The Eden Project is the inspiring new classroom for a group of students looking to embark on a successful career in teaching.
The first cohort of budding trainee teachers has now begun at the iconic Eden Project site just outside of St Austell. The Certificate in Education is the newest of a range of courses run by Eden Project Learning, a partnership between The Cornwall College Group and the Eden Project.
Professor (of Education) Robert Barratt is the Head of Eden Project Learning, he said: “We are delighted to welcome the first cohort of training teachers to the Eden Project. Our student teachers are delighted to be learning in one of the most inspiring teaching and learning environments in the world. We believe that the combination of high quality teaching, high calibre students and our inspirational world-class learning environment will produce the education leaders of tomorrow.”
The group of students on the course come from a range of different backgrounds and specialise in various curriculum areas including photography, graphic design, animal science, early years, sport and social science. Student Sean Currey has been a semi -professional photographer for 30 years alongside a career on the railway. Sean is now studying the PGCE to pursue his dream to become a photography teacher, he said: “I’m really enjoying the course so far. As you’d expect with teacher training, it’s pretty intense but luckily there is a great support network in the group and my work placement are really supportive too.
Sean continued: “There are not really any downsides to studying at a place like the Eden Project, it’s a really relaxed and friendly environment and you are surrounded by people who are enthusiastic and passionate about what they’re doing. I’ve found it to be a great place to just relax and read and digest some of the information you’ve been given in the classroom.”
Student Clare Munday has a goal to teach hairdressing after completing her PGCE. She said: “The course has been really good so far, everyone is excited to have us and really enthusiastic. The support I’ve received has been fantastic and the environment of the Eden Project is inspiring and just a nice place to study; it’s very relaxed which makes you feel better about the course.”
Lecturer in Initial Teacher Education Alison Attfield teaches on the Certificate in Education course, she said: “The partnership between the Eden Project and the college provides a more exciting and innovative environment for trainee teachers to learn and develop their skills. When you consider factors such as surroundings and their effect on student motivation, the uniqueness of the Eden Project as a learning environment will be very useful to them as they complete their course.”
Alison continued: “There are many opportunities here that will enhance the student’s learning experience. As an example, when we look at curriculum and society, students have direct access to school activities on site. Social justice and sustainability are also key topics of the curriculum that the students need to learn how to embed in their lessons. So being in an environment where one of the core purposes is to look at the world and how we can live in it better, makes this a really good fit. It’s an iconic location with an energetic atmosphere, a special opportunity that’s really valuable for our students.”
For more information on the range of courses offered by Eden Project Learning please visit www.cornwall.ac.uk or call 0330 123 2523.