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Environmental Education Inclusion in Higher Education: Thoughts, Models and Action Outline Introduction What Research Says NCATE and NAAEE Pennsylvania Case Study Why Focus on Pre-service Teacher Education for EE? EE is an increasingly important tool for environmental compliance

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Presentation Transcript
  • Introduction
  • What Research Says
  • Pennsylvania Case Study
why focus on pre service teacher education for ee
Why Focus on Pre-service Teacher Education for EE?
  • EE is an increasingly important tool for environmental compliance
  • Transcends all levels of public education
  • Reaches the majority of citizens
why focus on pre service teacher education for ee4
Why Focus on Pre-service Teacher Education for EE?
  • Provides structure needed for quality education
  • Needed to meet the Environment and Ecology standards
  • EIC increases the effectiveness of education overall and teacher satisfaction
big picture items
Big Picture Items
  • Systemic change in how teacher preparation programs
  • Sustainability in program
  • Partnership
    • Between elementary, science and social studies
    • Between teacher education and liberal studies courses/faculty
    • Between faculty and administration
  • Quantifiable results
higher education services
Higher Education Services
  • 1) Communication and information
  • 2) Education of university administration
  • 3) Leadership
priorities within pre service
Priorities within Pre-service
  • Instructional methodology (39%)
  • Principles of ecology (29%)
  • Program models (17%)
  • Critical thinking models (12%)
  • Others (2%)
what we know about ee inclusion in higher education
What we know about EE Inclusion in higher education
  • EE is scattered through the curriculum
    • Could be in liberal studies or teacher prep
  • Little scope and sequence
  • Often dependent on an interested instructor
    • Lack of stability within the curriculum
  • Inclusion is often superficial
what we know about ee inclusion in higher education9
What we know about EE Inclusion in higher education
  • Faculty often does not have formal background
  • Often dependent on supplemental not fundamental EE
    • PLT, Project Wild, etc.
  • NAAEE has joined NCATE
what we know about ee inclusion in higher education10
What we know about EE Inclusion in higher education
  • Many faculty are unaware of the added value of EE
    • Contribution to purpose of public ed
      • critical thinking, work independently, collaborate with others, etc
    • Making education more relevant to students
what we know about ee inclusion in higher education11
What we know about EE Inclusion in higher education
  • When EE is taught, it is not typically taught in the pre-service elementary education programs as separate courses
  • When EE is integrated into a pre-service teacher education program, it is unpredictable as to what courses it may be found
what we know about ee inclusion in higher education12
What we know about EE Inclusion in higher education
  • Of the traditional course offerings EE is most often taught in:
    • general methods
    • biology
    • environmental education
    • field experience
barriers to ee inclusion in higher education
Barriers to EE Inclusion in Higher Education
  • Time is a significant issue
    • Faculty preparation time
    • Course time
  • Credit limit: New 120 for graduation
  • Interdisciplinary nature of EE
  • Interest: Limited faculty and administrative
elementary education faculty interest in environmental education
Elementary education Faculty Interest in Environmental Education
  • Not high
  • 2/5 (43%) of elementary education faculty are interested
  • 2/5 (43%) of faculty is neutral to environmental education.
  • Few (13%) have a great interest in environmental education
education administration interest in ee
Education administration interest in EE
  • Half of education administrator (50%) are interested in EE
  • Half are very interested (24%)
  • This is higher than elementary education faculty (43%)
barriers to ee inclusion in higher education16
Barriers to EE Inclusion in Higher Education
  • Budget
  • Faculty knowledge
    • Environmental content
    • EE associated pedagogy
    • Environmental issues
  • Administrative support
  • Perception of adequacy
positive factors for ee inclusion
Positive factors for EE Inclusion
  • The majority (80%) believe that there are positive factors
    • State certification/standards 28%
    • Interest/knowledge 23%
positive factors for ee inclusion19
Positive factors for EE Inclusion
  • Increase standardized scores
  • Majority (83%) of elementary education pre-service teacher programs are interested in increasing EE inclusion
  • Interest in DEP to fund the project
positive factors for ee inclusion20
Positive factors for EE Inclusion
  • Supportive Documents
    • 21st Century Environment Commission Report
    • Pennsylvania’s 21st Century Environmental Readiness Report
models to consider
Models to consider
  • Environment as an integrated context (EIC)
    • Scope and sequence is critical
    • Student Learning of Subject Matter
    • Development of Student's Thinking Skills
    • Incorporation ofAlternative Instructional Strategies
models to consider26
Models to consider
  • Separate EE course (3 credit)
    • Address content and teaching pedagogy
  • Separate EE course (1 credit/each)
    • One course for pedagogy
    • One course for environmental content
models to consider27
Models to consider
  • Integrated approach with scope and sequence
    • Ex: science and social studies methods for pedagogy and two liberal studies courses for environmental content
  • Distance learning
    • Web based course
    • EETAP web based course
strategy considerations
Strategy Considerations
  • Partner with a professional teacher educator association (PAC-TE)
  • Increase standardized testing for reading and mathematics
  • Connect with any state standards
  • Work from the top down and the bottom up
pedagogy to include
Pedagogy to include:
  • How to teach about environmental issues
  • Questioning and analysis skills (critical thinking)
  • History and philosophy of EE
  • Education not advocacy
  • Exemplary EE practice
pedagogy to include30
Pedagogy to include:
  • How and when to teach in an outdoor setting
  • Knowledge of EE materials and resources
    • PCEE website!
  • Environment as an integrated context
  • Personal and civic responsibility
most common ee strategies
Most Common EE Strategies
  • Hands-on observation and discovery
  • Inquiry
  • Cooperative learning
  • Community-based action research and problem solving
  • Investigating environmental issues
  • Service learning
  • Simulation and models
  • Case studies
  • Problem-based learning
  • Project-based learning
documents to use
Documents to use
  • PDE Environment and Ecology academic standards
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 354
  • NAAEE Guidelines for EE
  • Closing the Gap
  • Leave no child behind document
documents to use33
Documents to use
  • PCEE modules
    • History and philosophy of EE
    • Teaching environmental issues
emerging models
Emerging Models
  • Integration
  • Separate course
  • Environment as an integrated context
  • Workshops

