Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
In-Service: Professional Development & Leadership
Leadership training to support state/regional infrastructure, in-service training for formal educators, and outreach to diverse audiences
Project Learning Tree (PLT) is increasing the delivery of environmental education training and long-term support to educators across the U.S. Their work enables educators to teach effectively about environmental issues and to use EE as a tool for improving teaching and learning and achieving a healthy and sustainable environment. PLT’s trainings focus on three specific areas: leadership training to support state/regional infrastructure; in-service training for formal educators that builds on existing quality EE programs; and engagement with diverse audiences (both primary and secondary).
In 2017, PLT held its International Coordinators’ Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, with 100 state and national leaders attending from 44 states, the District of Columbia, Mexico, and Japan. Judy Braus, NAAEE’s Executive Director, gave a keynote on the ee360 initiative: What It Means for Environmental Education. Other ee360 partners participated in the PLT conference including Bora Simmons who led a session on the newest set of guidelines from the Guidelines for Excellence Series, Community Engagement: Guidelines for Excellence, and CDE, which led a session on how diversity strengthens and enriches the field and makes the environmental movement more relevant than ever. In addition, this conference marked the launch of PLT’s new E-Unit online curriculum, where PLT leadership received the professional development needed to implement educator trainings successfully in their states on these new materials.
In their work to support state and regional infrastructure, PLT identified seven states to receive grant funding in support of state-level leadership development. These states conducted self-assessments of their program strengths and areas needing improvement. Based on the results of these self-assessments, these states developed plans to conduct strategic planning, develop their strategic leadership and steering committees, and enhance their fund development. States will implement and share their action plans in 2018. PLT supported 19 states in delivering EE trainings for in-service educators. In total, PLT supported 168 training workshops across the country, reaching 2,624 educators and an estimated 419,000 students.