What is the project about?
The ‘Voices of the Future’ Project is a three-year large project, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, which is working with six universities to re-imagine the relationship between children and trees. At the heart of the project is a conviction that if all children understood, if possible first hand, the science of carbon capture in trees, and were able to go out and be involved in Treescapes, the future of the planet would be more hopeful.
The project is aiming to work with diverse children and young people across primary and secondary schools to re-imagine the curriculum with regard to trees. We will be working with children to measure below-ground root cover to see how much carbon dioxide trees take out of the atmosphere. We will also be examining children’s diverse relationships with trees – for instance looking at trees in literature and in the past and thinking about multilingualism and trees.
We are looking for teachers – primary or secondary – to take part in our curriculum building project. This might involve you running a small ‘tree project’ in your own school and evaluating how the materials and the ideas worked. It might involve you visiting our case study schools in Great Manchester or Aberdeen and linking your school with our schools. We are keen to hear from schools in both rural and urban areas as ‘tree twinning’ urban with rural trees, with a view to measure the carbon sequestration of each, is part of our plan.
What will this involve?
We would like to mentor up to 6 teachers over this academic year to be ‘curriculum developers’ for our project. This could include some on-line discussions with our team. Two members of our team work in teacher training and are interested in the potential of curriculum change in response to the project. You could devise a scheme of work about trees with a primary science focus, or develop an inquiry about trees with a secondary English focus.
We are also interested in teachers from both Science and English from both primary and secondary. All the way through your project, we will be there to help you. At the end, these resources will be showcased on our website and used to inform future curricula planning.
How much time will I get and is there a bursary?
We envisage you could do this for either a term, as part of your existing teaching, or join us longer term, as a more in-depth teacher-researcher. We can offer travel expenses plus a bursary of £500 to support a mini project.
How can I apply?
Please complete contact firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us a bit about yourself, why you are interested in this project and what you might get out of it for your teaching.