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Education Strategy

We refreshed our education strategy in 2022 with a new core aim, 4 new programme principles and 4 cross-cutting themes for the children and young people to explore.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
Richard L’Anson

Our core aim is to support children and young people to become effective advocates for wildlife conservation and biodiversity.

We need to build capacity in the children and young people that engage with our education programme. They need to practice the skills of advocacy in low stakes, private settings to build confidence and knowledge. They need to acquire the necessary vocabulary and develop an understanding of biodiversity, the complexities of conserving habitats, endangered animals, and the local communities around them. All those that engage with our programme will benefit, helping them thrive in the global workplace, to find their place in society and contribute to a greener future.

Fundamental programme principles

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

As the programme gets larger and more complex, it is important to clearly state the principles that will guide the development of the content. When questions arise, these fundamental programme principles will drive decision making. These principals are:

  1. We will use the best evidence currently available on how children and young people learn to inform the activities and interventions
  2. The programme will help children and young people understand the lived experience of local communities that coexist with endangered animals and habitats
  3. Effective collaboration with DSWF funded conservation projects and other selected partners will be at the heart of the development of new education products and services. In the first instance, subject to approval, we will aim to work with selected projects who either work with children directly or have expertise in a specific habitat.
  4. Our offer will use the best of the digital and art assets from the wider organisation and partners to engage and inspire young people.

Cross cutting themes

The learning content will be wide ranging and often contain complex ideas. To help, all programme delivery will focus on a small range of common cross-cutting themes that can be revisited again and again. The cross-cutting themes will be the delivery model for the conservation and biodiversity messages. They could be used as a lens to explore content and unify disparate content across all the DSWF education programme.

Game Rangers International
David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

Based on feedback from our partners, our DSWF cross cutting themes are:

  1. Biodiversity- defined as all life on earth and its interactions (species-genes-communities-ecosystems) and the case for halting the decline
  2. Verbal communication. Wildlife advocates need to speak with confidence and clarity and meaning. DSWF was founded, in part, on the ability to tell a compelling story
  3. Multi-disciplinary problem solving. Conservationists face complex problems with no obvious solutions every day of their working lives. Children and young people thrive on solving problems that link directly to real world scenarios
  4. Use of art and imaging to express and translate complex ideas, concepts, and emotions. Imaging is increasingly vital to accurately communicate the conclusions of data analysis, while art can shine a light on vulnerable species and communities we are fighting to protect

These cross-cutting themes will be reviewed annually, and each theme will only be incorporated into the core deliverables where they naturally arise.

Book your free in person or virtual school talk now

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
Free School Talks

Education is one of the DSWF’s key strategic pillars in our mission to fightprotect and engage on behalf of endangered species across the world. We have been delivering free assemblies, talks and workshops to schools, youth groups and children’s clubs for over 20 years. Find out how to invite DSWF to your school here.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
Education Hub

Access a selection of information, resources, activities designed to support both Educators and Students to better understand biodiversity and conservation.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
Curriculum Links

Our core aim is to deliver coherent conservation and wildlife messages, however we do link to the requirements from awarding bodies and national curricula where they naturally arise. Find out more about  how we align our offer to current school and college curricula in the UK.

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