Overarching goal

Provide systemic, systematic and sustainable inclusion of environmental education into teacher preparation programs throughout Pennsylvania

project specific goal
Project Specific Goal
  • Integration of PDE’s environment and ecology standards (environmental content) and environmental education pedagogy
  • Emphasis is placed on:
    • Elementary education
    • Science education
    • Social studies education
dep ee inclusion grant program
DEP EE Inclusion Grant Program
  • Phase 1 : determine current status of EE inclusion in teacher preparation and prepare plan to increase inclusion
  • Phase 2 : implement plan
  • Phase 3 : evaluate plan
participating institutions
Class of 2002

California University

Indiana University

Lehigh University

St. Francis University

St. Vincent College

Slippery Rock University Valley Forge Christian College

West Chester University

Class of 2003

Chatham College

La Salle University

Millersville University

Pennsylvania State University – main

Pennsylvania State University – Harrisburg

University of Pittsburgh – Johnstown

Washington and Jefferson College

Participating Institutions


Needs Assessment for PCEE

Pa Environmental Readiness for the 21st Century Survey Report

Inclusion of EE 2 in Pa Teacher Preparation Curricula: A Survey of Elementary Pre-service Teacher Program

Pre-Post Assessment and Analysis for EE Inclusion in Teacher Preparation


Inclusion in Course Work

Teacher Preparation Institution Grants Program

Essentials Learning's in EE Modules

PCEE Technical Support to Teacher Preparation Programs

Grant Coordinator


Professional Development

Teacher Preparation Institution Grants

Grants Portion of PCEE Website

PCEE Technical Support for Grant Writing


Professional Development

Professional Development Faculty/Administration

EE & Higher Ed Scholarships to NAAEE

EE & Higher Ed Scholarships to PAEE


Networking & Constituent Building

EE & Higher Ed Summit

EE & Higher Ed Listserve

EE & Higher Ed Workgroup

EE Standards/ Public Environmental Literacy Colloquium

EE & Higher Task Group


Networking & Constituent Building cont.

