Initiative #3

Striving for Excellence in Environmental Education Practice
Developing an inventory of the current state of environmental education (EE) in our schools and assessing the needs of our teachers to successfully implement environmental education practices.
Committee Chair: Kelly Shea

This effort will focus on advancing practice in the field. Building on NAAEE’s Guidelines for Excellence, this team will create an inventory tool to determine the “state of the state” in terms of who is doing environmental education; what kind of EE is being done; how often and where is it being done; what types of partners, curricula, and tools are being used; if professional development is taking place; if and how outdoor classrooms are utilized; etc. In addition to an inventory tool, Initiative 3 will develop a needs assessment/survey of teachers to determine what skills and resources they feel they are lacking to effectively carry out EE.

We will use this information to establish a series of professional development for informal and formal educators to help increase the quantity and quality of EE being done in our schools. As a result, RIEEA member organizations’ programming improves, school led EE improves, and the number of students receiving quality EE increases. The survey tools will be shared with other states who can then replicate these studies in order to improve EE and professional development at the national scale.

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