Introduction to Education class | eePRO @ NAAEE

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Introduction to Education class

I am teaching an introduction to environmental education class this semester. I would love to hear from others about what topics they cover and what books and articles you have students read. I have created a book list to add to the discussion.

Hi Jeanine....I am teaching a similar class. This will be my third semester teaching the course so I'm still tinkering with some of the activities and content. For example, I'm changing it up a bit this semester to add more articles to prompt student discussion and reflection but here are the basics of how I have set up my course:
What is EE?
Main organizations in EE
What is Environmental Literacy?
Intro to Guidelines for Excellence (K-12 and Educator guides)
Essential Underpinnings of environmental literacy
History of EE
Comparing Formal EE, Informal EE, and Interpretation
Interpretation 101
Education Learning Theories
Developing an EE lesson plan
Strategies for influencing conservation behavior
Conservation Outreach techniques
Trends in EE
Finding a Job in EE
EE Journals
Project WILD certification
Outings and other activities/assignments:
Night Hike
Astronomy Night
Sounds in Nature (sounds of animals that they would find on campus and in the local area), etc. (I change it up each semester according to seasonal changes.)
Outings to Nature Centers
Design and implement public outreach tables
Observation and reflection on EE programming
Personal observation journals
Lead an EE activity in class
I also post local EE events and trainings so that students can get more exposure to the local EE community and gain experiences that they can add to their resumes.

My main text: Conservation Education and Outreach Techniques (Techniques in Ecology & Conservation) 2nd Edition

I'd love to hear what others are doing, too! It is always nice to share ideas with other educators.

Take care :)

Hi Jeanine! I teach an online, graduate-level Environmental Education course that is cross-listed in the School of Education and Geography and Environmental Sciences. Here are the course topics and readings:

Topic 1- Environmental Education: A Brief History
Environmental education’s definitional problem | Disinger
Why we need a language of (environmental) education | Le Grange
Emergence of environmental education research | Gough

Topic 2- Environmental education: in Schools, Science, & Society
Convergence between science and environmental education | Wals et al.
Environmental education and the public understanding of science | Jenkins
Schooling and environmental education | Stevenson
How the environment is positioned in Next Generation Science Standards | Hufnagel et al.

Topic 3- Environmental Literacy: Definitions & Frameworks
What is education for? (pgs. 7-15) | Orr
Environmental literacy | Roth
Environmental literacy in the US (chapter 1) | NEEF
Developing a framework for assessing environmental literacy (sections 2 & 3) | Hollweg et al.

Topic 4- Environmental Literacy: Identity
Environmental identity: A conceptual and operational definition | Clayton
Environmental identity and natural resources: A dialogical learning process | Meijers et al.
Identity and pro-environmental behavior | Clayton

Event attendance- Colorado’s Advancing Environmental Education Annual Conference

Topic 5- Discourses in Environmental Education: Children & Youth
Colorado’s millennial generation | Barton
The Nature of Childhood in Childhoodnature | Wee

Topic 6- Discourses in Environmental Education: Culture & Places
Critical pedagogies of place | Gruenewald
Political Economy and the Ecology of Childhood | Orr

Topic 7- Discourses in Environmental Education: Education & Advocacy
Two hats | Hug
Community organizing, schools, and the right to the city | Smith

Topic 8- 21st Century Environmental Education
No longer a little added frill: The transformative potential of environmental education for educational change | Hart
Expanding the field: Revisiting environmental education principles through multidisciplinary frameworks | Gahl Cole

Topic 9- Learners and Environmental Learning
Environmental Learning: Insights from research into the student experience | Rickinson et al.

Hello! Please remember that education begins at birth. The early care and education community is an important part of helping the children fall in love with nature which is the precursor to environmental education. Learning to learn, exploring and connecting to nature happens early. Please include at least a little bit in your college classes to alert the students to the needs of the children and their parents before they enter the public school system.

Yes, I agree. I didn't highlight this in my response but one of the activities that students do in class is to observe and lead an activity during my "Puddle Jumpers" program for 3 & 4 yr old. children. (I work as an environmental educator at a local nature preserve.) Early childhood programming is essential.

These are all great resources! Thanks for sharing them. I have scheduled an open online meeting on February 1 at 12noon CST. If you are able, please join in to ask questions and/or share about integrating environmental education in your education courses.
Please join the conversation at
We (UW-Stevens Point) offer a three-credit course that is required for early childhood, special education, elementary, and secondary social science and science majors. It includes 1/3 environmental studies content (lecture) and 2/3 EE pedagogy (discussion). In discussion, we discuss the following:
What is EE? History of EE
Curriculum resources (Guidelines for Excellence, Projects WILD, Aquatic WILD, Learning Tree)
Creating your own lesson plan
Teaching in the outdoors
Inclusion and differentiation
Technology and EE
Benefits of nature
EE for environmental change
Assignments include: research an environmental issue and create and implement a personal plan and a lesson plan related to that issue, nature journal, teach in a local school, and observe environmental education in action.
Readings for the discussion portion of the course come from Coyote's Guide, Across the Spectrum, Green Teacher, and Schoolyard Enhanced Learning. Students also read Two Hats.
Take care,

Hi all - I'm updating a masters prorgram in environmental education here at Florida Atlantic University. Our core progression is theory (readings, in person discussions) -> methods (visits to local providers) -> trends (online discussions of the latest research papers) -> capstone. I'm also working on a program within the undergraduate elementary education degree, but alas, I have a conflicting meeting so I won't be able to join the discussion tomorrow Becca. Cheers, Bryan