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Classrooms brought to life: Rio Tinto Earth Assist

Woods-McConney, A., Roe, K. and Burgess, M. (2019) Classrooms brought to life: Rio Tinto Earth Assist. Murdoch University. School of Education

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Abstract

The Rio Tinto Earth Assist Program (RTEA) is an innovative approach to linking schools with conservation and land management throughout Western Australia. Since its inception in 2009, Conservation Volunteers Australia has run the Rio Tinto funded program which has grown and evolved to deliver tailored programs to primary and secondary schools across the metropolitan region and throughout the state. The Living Classroom program has evolved from being designed for primary schools to becoming a program run in primary and secondary schools and involves activities such as creating a vegetable garden, building native bee boxes or constructing a frog pond on school grounds. The Community Service Program is an excursion designed for secondary students to actively participate in conservation projects such as weed abatement, rubbish collection and native vegetation surveys.

In 2015, to meet part of the funding agreement, Conservation Volunteers Australia engaged Murdoch University (MU) to conduct a longitudinal study from 2015 to 2018 to measure the direct and indirect impacts and effectiveness of RTEA on participating schools and students. The evaluation was designed to offer formative feedback throughout the research period to enable RTEA to adapt and modify processes and programs for improved delivery and to better align with deliverables and key performance indicators.

During the four years, data was collected through teacher surveys, student pre and post surveys and student focus group sessions. Additional information was also gained though administrative data and regular collaboration with the CVA and RTEA staff. Throughout the research period, MU provided regular feedback to RTEA and CVA in the form of recommendations, based on early data analysis. Many recommendations were implemented and program improvements were observed, and some key recommendations were not implemented. This report presents a comprehensive view of RTEA activities from 2015 to 2018 against the deliverables and key performance indicators provided to CVA by Rio Tinto.

Publication Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation: Education
Series Name: Report prepared for RTEA
Publisher: Murdoch University. School of Education
Copyright: © 2019 Copyright Murdoch University.
Related URLs:
United Nations SDGs: Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/54619
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