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Professional Development Needs of Formal, Informal, and Nonformal Educators—A National Study. Dr. M. Lynette Fleming Research, Evaluation and Development Services Dr. Gus Medina EETAP Project Manager University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Welcome. Need for the Study .

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professional development needs of formal informal and nonformal educators a national study

Professional Development Needs of Formal, Informal, and Nonformal Educators—A National Study

Dr. M. Lynette Fleming

Research, Evaluation and

Development Services

Dr. Gus Medina

EETAP Project Manager

University of Wisconsin-Stevens

Point

Welcome

need for the study
Need for the Study

Purpose: Identify priorities, gaps, and work needed to advance EE and conservation education in the next 5 years

Results: Shared with EE community to guide professional development efforts, promote partnerships and prevent duplication

Ensure EETAP’s work addresses current needs of the EE field

the study design
The Study Design

Planning and literature review

Individual interviews of 24 EE leaders

10 focus groups with 50 EE practitioners

Online questionnaire with 325 respondents

Sample size = 1000

37% response rate

individual interview and focus group analyses
Individual Interview and Focus Group Analyses

89 professional development topics

6 themes:

Process of Environmental Education

Evaluation

Audiences and Partners

Business of EE

Content Knowledge

EE Profession

questionnaire analyses
Questionnaire Analyses

Content analyses of qualitative data

Descriptive statistics—frequencies, means, percentages and ranks

Inferential statistics

data analysis
Data Analysis

Overall

Formal educators and informal/nonformal educators

Analyzed by:

Region

Type of organization or agency

Size of audience served annually

Years in the profession

teachers needs professional development priorities
Teachers’ Needs:Professional Development Priorities

128 Pre-K–college educators in formal education systems

Typical profile:

Non-Hispanic white

11-20 years experience

Teaches through a university or college

Reaches 100–199 participants annually

delivery preferences
Delivery Preferences

Specific topic

Workshop setting

One day

Summer

Experiential or hands-on methods

recommendations based on teachers priorities
Recommendations Based on Teachers’ Priorities

Create opportunities for renewal and reflection

Build relationships

Improve skills

Transform knowledge into practice

create opportunities for renewal and reflection
Create Opportunities for Renewal and Reflection

Top Need:

Professional development that allows educators to share models of what works

helpful practices for providers
Helpful Practices for Providers

Include sharing models of what works and networking with others for support in professional development offerings

Recognize teachers’ expertise and let them share what they know

Focus more on contemplative learning

build relationships
Build Relationships

Top Need:

Professional development that enables educators to involve everyone in local communities in EE

helpful practices for providers17
Helpful Practices for Providers

Plan with the teachers, administrators, and community members who care about EE

Study EETAP’s Lessons Learned from the Inclusiveness Initiative

Replace random pre-packaged events with programs that engage teachers in planning for ongoing professional development organized around school/community goals

improve skills
Improve Skills

Top Need:

Professional development that helps teachers integrate EE into K–12 curricula

helpful practices for providers19
Helpful Practices for Providers

Model the teaching methods you are trying to promote

Check in periodically to assess additional professional development needs

Allow time for in-depth analysis of the best examples of integrated curricula

transform knowledge into practice
Transform Knowledge into Practice

Top Need:

Professional development for basic environmental education training

helpful practices for providers21
Helpful Practices for Providers

Plan a strategy of continuous professional development to accommodate new teachers

Consider participants’ range of interests and prior knowledge

Present diverse experiences that center around the critical activities of environmental teaching

practitioners needs professional development priorities
Practitioners’ Needs:Professional Development Priorities

158 educators in informal and nonformal settings

Typical profile:

Non-Hispanic white

11-20 years experience

Reaches 1,000–9,999 participants annually

delivery preferences24
Delivery Preferences

Specific topic

Workshop setting

One day

Winter

Experiential or hands-on methods

recommendations based on practitioners priorities
Recommendations Based on Practitioners’ Priorities

Build relationships with audiences and communities

Inspire healthy environmental stewards

Create opportunities for renewal, networking, and reflection

Translate knowledge of EE foundations to practice

build relationships with audiences communities
Build Relationships with Audiences & Communities

Top Overall Need:

Professional development that enables practitioners to involve everyone in local communities in EE

Top Personal Need:

Needs assessment, using evaluation to design or develop EE programs/services to meet audience needs

helpful practices for providers30
Helpful Practices for Providers

Learn to assess needs and build top priority needs into professional development and community action projects

Start small and develop reasonable expectations

Foster collaboration by building relationships and planning with practitioners and community members who care about EE

inspire healthy environmental stewards
Inspire Healthy Environmental Stewards

Top Need:

Professional development to help practitioners comprehend key concepts and teach stewardship

helpful practices for providers32
Helpful Practices for Providers

Present diverse experiences that center around environmental teaching and learning rather than generalities

Develop stewardship experiences that involve experiential learning, practice and debriefings

Learn more about the movement to reconnect children and families with nature (Children and Nature Network)

create opportunities for renewal networking and reflection
Create Opportunities for Renewal, Networking, and Reflection

Top Need:

Professional development that allows practitioners to share models of what works

helpful practices for providers34
Helpful Practices for Providers

Deliver opportunities to share models of what works, work together on common causes, and network with others for support

Help create peer learning groups

Share online resources regarding informal and nonformal learning from field-based research, evaluation, and psychological and anthropological studies

translate knowledge of ee foundations to practice
Translate Knowledge of EE Foundations to Practice

Top Needs:

Professional development for basic EE training

Guidelines for Excellence training about EE standards

helpful practices for providers36
Helpful Practices for Providers

Plan continuous professional development to accommodate the needs of new practitioners

Incorporate the Guidelines for Excellence into professional development offerings

Share current work on environmental literacy

implications
Implications
  • Some efforts exist already and can be adapted and adopted on a larger scale
  • Need partnerships to address gaps and prevent duplication of efforts
implications39
Implications
  • Several priorities point to the importance of involving experts in other professions in EE professional development
  • For example, many of the topics are about audiences and their needs, and involve marketing experts
report availability
Report Availability
  • Posted on EETAP website (www.eetap.org)
credits
Credits
  • These reports are part of several professional development activities undertaken by EETAP and funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Education through a Cooperative Agreement with the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.
credits42
Credits
  • Support for the original study, on which these reports are based, was also provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center.
credits43
Credits

Evaluation Team members:

Dr. Annelise Carlton-Hug

Dr. Janice Easton

Dr. William Hug

Dr. Tom Marcinkowski

Dr. Marcella Wells