Environmental Literacy

Bringing Nature Back to the Schoolyard

by Jane Tesner Kleiner, RLA     Imagine walking out the back door of your school, surrounded by the songs of spring time birds, the soft scents of flowers in bloom, the wind billowing through nearby trees, and (if you are lucky) the croaking of Pacific tree...

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Food Waste and Climate Change

PEI Offers Food Waste and Climate Change Storyline Workshop for Teachers Despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, the United States is also one of the most wasteful. America holds the dubious distinction of throwing away more food than every other...

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Why Environmental Educators Shouldn’t Give Up Hope

Photo by Jim Martin Why Environmental Educators Shouldn’t Give Up Hope by Jacob Rodenburg I’m trying hard not to get discouraged. Being an environmental educator in today’s world feels like you are asked to stop a rushing river armed only with a teaspoon. There are so...

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EE Questions and Actions

Critical Questions 1. What kinds of support are available in your school, district and community for supporting environmental educational activities? 2. In what ways can environmental education activities enhance learning? 3. What are the most effective strategies for...

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What is Good Environmental Education?

What is Good Environmental Education? Our students need to be ready to invest in building positive futures for the communities to which they belong - household to global. by Peter Hayes he choice to become an educator brings with it a career-long sentence to the...

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Human/Natural Systems Interactions

  Human/Natural Systems Interactions: A Framework A critical thinking tool for developing ecological literacy throughout the curriculum compares cultures and their relationship to the natural world. by Barbara Jackson n this era of relentless consumption of...

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4-H Urban-Rural Exchange

By being on the land and walking in the shoes of their host families, students begin to understand more deeply how and why Oregonians manage the land the way they do. By Maureen Hosty With contributions from Gary Delaney, Deb Schreiber, John Williams, Jed Smith and...

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Digging Deeper

  by David A. Greenwood, Lakehead University, Canada As part of the 2009 North American Association of Environmental Education Research Symposium, this article addresses the cultural and theoretical frameworks that we bring to environmental education, the web of...

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Earth Day

Although this article was written in 1996, and contains references to events and people from that era, much of Weilbacher's critique remains relevant today.  -Ed.   Every Day is NOT Earth Day Reflections on the True Meaning of Earth Day by Mike Weilbacher 'll...

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Bird Language

Creating the Need to Pay Attention Field trips and adventures in the woods are tremendously important experiences for children, especially those students that don’t often get to spend time in a natural setting. Some of the most important, lasting results of good...

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Bias and the Educator in the Mirror

Bias and the Educator in the Mirror Our inherent perspectives color the world we share with our students. by Victor Elderton Many of us in environmental education strive to create lessons and activities which we hope will facilitate greater understanding and stimulate...

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Why Garden in School (Part 2)

Can School Gardening Help Save Civilization? (An Essay in Four Parts)   by Carter D. Latendresse The Catlin Gabel School Portland, Oregon Abstract This paper is an argument for gardening in schools, focusing on two months of integrated English-history sixth grade...

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EE Research: Writing Stories Builds Scientific Literacy

Writing Stories Builds Scientific Literacy From Environmental Research Bulletin Nicole Ardoin and Jason Morris, Project Leaders THE RESEARCH: Ritchie, S. M., Tomas, L., & Tones, M. (2011). Writing stories to enhance scientific literacy. International Journal of...

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Teaching and Learning Ecologically

Cultivating Ecological Teachers and Learners Using Project Learning Tree   by Jaclyn Stallard from The Branch, Project Learning Tree's E-newsletter Summer 2014 "Ecological teaching and learning is not just a matter of pedagogy, but also philosophy. Ecological...

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Fueling the Fire: North Cascade Institute’s Path for Youth

Fueling the Fire: North Cascade Institute's Path for Youth by Mollie Behn t is no secret that today’s youth are increasingly disconnected from nature. As a result, youth are less aware of issues and threats facing the environment and how to address them. We need to...

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Seeking Environmental Maturity…

...at Starker Forests Helping students climb the ladder to responsible citizenship by Dick Powell This past summer I attended the World Forestry Center's International Educator's Institute (IEI). As an environmental educator without any formal pedagogical or...

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Teach the student who lives within the body

Photo credit: Sarah Sullivan, Abernethy School, Portland by Jim Martin Clearing Associate Editor he last time we met, students had planted seeds in parts of a garden plot they chose. So, where do they go now? They’ve made their decisions about where to plant each of...

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Inquiry Learning: Asking Your Own Questions

When you make the finding yourself - even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light - you'll never forget it. -Carl Sagan by Jim Martin Science Educator and CLEARING guest writer oing out into the world beyond the classroom for science and other curricula...

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Learning Eco-Literacy (Lessons from an Orca Grandmother) Pt. 3

by Sally Hodson, Ed.D. author of Granny's Clan, published by Dawn Publications See Part 1 and Part 2 of this series. Part 3: Tell a Story How do we prepare young people for the 21st century challenge of caring for our planet so that it can sustain future generations...

