Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
It’s no secret that good environmental education is interdisciplinary, hands-on, and relates to the real world. Perhaps less known, these characteristics also describe the key drivers of STEM-learning (science, technology, engineering, and math), and new research has shown a lack of understanding among youth in the United States today. Working to fill that gap, environmental education has the opportunity to create a pathway for implementing effective and engaging STEM-lessons both in and outside of the classroom.
People are naturally visual, so it makes sense that in the Age of Information, often the ideas that stick are those with some sort of image attached to them. The same can be said when we think of data-visualization. David McCandless’s book features hundreds of examples of infographics that can serve to inspire, inform, and help relate to the world around us through data. I use this resource as a teaching tool for students to help them create their own scientific stories about the environment and communicate with others.
- Emphasis on skills building
- Instructional soundness
When I need ideas or inspiration to learn more about a topic or create a lesson, often I find myself searching ed.ted.com/lessons and am met with high-quality, short, subject-matter videos that provide me with lesson ideas, discussion prompts, and even additional resources that I can run with. Created by educators, for educators, the more than 300K lessons developed to date leave you bound to find a perfect extension to your specific nature-based pre or post-lesson.
- Fairness and accuracy
- Action orientation
In my humble opinion, there is no better artifact than Richard Louv’s The Nature Principle to document our present chapter in time as a society faced with balancing the “virtual and the real.” Where his other titles focus on ideas like nature-deficit disorder (Last Child in the Woods) or health implications of spending more time outside (Vitamin N), the Nature Principle covers topics like the “hybrid mind” and offers inspiration for creating high-tech, high-nature neighborhoods where we live and work.