Amy M Lambert
Analyze various environmental programs and prepare an individualized project. Learn to apply ecological concepts in the classroom and learn how to teach about various environmental education programs.
SPRING 2013 Environmental education (EE) is an interdisciplinary topic spanning ecological and earth systems science, global environmental change and social and political aspects of human systems. Environmental education promotes sustainable living and active citizenship through the implementation of environmental curriculum and public education. This course integrates both local and global issues and perspectives on important environmental topics such as water security, carbon storage and ecosystem resilience. One of the main objectives of this course is to review the available research on environmental education to better understand how people learn and what motivates people to change behavior. We will discussion the different strategies for developing environmental educational resources. We will cover methods for teaching environmental education, curriculum design, principles of interpretation, use of different guiding techniques and the creation and publication of educational media using traditional and alternative technologies. Course topics will build on students working knowledge of natural history and environmental science. Projects will include both design and implementation of environmental curriculum or public programing as well as the development and distribution of educational media.
Student learning goals
To understand the relationship between EE and Interpretation and intersections with Environmental Philosophy, Environmental Psychology and Environmental History. Be able to identify and critically analyze how EE/Interpretation makes use of the expected and accepted norms for behavior. Understand how moral reasoning and persuasive messaging are used in EE/Interpretation.
Develop EE media based on scientific literature. Be able to understand the function and value of EE media/Interpretive Services.
Develop an interpretive plan. Research North Creek wetlands (conduct a natural resource inventory), identify the public and management, identify primary messages, design interpretive opportunities and evaluate and provide feedback. Conduct an interpretive talk. Be able to communicate to visitors of North Creek the key components of the site’s significance and the unique ecology and history. Develop a thematic message that connects visitors to the resources at North Creek wetlands.
Develop a children’s EE/Interpretation program. Be able to understand the differences in formal and informal EE for children (K-9) and function and value of curriculum standards. Be able to design a children’s program (lesson plan) that capitalizes on common characteristics of children’s learning (e.g., physical movement, curiosity, engaging the senses).
Develop a cognitive objectives assessment of interpretive talk or children’s program. Document the results and report evaluation.
General method of instruction
Interative lecture, small group discussion and hands-on activities. Participation is an important part of this course (and is a large part of your final evaluation). It is imperative that you attend class and are prepared for the day’s activities (i.e., well rested, have appropriate field clothes, field notebook, copies of readings, complete homework assignments, etc.).
Recommended that you take a course related to local ecology such as BIS 244 Wetlands Discovery. Some of our class time will be spent in the field, actively observing and interacting with the campus wetland. For all field activities you will need waterproof rubber boots.
Class assignments and grading
Reviews (essay and field report), an interpretative and children's lesson plan, interpretative tour or children's program and cognitive assessment. Research may include contacting local organizations, exploring city and county records to develop lesson plans. Synthesis of your field studies and course readings into bi-weekly reviews will help you with the development of an interpretive plan and children’s lesson.
Participation (20%) - Weekly grades will be given for participation – remember to read and take notes, develop thoughtful questions, discuss concepts or issues you find interesting- engage! Reviews (20%), Interpretive Plan and Children's Lesson Plan (20%), Interpretive Talk or Children's Program (20%)