Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Online Environmental Education Resources

See below for two online resource centers for educators and advice for teachers looking to incorporate EE into the classroom:

Resource #1.
Attention High School Teachers! The National Environmental Education Foundation's Classroom Earth is an online resource designed to help high school teachers include environmental content in their daily lesson plans. This is not just for science teachers. Lessons are divided up by subject area, and include foreign languages, language arts, math, social studies, the arts, and of course, science.

Useful resources on the site include:
In the News: Find environmental news articles to connect to your classroom content.
Where in the World: Geographically-based environmental information, plus resources for incorporating geographically-based topics into your lessons.
Find your Course

Look at Success Stories. The projects of other teachers can offer inspiration.
Explore Funding Opportunities
Teaching about the environment does not require funding, but if you have a creative idea that needs funding, or want to allow an opportunity to enrich your skills, browse the funding resources.
Discover Professional Development Opportunities
Are you looking for professional development opportunities to help you learn more about how to include environmental content in your high school classroom lessons? Look for tabs at the top of the home page or links in the bottom right hand corner.

Resource #2
The National Wildlife Federation has officially started the Eco-Schools USA Program. It is the new US component of an international network of 30,000 schools in 43 nations.

The Eco-Schools USA goals are simple:  1) green the school buildings,  2) green the school grounds, and c) green the educational programming at registered schools.

The program encompasses a rich set of educational "pathways" such as energy, water, green hour outdoors and climate change. Program partners include SchoolTube.com, Facing the Future, Al Gore's Climate Project, and the HSBC climate initiative. Schools and teachers can sign up online to be a part of the program and access valuable resources for "greening" your school!

And finally...
Advice from educators, for educators interested in incorporating the environment in their teachings.

  • Look for real-life connections that students can relate to.
  • Talk about science careers.
  • Don’t brainwash students, let them reach their own understanding based on facts.
  • Get the whole school involved. A holistic approach that incorporates the environment in more than just science classes.
  • As the teacher, you need to get out in the field. Try a summer project with the Nature Conservancy or a university professor.
  • Forge a connection with a university so that you can bring a scientist into your classroom.
  • Show school administrators that you’ve done your homework and have a workable plan if you want to sell them on a class project that takes the kids outside the classroom.
  • Learn how to write and apply for grants.

    *This list is part of the article "Teachers and schools embrace green curricula" by Harriet Blake for KABC TV - Los Angeles.

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