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Pre-Service Environmental Education Project (PEEP)

Pre-Service Environmental Education Project (PEEP). Lynda Paznokas Associate Dean, College of Education School and Community Collaboration Center Washington State University Pullman, Washington February 29, 2008 TEEP Rochester, New York. Lynda Paznokas Pullman, Washington.

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Pre-Service Environmental Education Project (PEEP)

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  1. Pre-Service Environmental Education Project (PEEP) LyndaPaznokas Associate Dean, College of Education School and Community Collaboration Center Washington State University Pullman, Washington February 29, 2008 TEEP Rochester, New York

  2. Lynda PaznokasPullman, Washington

  3. School and Community Collaboration Center • The SCCC is the outreach center for the College of Education • Our purpose is to serve schools and communities: Teaching and learning, educational leadership, counseling psychology, international efforts, Professional Certification, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, grant writing, etc.

  4. K-12 students in the United States are deficient in their understanding of the environment and the issues that affect it. (Survey Research Center, 2000) • The principal cause of this is inadequate preparation of pre-service teachers to teach environmental subjects. (McKeown-Ice, 2000) • There is an urgent need to remedy this situation.

  5. The long-term goalof the Pre-Service Environmental Education Project is to increase understanding of the environment among K-12 students. The objective of the project, which represents an important step toward attainment of this long-term goal, is that professors at 18 universities in the state of Washington are incorporating significant environmental/sustainability education within pre-service teacher science methods courses.

  6. Bringing effective environmental education to pre-service teachers through their science methods course is a very efficient method of improving environmental learning of their future students.“The power of the pre-service curriculum is its multiplier effect. Where one teacher has the potential to impact the number of students taught throughout a career, a methods course has the potential to impact many future teachers and, ultimately, a far greater number of students” (Power, 2004).

  7. TOTOSTeachers of Teachers of Science • A gathering of university faculty responsible for science methods courses for K-12 teachers • Hosted by WSU since 1998 • Focus on teacher preparation, including content, pedagogy, curriculum, and assessment • Maintains communication with OSPI, WSTA, and others • Provides input on state science initiatives • Collegial; break bread together

  8. TOTOS Themes Some years TOTOS has a theme to our meetings: • Assessment • Informal science education • Research • Environmental Education

  9. During the 2004 TOTOS meeting, university faculty members in Washington agreed to work together to • develop and implement a process to infuse EE into the basic science methods course for pre-service teachers. • prepare pre-service teachers to be able to effectively teach skills and concepts of EE to their future students. Plans continued to evolve at the 2005 meeting.

  10. Washington Administrative Code (2000) Instruction about conservation, natural resources, and the environment shall be provided at all grades in an interdisciplinary manner…with emphasis on solving problems of human adaptation to the environment.”

  11. Although each university has its own mission and environmental setting (urban, desert, beach, forest, etc.), all teacher preparation programs are working toward the same environmental education goals. Pre-service teachers are being trained to deliver experiential, field-based, effective, accurate, and age-appropriate environmental skills and content to students, within the framework of Environmental Education Guidelines for Washington Schools (2000).This will be updated through the “e3 Washington” initiative. This training is linked to Washington’s K-10 Science Grade Level Expectations (2005), particularly Scientific Field Investigations.

  12. Funding for Pre-Service Environmental Education Project provided by….

  13. Additional funding and support has come from…

  14. There are 3 Aims to the Pre-Service Environmental Education Project • Develop pre-service teacher environmental education teaching strategies. • Evaluate the application of the pre-service teacher environmental education strategies • Disseminate pre-service teacher environmental education strategy models regionally and nationally.

