Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
Developing, promoting and providing training on the national EE guidelines
The National Project for Excellence in Environmental Education (NPEEE) was initiated by NAAEE in 1994. Since that time, NAAEE has published the Guidelines for Excellence, a series of six documents that help educators create quality environmental education resources and programs. These publications are foundational to the professionalization of the field of environmental education. They impact environmental education by improving the preparation and professional development of environmental educators, increasing the quality of instructional materials, providing developmentally appropriate benchmarks for environmental literacy, and encouraging the integration of environmental education into early childhood learning.
In 2017, University of Oregon, Antioch University of New England (AUNE), and NAAEE provided a number of focused professional development opportunities for educators to develop the understanding necessary to use the guidelines to improve environmental education practice. These opportunities include:
- Train-the-Trainer Workshop on the Community Engagement Guidelines offered at the Southeast Environmental Education Alliance conference in March 2018
- Three webinars introducing the Community Engagement Guidelines and delving into specific topics included within the guidelines, attended by several hundred educators.
- Three train-the-trainer workshops, serving 35 educators total, were held in Colorado, Utah, and North Carolina in 2017.
- Sixteen members of the Guidelines Trainers Bureau led twenty-six professional development workshops or presentations in 16 states, serving 690 educators in 2017. These educators will, in turn, reach an estimated 289,810 individuals.
In December 2016, NAAEE published the newest set of guidelines, focusing on community engagement. Through a series of webinars, workshops, and train-the-trainers workshops, the University of Oregon, Antioch University of New England (AUNE), and NAAEE are conducting training in the Guidelines, including the new Guidelines for Excellence: Community Engagement, to ensure that organizations and environmental education professionals throughout the United States are able to use them effectively. To accomplish this task, the team is continuing to build the Guidelines Trainers’ Bureau, a cadre of environmental educators who, after participating in an intensive professional development workshop, are able to facilitate Guidelines workshops and make presentations in their own states and regions. Two train-the-trainer workshops, one focusing on the new community engagement guidelines, along with mentoring and support services for current Guidelines Trainers’ Bureau members, will ensure that educators in each region will gain the skills necessary to use the Guidelines to improve environmental education practice and increase environmental literacy.