15 minutes on the minimal, participants were engaged in the activity/demonstration as Michelle unrolled the interesting hands on activity in paper crafts. She works for WESSA in the department of Education and finance and whenever an opportunity avails itself, she said “I get my self involved in learning more crafts skills in order to share more ... and I also do embroidery, chokers, crocheting and knitting, skills which I learnt when I was five....read more
SAHRA/Rhodes University Integrated Heritage Resources Management Practice (IHRMP) Certificate course
Following its official launch on the 7th of May 2012 by the minister of Arts and Culture, honorable Paul Mashatile, this professional development course has now gained ground with the first group of participants graduating on the 19th of October 2012. A total of 40 participants drawn from diverse heritage management sectors in South Africa are taking part in the course. The diversity of participants and the experiences which each of them brings into the course provides good ground for learning and adds value to the course. The IHRMP certificate course is aimed at helping heritage practitioners, to improve their practice. ...read more
The prestigious Environmental Learning Research Centre (ELRC), Rhodes University is proud to announce the graduation of her four PhD scholars this year (2013). Namely: Dr Clayton Zazu, Dr Charles Chikunda, Dr Ingrid Joan Schudel and Dr Dylan Kenneth McGarry. ...read more