3. Environmental Education Standards
NAAEE Standards for the Initial Preparation of Environmental Educators
- STANDARD 1. Nature of Environmental Education and Environmental Literacy. Candidates demonstrate knowledge of the evolution, purposes, defining characteristics, and guiding principles of environmental education, as well as the fundamentals of environmental literacy. They understand that environmental education is an evolving field. This knowledge provides a solid foundation on which environmental educators can develop and continue to improve their own practice. [Note: This standard relates to the ability of the candidates to define environmental education and the components of environmental literacy. Standard 2 relates to the degree to which the candidates are themselves environmentally literate.]
1.1 Candidates demonstrate an understanding of how environmental education has evolved over time and continues to change.
1.2 Candidates demonstrate an understanding of the defining characteristics and guiding principles of environmental education.
1.3 Candidates demonstrate an understanding of the components of environmental literacy.
- STANDARD 2. Environmental Literacy of Candidates. Candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions associated with environmental literacy. They use technology as a tool for collecting, analyzing and communicating information about the environment. [Note: Standard 2 relates to the degree to which the candidates are themselves environmentally literate. Standard 1 relates to the ability of the candidates to define environmental education and define the components of environmental literacy.]
2.1 Candidates demonstrate environmental inquiry skills, and use technology as a tool to answer their own questions.
2.2 Candidates demonstrate an understanding of the processes and systems that comprise the environment, including Earth as a physical system, the living environment, and human social systems and influences.
2.3 Candidates identify, select and investigate environmental issues and use technology as a tool when conducting these investigations.
2.4 Candidates demonstrate an understanding of the importance of exercising the rights and responsibilities of environmental citizenship.
2.5 Candidates identify and evaluate the need for action on specific environmental issues, identify possible action projects, and evaluated potential outcomes of those action projects.
2.6 Candidates use the results of their investigations to plan, carry out, and evaluate action projects designed to address selected environmental issues.
- STANDARD 3. Learning Theories and Knowledge of Learners. Candidates demonstrate an understanding of theories of learning and human development, learning processes, and individual differences. They demonstrate respect for their students as unique individuals. Candidates apply this knowledge to create positive, effective and responsive learning environments for all students3 in environmental education.
3.1 Candidates impact diverse students’ learning by applying theories of learning and development when planning, delivering, and improving environmental education instruction.
3.2 Candidates impact diverse students’ learning by applying an understanding of learning processes when planning, delivering, and improving environmental education.
3.3 Candidates impact diverse students’ learning by applying an understanding of ability levels and cultural and linguistic backgrounds when planning, delivering, and improving environmental education instruction.
- STANDARD 4. Curriculum: Standards and Integration. Candidates demonstrate an understanding of how the unique features of environmental education can be used in the design and enrichment of standards-based curricula and school programs.
4.1 Candidates align NAAEE’s Guidelines for Learning (PreK-12) and associated environmental literacy components with national, state, and district content standards.
4.2 Candidates use alignment results to select, adapt, and develop environmental education curricular and instructional materials.
4.3 Candidates seek opportunities to integrate environmental education into standards-based curricula and school programs.
- STANDARD 5. Instructional Planning and Practice. Candidates identify and differentiate among a variety of instructional strategies and tools, including instructional technology that enhance environmental learning. They plan and deliver instruction that promotes environmental literacy and creates stimulating and motivating climates for learning for diverse learners.
5.1 Candidates describe and critically review a range of instructional materials, resources, technologies, and settings for use in environmental education.
5.2 Candidates impact students’ learning by selecting and implementing instructional strategies and technologies that meet diverse students’ needs and lead to the development of environmental literacy.
5.3 Candidates develop technology- rich environmental education instructional plans that address diverse students’ needs.
5.4 Candidates impact diverse students’ learning by delivering developmentally, culturally and linguistically appropriate and effective environmental education instruction.
- STANDARD 6. Assessment. Candidates possess the knowledge, abilities, and commitment to make assessment integral to curriculum and instruction in environmental education, thereby fostering continuous intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development of each student. Candidates demonstrate an understanding of how assistive technologies can be used in assessment. Candidates use assessment as a means of on-going evaluation of effective teaching and learning.
6.1 Candidates integrate assessment that meets the needs of diverse students into environmental education instruction.
6.2 Candidates impact diverse students’ learning by using assessment data, collected and analyzed with the aid of technology, to inform environmental education instruction.
6.3 Candidates impact diverse students’ learning by communicating assessment results and achievement to appropriate individuals.
- STANDARD 7. Professional Growth in Environmental Education. Candidates recognize the importance and benefits of belonging to a professional community, and understand that professional development is a life-long endeavor and an indispensable asset to becoming a contributing member of the environmental education profession. Candidates understand and accept the responsibilities associated with practicing environmental education.
7.1 Candidates identify the benefits and recognize the importance of belonging to a professional environmental education community.
7.2 Candidates engage in environmental education professional development opportunities, including technology-based opportunities.
7.3 Candidates provide accurate, balanced, and effective environmental education instruction.
7.4 Candidates develop a rationale for environmental education and understand the need to advocate for the field of environmental education.