  15. Aim #1 Develop pre-service teacher environmental education teaching strategies

  16. Activities are being developed for the classroom and/or field to fit the unique natural and academic setting of each university. Examples include • Conducting an outdoor environmental day for children • Learning about hazardous waste reduction • Partnering with state agencies to do authentic science inquiry investigations • Teaching integrated environmental curriculum in a school • Raising salmon in a classroom with a field trip to a salmon stream • Contributing to a database on the status of invasive plant species at a park • Learning how to use a wildlife refuge or ocean shoreline as a field trip site for children • Teaching environmental education at a science center • Understanding school yard ecology • Integrating computer technology into children’s environmental science classes

  17. Outdoor Environmental DayKlemgard County Park • WSU K-8 pre-service teachers put on an environmental education experience third graders. • Students study soil, water, plants, and animals. • College of Sciences faculty members help with the science content part of lesson planning.

  18. Through EPA funding, TOTOS programs received funds to buy non-consumable environmental education equipment to enhance the teaching of environmental education. The materials also expose pre-service teachers to types of materials they can use effectively and safely with children.

  19. From the Pacific Education Institute, TOTOS members received an extensive collection of environmental education lesson plan books such as Project Wild, Project Wet, and Project Learning Tree.These books helped support Pre-Service Environmental Education Project lessons in K-12 science methods courses.

  20. Aim #2 Evaluate the application of the pre-service teacher environmental education strategies

  21. The outcome of Aim #2 is to develop and implement a common assessment instrument to show the effectiveness of a variety of approaches in diverse settings to prepare K-12 pre-service teachers to teach environmental education. • The project is not looking for one unique teaching approach but rather identifying multiple ways of achieving environmental education standards by taking advantage of local needs, resources, and environments.

  22. Some of the many sources of content for student and faculty surveys

  23. Faculty SurveySelected Questions

  24. Pre-Service Teacher Initial Survey • In addition to the “statements of agreement,” pre-service teachers were asked: • Briefly describe environmental education experiences you have had in previous grades: - Elementary school: - Middle school/junior high: - High school: - University: - Informal education experiences: (Volunteer or participant in environmental programs through groups such as Scouts, church, nature centers, science centers, outdoor schools, parks and recreation, zoos, family, etc.)

  25. Pre-Service Teacher Final Survey • In addition to “statements of agreement,” pre-service teachers were asked: - Describe how this courseimproved your ability to teach environmental education to your future students (be specific): - Describe how this coursecould be changed to improve your ability to teach environmental education to your future students (be specific):

  26. Environmental Education Philosophy Agreement

  27. Aim #3 Disseminate pre-service teacher environmental education strategy models regionally and nationally

  28. The project is expected to provide at least 24 models of how a university science methods course can prepare pre-service teachers to confidently and competently teach environmental education to their future K-12 students. Plans are in the beginning stage for a regional Association for Science Teacher Education conference in 2009 to disseminate and share environmental education teaching practices for pre-service science teacher educators. This conference will serve as a pilot for a future national conference.

  29. We were granted a no-cost extension on the PEEP Project. • The extension was granted because the project involves working with multiple institutions around the state and the challenges of this type of coordination. • The grant now extends until 6/30/08.

  30. The SEEP grant proposal was submitted to EPA as a headquarters grant in December 2007 for TOTOS. Among other things, the proposal includes: Workshop with agencies and informal science institutions to discuss human and material environmental resources in support of pre-service teacher preparation. Workshop to discuss implementation strategies for evidence-based teacher preparation of environmental/sustainability issues. Regional conference of NW ASTE Collaborative publication describing SEEP models Environmental equipment support through the WSU Equipment Loan Program at no cost to universities Sustainability and Environmental Education for Pre-Service (SEEP)

  31. TOTOS faculty will be expected to provide PLT training in their methods courses and share experiences. The grant includes: - Lesson training - Conceptual frameworks - Facilitator handbook - Mentor facilitator to visit professors’ classrooms in the fall The Washington Forest Protection Association received a grant to provide PLT facilitator training the day before the May 2008 TOTOS meeting in Pullman.

  32. As a result of the Pre-Service Environmental Education Project, the environmental goals of the historic Belgrade Charter will be brought closer to realization: “The goal of environmental education is to develop a world population that is aware of, and concerned about, the environment and its associated problems, and which has the knowledge, skills, attitudes, motivations, and commitment to work individually and collectively toward solutions of current problems and the prevention of new ones” (UNESCO, 1976).

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