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Paul is the Director of the M.Ed. in Educational Studies. He also coordinates the I/S Biology teachable in the B.Ed. program and the core course in Indigenous Education and Environmental and Sustainability Education. In the classroom he encourages collaborative learning, student-student discourse and a holistic approach to learning that breaks down traditional academic barriers. He believes that science should create a sense of awe in students and that a broadly constructivist approach is often an effective way to achieve this. Paul is passionate about the need to tread more lightly on this planet, convince as many people as possible that we are living beyond our means, and respect our fellow inhabitants. He believes that by changing our behaviour we can create a future that is more hopeful. He also values the power of rational, scientific understanding of our universe.
Paul Elliott has been a professor in the School of Education and Professional Learning at Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario since 2007.
For his first degree he studied Environmental Biology at the University College of Swansea (now Swansea University) in south Wales, UK. He was awarded a University of Wales post-graduate studentship that enabled him to conduct research on beetle ecology, for which he received a Ph.D.
After completing a post-graduate teaching qualification he went on to teach Biology and Science to grades 7-13 at a public (i.e.state) school in Wiltshire, England. During this time he developed an interest in bat ecology and conservation that continues to this day.
After several years school teaching, Paul moved to the Institute of Education at the University of Warwick in Coventry, UK. Here he taught classes in biology, science education and core educational studies. He also supervised the work of Masters and Ph.D. students, championed the introduction of an Environmental Studies 2+2 degree program for non-traditional students and taught several adult education classes.
At Trent he has taught classes in I/S Biology curriculum, P/J Science and Social Studies, I/S Creating a Positive Learning Environment and I/S Practicum. In 2011 he co-developed an Eco-Mentor Program for teacher candidates in collaboration with colleagues from Camp Kawartha. This extra-curricular program has sparked interest around Ontario and several other universities have been inspired to introduce their own versions. Paul has also been involved in the DEEPER project which aims to stimulate the development of environmental education within initial teacher education programs.
Paul Elliott’s academic interests are wide-ranging. He has published work on topics as diverse as insect ecology, bat conservation, biodiversity education, scientific literacy and the influence of the environment in which science is taught. He has undertaken projects in Bulgaria, Estonia, Germany and Poland.
He is a director of EECOM (the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication) and has played a key role in establishing a new sub-committee Environmental and Sustainability Education in Teacher Education. He is also on the board of the Peterborough Field Naturalists. He enjoys hiking, canoeing and cross-country skiing