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No Child Left Inside in Oklahoma Closing Remarks
Provisions of the NCLI Act http://www.tellinitlikeitis.net/2008/08/get-em-outside-no-child-left-inside.html (source) • The requirement that states seeking environmental education funding under No Child Left Behind to develop and submit a K-12 plan to ensure that high school graduates are environmentally literate. States receiving such funds would submit status reports on how those plans are being implemented. • The provision for new funding for states to develop, improve and advance environmental education standards. • New funding to train qualified teachers to teach environmental education courses and programs.
No Child Left Inside Legislation North American Association for Environmental Education http://www.naaee.org/ee-advocacy (source) Advocacy for Environmental Education • Organizationally and pedagogically environmental education (EE) in the United States is, by many measures, the strongest it has ever been, in spite of serious budget constraints on every level – from individual schools and nonprofit organizations, to state agencies and Federal departments. Even with these current limitations, the field is in the process of making a generational leap, hopefully aided in a big way by the anticipated passage of significant Federal and state EE legislation.
Our goal remains to advocate on behalf of NCLI (H.R. 2054, S. 866) in order to get its important provisions included in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization (ESEA), and if not, have NCLI enacted as a stand-alone bill. (ESEA is the original name for the Federal education bill; the name had been shelved in favor of Bush-era "No Child Left Behind" nickname, which is now being retired.)
NAAEEs multi-pronged advocacy strategy we are executing in close partnership with the NCLI Coalition, National Wildlife Federation, and many others, has proven itself very successful. We have engaged a full spectrum of stakeholders in numerous ways on behalf of our cause: • Many Congressional cosponsors for the House and Senate versions of the bills have been recruited through visits and other communications with staff and the Legislators themselves. • The NCLI Coalition has collected over 1800 member organizations with our help. • We and our partners have been in dialogue with Department of Education Secretary Duncan and his key staff. • And we are leveraging the Environmental Literacy Plan movement in almost every state to influence Congressional passage of NCLI.
Legislation Update As of the closing session of 2010 • The NCLI bills are now in the House Committee on Education and Labor and Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, but the reality is that they are unlikely to be passed in 2010, nor is the ESEA reauthorization, nor will much else even be voted on. • The good news is the momentum that we gather from one Congress to the next is building wonderfully. The number of cosponsors for NCLI in both houses of Congress in the 111th Congress far exceeds the great start we had in the previous sessions. For the current background on the bills, including cosponsors, go to http://thomas.gov and search for "No Child Left Inside".
Earlier in the year, Rep. Sarbanes (MD-3), introducer of the bill in the House, gave the NAAEE Advocacy Committee glowing feedback about the stellar job that supporters of the bill (you!) have been doing. He said that we have really covered all of the bases and made his job as the lead Representative on the bill so much easier. He expressed his gratitude for our work so far, said he couldn’t have done it without us, and implored us to keep it up until we prevail.
Current Status To find current action on any bill http://www.congress.org/congressorg/issues/bills/ Environmental Education bills to watch: • No Child Left Inside: H.R. 2054 and S. 866 • National Environmental Education Act reauthorization: H.R. 6194 and S. 3833
Connecting Stories The Power of StoriesSource for the following slides: Beyond Ecophobia by David Sobel Let us first cultivate an understanding of the habits and life cycles of chipmunks and milkweed - organisms children can study close at hand.
Developing Stories The formative years of bonding with the earth, developing an individual’s story, include 3 stages of development that should be of primary concern to parents and teachers.
Empathy: Finding Animal Allies Empathy between the child and natural world should be a main objective for children ages 4-7. We want to cultivate that sense of connectedness so that it can become the emotional foundation for the more abstract ecological concept that everything is connected to everything else.
Exploration: Teaching the Landscape Exploring the nearby world and knowing your place should be a primary objective for the bonding with the earth stage, from ages 7-11. The curriculum can mirror the expanding scope of the child’s significant world: home to school to neighborhood, community, the region, and beyond.
Social Action: Saving the Neighborhood Social action appropriately begins around age 12 and extends beyond 15. As children start to discover the “self” of adolescence and feel their connectedness to society, they naturally incline toward wanting to save the world.
In real life there will always be a complex interplay of empathy, exploration, and social action The temptation to rush down the river is a trap waiting to catch parents and educators. Suffering from the timesickness of trying to do too much too quickly, we infect our children with our impatience. As a result, depth is sacrificed for breadth, and there’s little opportunity for immersion in the landscape. What we need, beginning in middle school, is an orientation toward service. Environmental projects that serve the community show students relevance of the curriculum and give community organizations an injection of youthful energy.
Take time to tell your story and to listen to others’ stories If we are to foster the development of children’s stories then we must take the time to share ours and listen closely to theirs. What is YOUR story………