Environmental Education Teacher Preparation Project | Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance
Resource type: Teacher Training - Higher Education - Video - Guide
The Minnesota Environmental Education Teacher Preparation Project was a cooperative effort among ten higher education institutions in Minnesota to develop and implement a coordinated statewide environmental education (EE) program for classroom teachers and students enrolled in teacher education programs. The project aimed to help teachers address the Minnesota graduation standards, as well as meet the goals outlined in A GreenPrint for Minnesota: State Plan for Environmental Education by providing teachers with training in both the content and delivery of EE for use across curriculum areas. The project was unique in that a partnership approach was taken towards the development of the courses and their goals. The project was funded by the Minnesota Legislature as recommended by the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCMR) for the period between 1995 and 1998. This project was an attempt to bring together the education departments of higher education institutions with teachers and other environmental education deliverers to plan an in-depth course that would give teachers who want to teach environmental education the background to do so competently.
Each university course was based on the same set of overall goals. Working within these goals, each university had the creative latitude to develop their course highlighting the skills and assets of their individual team and local environment. As a result, each course varied significantly from one another. The goals of the project aimed to help teachers address the Minnesota graduation standards and:
1. Understand basic ecological principles;
2. Understand the interrelationships among people, social systems, and natural systems;
3. Use integrated and innovative teaching methods to deliver environmental education across curriculums;
4. Find, access, and use environmental education teaching resources including innovative technology.
A 16-minute video documenting the Minnesota Environmental Education Teacher Preparation Project gives a basic overview of the project and focuses primarily on documenting the implementations of the project goals by newly trained (1997) teachers into their classrooms and schools. These in-service courses were held in the summers of 1996 and 1997 and have been instilled as permanent offerings in the majority of the participating universities. The video continues to be useful for teachers interested in taking these courses. It is also useful for other states interested in carrying out a similar project.
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