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Some C20 thinking for C21 forestry education


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This presentation by Jack Westoby given during the Forests Asia summit in the learning event "Learning event: Forestry education and research in Asia: Reality, challenges and the way forward" talks about the purpose of forestry education, the professional's role and skills needed for success in forestry.

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Some C20 thinking for C21 forestry education

  1. 1. Some C20 thinking for C21 forestry education The purpose of forestry education Jack Westoby 1967  develop & discern knowledge:  what’s relevant, where to find, how to use  appreciate interrelatedness:  of phenomena & disciplines  cultivate responsibility:  for own actions, others’ welfare  develop healthy scepticism:  of received doctrine  learn cooperation:  challenges & benefits IFSS 2003
  2. 2. The professionals’ role(s) Desirable characteristics of forest policymakers & managers (Ellefson 1990) - acceptance of leadership roles - a sense of vision & purpose - capacity to foster creativity & innovation - positive attitude to challenges - capacity to integrate & collaborate - political & administrative sense
  3. 3. Skills needed for success in forestry (in rank order, by USA employers: Sample et al 1999) l ability to work in diverse teams l ability to listen & address public questions & concerns l understanding of forest ecosystems l an innovative approach to working with the public l ability to evaluate & synthesise information l understanding of landscape level planning = a mix of knowledge & skills in both social & natural sciences + personal attributes & interpersonal skills
  4. 4. Discussion – some provocations l speakers have outlined both imperatives & constraints l optimistic & pessimistic scenarios l pessimistic l ‘forestry’ less important for development l agency of foresters diminished at many levels l optimistic l critical roles of forests in sustaining landscapes & development more widely recognised l with it, the agency & leverage of foresters … l which scenario, & how do we shape the future we want?