Telling a More Effective Story about EE

Meaningful outdoor and environmental learning experiences bring us together to learn about our world, including how to best care for and sustain it for future generations. However, among the general public, the connection between environmental education and public health, conservation, PreK-12 education, positive youth development and social justice is poorly understood.  An evidenced based framing strategy can help the public connect the dots.  CAEE worked in collaboration with Environmental Education New Mexico and the Frameworks Institute to develop "How to Tell a More Effective Story about Environmental Education:  A Framing Guide for Advocates, Educators, Program Leaders, and Other Communicators."

"By adopting a shared and empirically proven framing strategy, advocates, educators, program leaders, and other communicators can tell a more effective story about environmental education:  what it entails, how it works, and why it's essential to our current health and happiness as well as future prospects.  Most importantly, a shared framing strategy will assist the field in providing a clear and compelling vision for how we can work together to strengthen and expand access to environmental education opportunities for everyone."  (How to Tell a More Effective Story about Environmental Education)

At CAEE, we believe the tools created can be an invaluable tool for grant writing, advocating for environmental education with leaders and decision makers, and most importantly helping the public understand that EE is an issue of critical importance to ALL of us.

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How to Tell a More Effective Story about Environmental Education

5 Framing Recommendations

1. Set the Scene. 

Provide a clear definition of environmental education.

2. Invite people into the story.

Paint a big picture of why environmental education matters to all of us.

3. Reveal the plot.

Explain key processes and cause-effect relationships.

4. Feature the full cast of characters. 

Use inclusive language to place disparate outcomes in the context of universal needs and shared responsibilities.

5. Offer a compelling conclusion. 

Provide concrete solutions that we can implement together to strengthen environmental education and become the global society we want to be.


Evidence-based Tools (and when to use them)

When you are talking about environmental education and...

The tools to reach for include:

Child and Adolescent Development

Future Preparation (value)

Cultivating Connections (metaphor)

Prek-12 Education

Future Preparation + Human Potential (value)

Wiring Up (metaphor)

Community Health and Wellbeing

Future Preparation + Human Potential (value)

Cultivating Connections (metaphor)

Foundation of Community Health (metaphor)

Conservation and Climate Change Mitigation

Future Preparation + Protection (value)

Social Justice

Attribution of Responsibility

Inclusive Opportunity