Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
Synthesis of research on effective professional development in environmental education, teaching strategies that motivate civic engagement, and evaluation practices
As a leader in the field of EE research, Stanford University is summarizing and annotating recently published environmental education research, and collecting it in Environmental Education Research Bulletins (EERBs). The Research Bulletins report on research from journals focused on issues pertaining to environmental educators, and the summaries are written in accessible language tailored for field practitioners, both in formal and nonformal settings. These bulletins include articles related to environmental education evaluation, sense of place, environmental behavior, teaching practices, and professional development, among other relevant topics.
EERB #10, which summarizes 20 research studies published between July and December 2015, was completed and published and can be found on eePRO. EERB #11 is in the final stages of production. This Bulletin summarizes 20 research studies published between January and June 2016. EERB #11 will be available for distribution to NAAEE and Stanford’s regional partner, ChangeScale, in early 2018.
To facilitate uptake and use of environmental education research by educators in the classroom as well as nonformal settings, Stanford is also developing workshops focused on the research-and-practice connection. They are using a design-thinking method to develop an innovative approach to these workshops. The outcomes of the initial session (see blue box below) will form the core of the EE Research-and-Practice (EERAP) Workshops, which Stanford will offer in person, both regionally (in the San Francisco/Monterey Bay areas, through our partners at ChangeScale) as well as nationally (at the NAAEE conference). Closely evaluating the efficacy of these workshops in terms of how empowered, engaged, and motivated the participating practitioners are, they will use the findings and outcomes from in-person workshops to design an online version of the workshop in the future.
Design-Thinking Workshop on Connecting Research and Practice:
In late September 2017, ee360 project partner Stanford University hosted a design-thinking workshop focused on connecting EE research and practice. The 24 workshop participants engaged in exercises and applied tools to leverage design-thinking mindsets and strategies, such as empathy, collaborative brainstorming, and rapid prototyping. In this way, they generated innovative approaches to overcoming barriers between research and practice. The participants represented a spectrum of practitioner and researcher perspectives and hailed from organizations, agencies, universities, and programs across the United States. The workshop outcomes will inform future EE Research and Practice (EERAP) workshops, which Stanford, along with ChangeScale as well as other ee360 partners, will offer in-person and online to EE professionals working in formal and informal settings. Dr. Nicole Ardoin’s team, in collaboration with instructors from Stanford’s d.school, designed and led the workshop.