Rebekah Tauritz is a Postdoc researcher and teacher in environmental and sustainability education at Wageningen University. She is driven by the urgency she feels for societies around the globe to transform in order to restore our planet's health. She sees herself as a co-explorer and critical friend to educators looking for the best way to prepare their learners for dealing with an increasingly complex and unknown future. Additionally, she loves teaching and supervising master's students who are intrinsically motivated to learn about a broad spectrum of learning for sustainability topics.
Her own recent research work focuses on finding effective teaching strategies and the employment of authentic learning environments for teaching about sustainability challenges such as the loss of biodiversity. The students whom she guides are frequently engaged in exploring a range of related topics such as the climate crisis. Another special interest of hers is the manner in which teachers can support students in dealing with the emotional side of these challenges. During her PhD research (Tauritz, 2019) at the University of Edinburgh she examined the role of conditional and unconditional classroom language and the development of uncertainty competences: the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values needed for handling uncertain knowledge (Tauritz, 2012; 2016).
The central question in her current Postdoctoral research is whether an educational visit to the zoo has the potential to enhance the learning outcomes of a lesson program about biodiversity for upper primary school children. During the first phase of her project she employed educational design research to develop a part school-based, part zoo-based lesson program. One of the challenges consisted of finding a way to present a complex and abstract concept such as biodiversity to young learners. During the second phase she will conduct a large scale study to determine the differences in learning outcomes between school children who visit the zoo as part of their lessons and children who stay at school.