How do I involve the Community in Environmental Education?
The environment is where we live. The environment is our community and our classroom. The people, animals, plants, parks, businesses and organizations that surround our schools are our environment. Learning about the environment around us is not only a relevant and authentic context for learning, it is also rich with resources to support teachers and learning. These environments motivate and energize student learning; whether you are building awareness of the environment we live in or investigating an environmental issue, these places, businesses and organizations have a role in supporting environmental literacy. By utilizing the vast learning opportunities available in our communities, we create schools without walls and allow learners to engage with the places they call home.
One of the most common ways to access the resources of the community is through field trips. Field trips and experiences at nature centers, wastewater treatment plants, power generators, local stores and businesses, natural areas, museums, and state parks, or participation in outdoor recreation, can also be invaluable experiences that enhance student learning:
A growing body of research documents the power of informal learning experiences to spark curiosity and engage interest in the sciences during school years and throughout a lifetime. Informal science education institutions have a long history of providing staff development for teachers, and enrichment experiences for students and the public. Informal science education accommodates different learning styles and effectively serves the complete spectrum of learners: gifted, challenged, non-traditional, and second language learners.
These experiences can motivate learners, facilitate the development of place-based connections, demonstrate the relevance of the content being taught, and meet different needs and learning styles of students.
We are all Part of the Plan for Environmental Literacy!
We can help students learn by involving the community in environmental education efforts and initiatives. Click on the group below that best describes your role to find actions you can take.
|Higher Education: Coming Soon|
|Community Organizations and Agencies|