NAAEE Pre-service Task Group

EE & Higher Ed Section in PCEE Newsletter


Higher Ed & EE Directory on PCEE Website PDE

Teacher Certification in EE

  • Reduction in participating institutions
  • Teams, as expected, are advancing slowly
  • While preparing for or involved in PDE reviews, participants are not seeing accountability
  • Non-state system schools are progressing with less barriers than state system schools
  • A strong and dedicated leader is a positive influence
  • Science professors are the most likely environmental content team members
  • Environmental content team members are more positive toward the project than education team members
  • Faculty attending professional development workshops are not applying them to their plan
  • Mandating environmental content does not guarantee inclusion
  • A number of faculty still see EE as science
  • Social studies faculty are less engaged than science faculty
  • While the grant emphasizes “required” courses, education program design does not always allow for this
  • Faculty are not familiar with EE resources (research, curricula, etc.)
politics of inclusion
Politics of Inclusion
  • Leave No Child Behind
  • Demands from other “special interest” groups
  • Finding an EE champion
economics of inclusion
Economics of Inclusion
  • Higher education institutions are not generally hiring faculty with EE backgrounds
  • Institutions can not “afford” to add more courses
  • Most likely agency external support are departments of environmental protection
  • Most universities and colleges in Pennsylvania have not institutionalized the inclusion of environmental education in their elementary pre-service programs.
  • EE inclusion tends to be faculty member specific
  • EE is frequently treated in a superficial or survey type manner
national council for accreditation of teacher education ncate and naaee
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and NAAEE
  • May 8th 2002 NAAEE accepted as member of NCATE
ncate constituent members
NCATE Constituent Members
  • Teacher Education Organizations
  • Teacher Organizations
  • State and Local Policymaker Organizations
  • Specialized Professional Associations
    • Subject specific-Organizations
    • Child-Centered Organizations
    • Technology Organizations
    • Specialist Organizations
    • Administrator Organizations
  • Others (as National Board for Professional Teaching Standards {NBPTS})
subject specific organizations
Subject Specific-Organizations
  • American council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
  • American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD)
  • International Reading Association (IRA)
  • International Technology Education Association (ITEA)
  • National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)
  • National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
  • National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
  • North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE)
  • Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
ncate boards
  • Executive Board
  • Unit Accreditation Board
  • State Partnership Board
  • Specialty Areas Studies Board
  • Appeals Board
  • Board of Examiners
naaee representatives
NAAEE Representatives
  • BOE: Terry Wilson from Western Kentucky University
  • Executive Committee: Bill Dent NAAEE

NCATE Board of Examiners (BOE)

Members of the NCATE Board of Examiners (BOE) perform the most essential component of the NCATE process— the voluntary peer review of the professional education unit at a college or university. All on-site visits to schools of education are conducted by BOE teams of 3–6 persons.

The BOE is comprised of approximately 400 members of the professional education community representing teachers, teacher educators, policy makers, and specialty areas.

role within boe
Role within BOE
  • Review all standards that specialty board wants to include in program reviews
  • About 32 areas
  • Examples
    • Science education
    • Mathematics education
    • Association for Childhood Education International
  • Review cycle changed from 5 to 7 years
naaee s role in the boe
NAAEE’s role in the BOE
  • Similar to:
    • International Society for Technology Education (ISTE), technology
    • National Association for Black School Education (NABSE), diversity
naaee s role in the boe63
NAAEE’s role in the BOE
  • NAAEE standards will not be used at this time for program reviews
    • Too few in the country to be cost effective
  • Will be used to determine type and degree of EE inclusion in other standards
naaee s role in the boe64
NAAEE’s role in the BOE
  • Possible scenario of “theme”
  • Found in many or all programs
  • Must have an outcome based plan to address the theme inclusion
  • Must show experiences
current naaee activity
Current NAAEE Activity
  • Alignment of current EE standards into NCATE form
  • Dr. Bora Simmons from Northern Illinois University under EETAP2 funding
  • Selection of four individuals for the BOE reviews