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Copyright: Karen Harrland, Margate Primary School

Growing Our Own

The Roots & Shoots Resource Box is a physical and online primary school teachers’ resource to use in class with their students. The learning sequence is mapped to the Australian curriculum with interactive and immersive lessons designed to engage and encourage students. While focused locally on helping create conservation and compassion change agents, the collective actions of the many schools and their students is now a global movement.

Program: Education
Project: Roots & Shoots Resource Box for Schools
Location: National, Australia

Written by educators for educators, the Roots & Shoots Resource Box is accessible and informative to students aged from five to upper primary school. The material is underpinned by the philosophy of the Institute’s founder, Jane Goodall, who values and encourages discovery, understanding, observation, compassion, rigour and action; qualities accessible at any age.

The context for the resources recognises the interconnectedness of life: of plants, animals and people in a way that has been aligned with the Australian curriculum. Using the resources, students consider, decide, explore and act on a personal, school-based or local community challenge they have identified. With the challenge decided, students become part of the global Roots & Shoots movement.

During their school day, students learn and apply project-based learning skills to make positive change happen for their chosen priority: people, animals, or the environment. This process necessitates that students explore, debate and reflect on the values and the beliefs they hold. Facilitating this reflective learning process is at the heart of the Roots & Shoots program as it mirrors the complex world in which these young people live and are learning to navigate. As Jane Goodall says: “Lasting change is a series of compromises. And compromise is all right, as long as your values don’t change.” And this resource seeks to do just that, provide knowledge, build capacity and foster compassion.

Over 4,000 schools across Australia have received the Roots & Shoots Resource Box. For Teacher- Librarian Kerrie Thompson at Mundigburra State School in Queensland, the material connects and expands their Science Mates Program and helps children “to learn about the environment and the ways we can protect it”.

The Phillips Foundation recognises the importance of the work of the Roots & Shoots Program as a teaching resource to inform, educate, inspire, connect and act. To support this work, TPF provide assistance in the creation of resources now shared with primary schools across all states and territories in Australia.

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