How do I know what my students know and are able to do?

How do we know what students know and are able to do?

What steps can I take to assess environmental literacy?

Where can I get ideas on assessment and evaluation?

We need to ensure that assessment of environmental literacy is a part of the teaching and learning process to measure changes in student environmental literacy over time, allowing us to strive toward continual improvement.

Assessments should be based on the definition of environmental literacy and mastery of the state academic standards for environmental literacy.


What do we measure?

The following components are from the Framework for Assessing Environmental Literacy:

Competencies:  What are students able to do?

Competencies are clusters of skills and abilities that may be called upon and expressed for a specific purpose. Find skills embedded in the evidence outcomes throughout the standards.  These include the capacity to:

  • Identify environmental
  • Ask relevant questions
  • Analyze environmental issues
  • Investigate environmental issues
  • Evaluate and make personal judgments about environmental issues
  • Use evidence and experience to defend positions and resolve issues
  • Create and evaluate plans to resolve environmental issues

Knowledge:  What do students know?

Find knowledge embedded in the Grade Level expectations of Colorado’s Academic standards.  Environmental literacy entails knowledge of:

  • Physical and ecological systems
  • Social, cultural and political systems
  • Environmental issues
  • Multiple solutions to environmental issues
  • Citizen participation and action strategies

Dispositions:  How do students feel?

Dispositions are more difficult to measure through traditional assessments.  You may find these ideas embedded within the exploration of inquiry questions or through exploring the Nature of the Discipline.  Dispositions are important determinants of behaviors, both positive and negative, toward the environment.  Learners’ dispositions toward the environment are thought to influence their willingness to recognize and choose among value perspectives, as well as their motivation to participate in public deliberations about environmental issues. They include:

  • Sensitivity
  • Attitudes, concern, and worldview
  • Personal responsibility
  • Self-efficacy
  • Motivation and intentions

Learn more about the Competencies, Skills, and Dispositions at


What steps can I take to assess environmental literacy?


We are all part of the Plan for Environmental Literacy!

Assessment of environmental literacy can be supported on every level.  Click on the group below that best describes your role to find actions you can take.

  Educators Schools


Higher Education: Coming Soon
  Community Organizations and Agencies

Where can I get ideas on assessment and evaluation of environmental literacy?

CAEE works to ensure everyone in Colorado has an opportunity to learn about the environment where they live. We value inclusiveness and welcome everyone to the field of environmental education.

1536 Wynkoop St, Suite 314, Denver, CO 80202
phone: 303-273-9527
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