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The Urban-Rural Exchange Bridges Oregon’s Greatest Divide

The Urban-Rural Exchange Bridges Oregon's Greatest Divide By Judy Scott From Oregon's Agricultural Progress Wallowa County in northeast Oregon was the destination for one of this year’s four exchanges. The young guests from the city arrived in the thick of calving...

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Oregon Environmental Literacy Plan: Building a Network

Oregon Environmental Literacy Plan: Building a Network by Traci Price In 2009, the Oregon Legislature passed the No Oregon Child Left Inside (NOCLI) Act that established an eleven-member task force charged with developing The Oregon Environmental Literacy Plan: Toward...

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Do It Yourself First: Leading Student-Directed Inquiry

Do It Yourself First: Leading Student-Directed Inquiry by Jim Martin CLEARING guest writer f you’ve never taken your elementary, middle, or secondary students out of the classroom to learn, and can’t find a helpful mentor or workshop, it’s okay to learn to use the...

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Learning Eco-Literacy (Lessons from an Orca Grandmother)

by Sally Hodson, Ed.D. author of Granny's Clan, published by Dawn Publications   . Part 1: Thinking in Webs . lanet Earth is home whether you’re a plant, an animal or a human. Our Earth is the only place in the universe we know for sure that can support life. So how...

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Discovering Place: A Place-based Education Video Series

urious about place-based education? Check out this free place-based education (PBE) video series, produced by University Outreach at the University of Michigan-Flint. The series was made possible through a $20,000 grant by the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network...

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Partnering for Ocean Literacy

Along the Oregon coast, community partners are teaming up with the school district to encourage use of the ocean as a context for learning . by Rachel Bayor, School Liaison Partnership Coordinator hy do kids need to know about the ocean? It may take a moment to...

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A Classroom Without Walls

A Classroom Without Walls Deepening Children's Connection with Nature by Seth Webb Free Horizon Montessori School   e each have an incredible gift: the ability to engage children with the world - indeed, the universe - that surrounds them and, of which, they are...

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Exemplary EE Programs in the Pacific Northwest

Click on the image for an overview of outstanding regional EE programs. Put your program on the map! Recent additions: • Solar panels in Seattle classroom • CREST Farm-to-School Program • Expeditionary Learning in Washington

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Lessons for teaching in the environment and community – 10

"Lessons for Teaching in the Environment and Community" is a regular series that explores how teachers can gain the confidence to go into the world outside of their classrooms for a substantial piece of their curricula. Part 10: Assimilation When the world outside...

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Lessons for teaching in the environment and community

"Lessons for Teaching in the Environment and Community" is a regular series that explores how teachers can gain the confidence to go into the world outside of their classrooms for a substantial piece of their curricula. Part 4: Inquiry An Introduction to the World of...

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Kettle Falls: Engaging in Real Work

by Val McKern Kettle Falls Elementary School believes that by engaging kids in authentic work, attitudes can change toward both work and community.  As a second grader, Todd started the year with little interest in school, had a difficult time focusing on discussions...

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CREST Farm to School

by Bob Carlson CREST is an environmental education center operated by the West Linn-Wilsonville School District which is located just south of Portland, Oregon. One of the key CREST programs is the CREST Farm . The farm is located on surplus district property....

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How to Give Kids a Nature Experience to Remember

ne of my favorite nature quotations comes from the Japanese conservationist Tanaka Shozu who said, “The question of rivers is not a question of rivers, but of the human heart.” I wanted to touch the hearts of my middle school students with the beauty of nature as well...

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Catlin Gabel School—a Focus on Food

By Eric Shawn The interdisciplinary study of food has emerged as a theme in sustainability education at Catlin Gabel School, an independent, co-educational school with 725 students in preschool through 12th grade in Portland, Oregon. The focus on food—a necessity for...

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The Heart of Sustainability: Big Ideas from the Field of EE

Big Ideas from the field of Environmental Education and their Relationship to Sustainability Education — or — What’s love got to do with it? . . By Donald J. Burgess and Tracy Johannessen Introduction common raven suddenly begins to call from Cornwall Park. I rush to...

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Top Ten List for Developing Environmental Literacy

from Callister, Jamogochian, Lemos, Weddle, & Yoder (2010) - Community-based Education: Model Programs. Northwest Center for Sustainable Resources. http://www.ncsr.org/materials/index.html This top-ten list of advice from Jon Yoder may be of assistance for...

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Educating for Earth: Future Generations and All of Life

by Mike Seymour What we have called the "environmental crisis" is the most significant challenge humanity as a whole has faced in its recorded history. How we understand and frame this crisis—and how we summon the political courage to change—will determine the extent...

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Top Five Ways to Use EE to Achieve Your Education Goals

By Judy Braus You’re a new teacher with a head full of ideas. You want to be innovative and effective — on the cutting edge of reform. You want your kids to be excited about learning. And you think the environment is an important, cross-cutting theme that will engage...

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The Window into Green

by Mike Weilbacher With the new wave of interest in the environment, will we finally give students the tools they need to become environmentally literate citizens? In just a few weeks, high school seniors all around the United States will walk proudly across stages,...

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