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Environmental Education

  • Date Submitted: 01/31/2012 11:45 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 39.2 
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ARTICLE

Environmental Education & Ecology in a Life Science Course for Preservice K–8 Teachers Using Project Wildlife in Learning Design

ALLAN NELSON

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ABSTRACT

to offering a new course and that preservice is an important place in the educational system to infuse EE (Powers, 2004). Elementary teacherDuring laboratory sessions devoted to ecology, 182 preservice K–8 teachers participated education programs at 42 Pennsylvania institutions most often had EE in a Project Wildlife in Learning Design (WILD) workshop. Participants rated the workcomponents incorporated into science methods, biology, or general shop highly, indicated they would use more inquiry-based activities, and were more intermethods classes (Heimlich et al., 2004; Mastrilli, 2005), and nationwide ested in teaching ecology following the workshop. Post-test scores indicated an increased content knowledge of ecology. preservice EE is usually integrated into existing coursework, primarily in science methods courses (McKeown-Ice, 2000). Key Words: Project WILD; environmental education; preservice K-8 teachers; Institutionalization of EE into preservice programs, as in other subjects ecology. like reading, science, and special education, is rare. Most programs in Pennsylvania do not offer required courses in EE, and many states have In the United States, environmental education (EE) in preservice teacher-ednumerous external mandates for teacher accreditation as well as a legislaucation programs has not been institutionalized and is often driven by one tive call for decreased numbers of credits required for graduation (Mastrilli, person who teaches a specialty course in the topic or integrates environmental 2005). This lack of institutionalization is apparent nationwide in the few education into existing classes (McKeown-Ice, 2000). Teacher-education faculty with specialization in EE and the small number of colleges and uniinstitutions are forced by state...

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