The NAAEE Conference – What is EE?

I am pleased to announce I have been accepted to present my work at the North American Association of Environmental Education’s 41st Annual conference “Gaining Perspective: Seeing EE Through Different Lenses” October 9-13 in Oakland California at the Oakland Marriott City Center! I had been wait listed and had pretty much let the idea of getting accepted go by this point, but lo and behold I received word yesterday that I was in! My workshop is an hour- from 8:30-9:30- on Saturday. We will be exploring ways to use the arts and gardening to connect children with the natural world. To have a look at what other workshops will be offered have a look at the program.

The NAAEE is an organization that has been working very hard to promote and integrate environmental education into early childhood, K-12, and higher education curricula in both formal and nonformal educational settings. In addition to their substantial list of publication surrounding the filed of EE, one of their most significant contributions to the field is the “Guidelines for Excellence.” This is a series of environmental education documents that include lessons, standards alignment, and assessments for formal and nonformal EE programs at various levels.

I am excited to have my work valued by this esteemed organization and to be involved in their 2012 conference!

To learn a little more about environmental education as defined by the NAAEE read on:

Environmental education (EE) teaches children and adults how to learn about and investigate their environment, and to make intelligent, informed decisions about how they can take care of it.

EE is taught in traditional classrooms, in communities, and in settings like nature centers, museums, parks, and zoos. Learning about the environment involves many subjects—earth science, biology, chemistry, social studies, even math and language arts—because understanding how the environment works, and keeping it healthy, involves knowledge and skills from many disciplines.

EE works best when it is taught in an organized sequence. In schools, EE often reflects state and national learning standards. “Done right,” EE not only leads to environmentally literate people, but also helps increase student academic achievement.

Environmentally literate* persons know:

• That their daily choices affect the environment,
• How those choices can help or harm the environment, and
• What they need to do—individually or as part of a community—to keep the environment healthy and sustain its resources, so that people enjoy a good quality of life for themselves and their children.

Environmental literacy* promotes human health:

• Clean air reduces the incidence of asthma and certain cancers.
• Clean water prevents infectious diseases.>
• Sustainable farming means nutrient-rich soil and healthier food for everyone.

What do environmentally literate* people do? Environmentally literate people act on their beliefs. This might mean:

• Buying “green” products for the household
• Using natural alternatives to pesticides—like marigolds—to protect gardens
• Attending community meetings to discuss complex issues like whether to build a new stadium, rehab the old one, or use the land in an altogether new way such as for public parks or playgrounds.

(From  the NAAEE website

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