A Critical review of
The State of Environmental Education in United States K-12 Schools

What do you know about Environmental Education?

What is your opinion of the State of Environmental Education in the United States K - 12 Schools?

Not sure? Look at the summary of a study done in April 1997 of K-12 environmental education teaching materials by the Independent Commission on Environmental Edcuation (ICCE). -ICCE report -the study implies that what needs to be done to have students become environmental savy is known and that educational materials and teachers can be prepared to achieve the goals of environmental education. Assuming that is accurate, what can be done to better prepare teachers?

What do students need to know?

Start with a definition of Environmental Education

Curriculum what should it be? - Curriculum Assessment Inventory

What do students know about the environment?

Environmental Solutions

  • Ecocentrism - believe that society needs to change the political and economic structure.
  • Technocentrism - believe the use of technology and legal accountability can solve environmental problems.
  • Balanced View - believe economics and environmental needs can be balanced.

Student goals needed

  • Environmental understanding
  • Sociological understanding
  • Political understanding
  • Cultural understanding
  • Concern for all living organisms
  • Understanding of mathematics

Educational Research and its Implications

What does research suggest about how to teach about the environment?

What are posible concerns?

  • Knowledge and accurate understanding of scientific knowledge as it relates to the environment.
  • Instructional methods that challenge students to get to the core of their misunderstandings.
  • Understanding of scientific inquiry and research.
  • Foresight to envision accurate future scenarios.
  • Development of attitudes and values that demand a society that accepts a responsibility for caring and stewardship of all living organisms.
  • Move from a compartmental subject curriculum to an integrated curriculum based on a world view.

Where do we go from here?

What do think the State of Environmental Education in the United States K - 12 Schools is?

Questions and Answers from the author?

Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©