The latest edition of the Green School Catalyst Quarterly features an article by two of our staff explaining our approach to environmental education. Highlighting our use of Action Civics the article highlights the work of some amazing young people in Alexandria, VA who are concerned about mold in their schools. Environmental education is concerned with those aspects of human behaviour which are more directly related to man’s interaction with bio-physical environment and his ability to understand this interaction. Your guide to graduate degrees in environmental education Creating life-long respect for the world around us benefits everyone. With an advanced degree in Environmental Education, you can transfer your passion for conserving our natural resources to students, coworkers, and lawmakers. By adding an in-depth knowledge of ecological systems to your current skill set, you can help promote. Environmental Education with CEE is Virtual +! Our teambuilding and environmental education programs are in whichever modality you and your students need. We provided over 30 virtual programs this past spring and have been adding more programs to the list of options all summer. Promoting Sustainability-Environmental Education helps in building the natural world, gives knowledge and method to solve complex environmental issues which also gives advancement to productive economies and harmony among communities. Being constant in promoting awareness is the key.
Meridian Institute provides facilitation and project management for the Youth Outdoor Policy Partnership. The partnership is a collaboration of leading national organizations working together to advance state-level policies that get kids outside everywhere they live, learn, work, and play.
The partnership recently launched the Youth Outdoor Policy Playbook as a tool to support and inspire those advancing policy-driven solutions. The playbook highlights existing and promising initiatives for increasing youth outdoor engagement. It also provides a platform for connecting sectors and states to share ideas and inspiration.
The partnership includes the Children & Nature Network, the Outdoors Alliance for Kids, the North American Association for Environmental Education, and the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. The Youth Outdoor Policy Partnership is funded by Pisces Foundation and REI.
What is Environmental Education?
The Wisconsin Environmental Education Board defines environmental education as “a lifelong learning process that leads to an informed and involved citizenry having the creative problem-solving skills, scientific and social literacy, ethical awareness and sensitivity for the relationship between humans and the environment, and commitment to engage in responsible individual and cooperative actions. By these actions, environmentally literate citizens will help ensure an ecologically and economically sustainable environment.”
Read more about environmental education and find additional resources on EEinWisconsin.org, including:
- Guidelines for Excellence in Environmental Education
- Links to Environmental Education in other states
Is Environmental Education Required?
State law requires that every school district develop and implement a kindergarten through grade 12 sequential curriculum plan for environmental education (see the Wisconsin Education 20 Standards). In addition, environmental education objectives and activities shall be integrated into the kindergarten through grade 12 sequential curriculum plans, with the greatest emphasis in art, health, science and social studies education [see Wisconsin Administrative Code PI 8.01(2)(k]. Curriculum planning can be guided by using the Wisconsin Standards for Environmental Literacy and Sustainability.
Teachers must also be prepared to teach environmental education and those with licenses in early childhood regular education, elementary and middle school regular education, science, and social studies must demonstrate knowledge and understanding in environmental education including the conservation of natural resources. [PI 34.022(2)]
Environmental Education included in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
Language in ESSA makes environmental education explicitly eligible for funding under Title IV:
- Environmental education is called out as eligible for funding under 'well-rounded education' grants program
- Environmental literacy programs are eligible for funding as part of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program
- The prioritization of STEM activities including 'hands-on learning' and 'field-based or service-learning' to enhance understanding of STEM subjects provides additional opportunities for environmental education programs
Download the fact sheet from the North American Association for Environmental Education
Wisconsin's Plan to Advance Education for Environmental Literacy and Sustainability in PK-12 Schoolsprovides strategies for statewide collaboration to increase student academic achievement, improve student health, and save schools money through education for environmental literacy and sustainability. Download the entire document or the executive summary.
National Association Of Environmental Education
The ultimate goal for environmental education is environmental literacy. NAAEE in their Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines for Learning (K-12) (p2) define it this way: “Environmentally literate students possess the knowledge, intellectual skills, attitudes, experiences and motivation to make and act upon responsible environmental decisions. Environmentally literate students understand environmental processes and systems, including human systems. They are able to analyze global, social, cultural, political, economic and environmental relationships, and weigh various sides of environmental issues to make responsible decisions as individuals, as members of their communities, and as citizens of the world. (Adapted from Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature, April 2009)”
People who are environmentally literate understand the earth's ability to sustain human and other life. They take action and are involved in their community to help sustain our natural resources so that people can create and enjoy a high quality life for themselves and the future generations. This can be achieved through providing a balanced, academically-based environmental education as part of the curriculum. Breaking down walls between academic disciplines and other areas of environmental study to allow for integration will be essential to helping students become effective, productive, responsible, and environmentally literate 21st century citizens.