Deep in the Umgeni Nature Reserve in Howick lies the untapped natural gem known as The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) which is a non-government environmental organisation of South Africa, established in 1926. This site served as the location for a teacher development workshop which took place from the 8th to the 11th of July 2023.
The workshop is a part of a bigger project called The ESD project which is facilitated by the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN) in partnership with WESSA and the Environmental Learning Research Centre (Rhodes University) and funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa. The facilitators of this workshop were Professors Ronicka and Vimolan Mudaly and Doctors Sebastian Sanjigadu, Mzwandile Zulu and Arorisoe Sibanda.
Participants in this project were Science and Mathematics teachers from around the country who are studying towards an Honours Degree in Education at UKZN’s School of Education. The teachers were taken through a series of lectures, presentations, nature walks, and resource-based activities targeted at capacitating teachers with the ability to integrate and teach Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) principles to their learners.
The Fundisa for Change online courses were used as the main resource material for capacitate teachers with the ability engage in their professional development. The ESD Introductory Course with the content, pedagogical, assessment and whole school development components were engaged with as a prelude to various other courses that teachers will be engaging in.
The experience served as a reconnection to nature and the purpose of ESD which is to teach the next generation of South Africans about the importance of Sustainable Development and Climate Change Education.