Western Australian school trains students for sustainable life on the land
Mount Barker Community College is located within an agricultural region, making it essential to incorporate sustainability into the curriculum, especially in relation to the management of the school's 237 hectare working farm. Teaching opportunities derived from practical farm activities are integrated across the college's curriculum to impart the importance of environmental sustainability to students, and also to encourage them to understand the connections between environmental, social and economic systems.
For example, the school's stud farm of Murray grey cattle teaches Year 10, 11 and 12 students how to manage a sustainable bull breeding enterprise, while senior biology students study the long-term viability of chick peas in an arid climate.
Through practical experiences, students learn about planning and managing for change towards sustainability, and discover first hand the employment opportunities available in fields related to sustainable agricultural management. As a result, graduates leave the college with sustainable living experience and a firm grounding in sustainability issues that is highly valued by potential employers.