What Makes for Effective Environmental Education?

Uses a sound curriculum:

  • Includes principles of sustainability.
  • Is science-based.
  • Reflects current research and associated literature.
  • Includes breadth from local to global communities.
  • Is multidisciplinary integrating ecology, sociology, geography, biology, civics, history, economics, etc.
  • Incorporates real world situations in which to apply academics.

Uses effective methods:

  • Includes experiential activities.
  • Occurs out in the environment, engages learners directly with environments being studied.
  • Utilizes formal and non-formal educational resources for learners of all ages.

Connects people with nature:

  • Teaches about both the natural and built environment and how they interrelate.
  • Helps students understand their relationships within ecosystems and their role in sustaining them.
  • Includes study of positive human activity, particularly for students sixth grade and younger.

Promotes action:

  • Seeks to ameliorate positive human influences on natural systems.
  • Explores how human behavior and actions affect natural systems.
  • Encourages responsibility.

Is inclusive:

  • Is balanced, presenting multiple sides of issues.
  • Occurs throughout life (life-long learning).
  • Is age-appropriate.
  • Recognizes cultural context.