Early Childhood Environmental Education Programs: Guidelines for Excellence


Early Childhood Environmental Education Programs: Guidelines for Excellence

Book cover showing a pair of pink rainboots standing on a brick floor near a snail

The Early Childhood Environmental Education Programs: Guidelines for Excellence comprises a set of recommendations for developing comprehensive early childhood environmental education programs or informing improvements in existing ones. A companion publication, the Early Childhood Environmental Education Rating Scale, provides a collaborative tool for educators and others to discuss their early childhood environmental education program goals, consider strengths and areas of needed improvement, and chart a future direction for program development.

Through the National Project for Excellence in Environmental Education, the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) is taking the lead in establishing guidelines for the development of coherent and comprehensive environmental education materials and programs. These guidelines draw on our best thinking honed by scholars and practitioners across a variety of fields and settings, including formal and nonformal education, curriculum development, instructional design, early childhood education, and adult education.

To ensure that these Guidelines for Excellence reflect a widely shared understanding of environmental education, they were developed by a team of environmental education professionals from a variety of backgrounds and organizational affiliations. This team took on the challenge of turning ideas about environmental literacy into tangible recommendations and examples. In addition, drafts of these guidelines were circulated widely to practitioners and scholars in the field (e.g., teachers, educational administrators, environmental scientists, and curriculum developers), and their comments were incorporated into successive revisions of the document. As such, hundreds of practitioners have participated in the writing of these guidelines.

To learn more and to access additional resources, visit the Guidelines for Excellence website.