‘Operation Magpie’: Inspiring Teachers’ Professional Learning Through Environmental Science

July 1st, 2012 | RESEARCH

Operation Magpie was a citizen science project that involved the community in collecting data about magpies. This article describes one aspect of the project from an education perspective. The study began with a collaboration of teacher educators, environmental scientists and a local radio station. After an initial workshop with 75 teachers, three teacher educators met regularly with 13 primary teachers who each volunteered to plan and teach a unit of work on birds. Meeting regularly in focus groups, the teachers shared their pedagogical strategies that supported students to connect with their local environment. Findings include the importance of focused professional learning for teachers through ongoing, needs-based support during the planning and teaching of the unit, and the innovative ways that teachers approached the unit. One unexpected finding was that teachers tended to identify student learning in terms of the English curriculum rather than the science curriculum.


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Team Members

Yvonne Zeegers, Author, University of South Australia
Kathryn Paige, Author, University of South Australia
David Lloyd, Author, University of South Australia
Philip Roetman, Author, University of South Australia


Identifier Type: issn
Identifier: 0814-0626
Identifier Type: doi
Identifier: 10.1017/aee.2012.4

Publication: Australian Journal of Environmental Education
Volume: 28
Number: 1
Page(s): 27

Related URLs

Read Online at JSTOR


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Ecology | forestry | agriculture | Education and learning science | Literacy
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Citizen Science Programs | Informal | Formal Connections | K-12 Programs | Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Professional Development and Workshops | Public Programs