Kids Teaching Kids
“A partnership to influence change”
Central Tablelands and Central West Local Land Services have partnered with the nationally recognised Kids Teaching Kids (KTK) organisation for the past five years to deliver conferences in rural NSW that encourage practice change at the grass roots level.
Kids Teaching Kids is an education model that uses local environmental issues as a theme for learning. The Kids Teaching Kids Learning Model uses ‘peer teaching and learning’ pedagogy – where the traditional roles of teacher and student change. The teachers become the facilitators and the students are empowered to take responsibility for their own learning.
This unique learning model encourages students to work with a mentor (an expert in their chosen topic of study) to increase their knowledge and skills. Many schools have developed an ongoing relationship with their mentors and are continuing their environmental learning and completing on ground works within their schools and local communities.
Local Land Services is a lead agency bringing together agricultural production advice, biosecurity, natural resource management and emergency management into a single organisation. As such, opportunities to influence change and foster community connections such as those formed throughout the KTK program are invaluable.
Over the course of this relationship, 13 schools across regional NSW have hosted KTK conferences that look at improving our environment through sustainable practices. More than 1,500 students from 50 plus rural schools have presented on environmental and sustainable agriculture topics, ranging from school vegetable gardens and invasive animal species to sustainable food production, farming practices and land management techniques.
Education providers and the broader community by default develop increased confidence and capacity to participate in agriculture and environmental activities through information shared during conferences. Capacity raised in school students and their families also encourages environmental care and action on many levels.
Through the implementation of a careers component targeting high school students, professionals working in the agriculture and NRM sectors have also become actively engaged in the program. This has provided the opportunity to raise awareness of jobs, speak to industry experts and investigate study paths available for future employment in the environment sector.
Student groups within the Central Tablelands region have had the opportunity to participate at a higher level, sharing their environmental stories with other students and learning about other environmental issues from students at national conferences.