Best Practices of Environmental Education and Stewardship

This course is a 3.0 CEU option for the California Environmental Foundation institute Best Practices of Environmental Education and Stewardship.

The institute will provide instruction on three Saturdays by experts in best practices of environment-based pedagogy and environmental education (EE) content. Participants will learn how to apply the latest instructional strategies from veteran staff developers who work for the highly regarded K-12 Alliance. Participants will practice engaging their students in exciting, premier EE curricula identified by the California Department of Education. Selected EE lessons will be led by experts from the California Department of Fish and Game, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Metropolitan Water District, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the California Water Foundation.

Meaningful stewardship programs will be introduced by education professionals from the Jane Goodall Institute and the National Geographic Society. Following each Saturday institute, participants will collaborate with their local CREEC network coordinator to determine their curriculum and community EE resource needs. Teachers will use these resources to implement an EE lesson that includes a school or community environmental stewardship project. Implementation results will be shared with their fellow participants at the following Saturday Institute where they will receive feedback and coaching on content, pedagogy and environmental stewardship.

All sample activities for teachers and their students will be correlated to California’s Next Generation Science Standards and California’s Common Core State Standards. Best practices of experiential instruction in environment-based lessons will be presented and later applied by the participants in planning school curriculum and stewardship projects.

Topical Outline:

The three major themes of the Institute are Systems, Diversity and Interrelationships. Content covered within each theme will feature cross-disciplinary topics of environment: resource management, biodiversity, conserving water and energy, ground water and surface water quality, and environment-based careers.  Thematic presentations will be as follows:

  • A wildlife expert from the California Department of Fish and Game and a biologist representing the Jane Goodall Institute will co-present an activity about water pollution and its effects on wildlife and wildlife habitat.
  • An expert on water conservation from the Metropolitan Water District will provide tips for saving water.
  • An engineer from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will identify energy sources, describe energy usage and ways to conserve energy.
  • A representative from the California Water Foundation will lead an activity about water sources, water quality and water conservation.
  • The director of education for the National Geographic Society will describe ways to encourage students to engage in environmental stewardship projects.
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