Australia’s ForestLearning education programme - forest secrets revealed to school students

Authors: Beth Welden
Publication: New Zealand Journal of Forestry, Volume N.Z.J.For. 2021, Issue N.Z.J.For. 66(3) 2021, pp 12-15, Nov 2021
Publisher: New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Abstract: ForestLearning is Australia’s ‘one stop shop’ education programme, providing teachers from Foundation to Year 12 with quality teaching resources aligned to the Australian Curriculum and with a focus on Australian forests and sustainable timber products. Focusing on productive partnerships, relevant and robust resources and strategic promotions, ForestLearning seeks to develop innovative and tech-savvy learning tools, such as virtual reality experiences, to cater for the needs of 21st century learners. Background The Australian primary and secondary education system is a mix of government and privately-run schools that are mostly organised around state or territory jurisdictions and requirements. In May 2009, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), a statutory authority, was established to oversee the implementation of the planned nationwide curriculum initiative. Historically, forestry resources for educators were developed by willing Australian forestry organisations, mostly state forest agencies, to meet state or local requirements. These resources varied in educational rigour, and many lacked any identifiable alignment or relevance to school curricula. Therefore, forestry was neglected as a major primary industry within teaching and learning programmes in Australian schools, particularly in the subject areas of science, design and technologies, agriculture and geography.