|Integrating Environmental and Outdoor Education into Your Classroom|
|Post Date:||September 11, 2019|
Benefits of Environmental and Outdoor Education
Research has found that outdoor experiences are critical to attitudes and behaviors that protect the environment. People that participate in nature-based outdoor activities as children are more likely to have attitudes favorable toward the environment and engage in behaviors that are protective of the environment (Wells and Lekies, 2006). Additionally, experience out-of-doors builds creativity, physical competence, social skills, environmental knowledge, confidence and problem-solving (Chawla, 2006).
Learn more about the research on the benefits of environmental and outdoor education at http://www.childrenandnature.org/research/
Minnesota Department of Education's Project to Integrate Environmental and Outdoor Education in Minnesota Schools
The MDE project, which was completed in June of 2013, also tested and evaluated student achievement and several other promising activities during the project. These promising activities included teacher training, mini-grants, community partnerships, children and nature connections, green school programs, connections with MDE staff, school administrative support, and a national EOE program model. These activities (link to promising activities section) and a comprehensive evaluation of the project's impact on students and teachers by Dr. Julie Ernst, University of Minnesota-Duluth, are described in detail in the report (link to evaluation section).
Learn more about the project by downloading the final report at /wp-content/uploads/publications/integrating_eoe.pdf
Environmental and Outdoor Education (EOE) Model Lessons
Green Ribbon Schools Program
Funding for the MDE project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). The Trust Fund is a permanent fund constitutionally established by the citizens of Minnesota to assist in the protection, conservation, preservation, and enhancement of the state's air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources.
Currently 40 percent of net Minnesota State Lottery proceeds are dedicated to building the Trust Fund and ensuring future benefits for Minnesota's environment and natural resources.
Beth Aune, Director, Academic Standards and Instructional Effectiveness
The Children & Nature Network (C&NN) (http://www.childrenandnature.org/research/) was created to encourage and support the people and organizations working nationally and internationally to reconnect children with nature. The network provides a critical link between researchers and individuals, educators and organizations dedicated to children's health and well-being.
National Wildlife Federation (http://www.nwf.org/What-We-Do/Kids-and-Nature/Educators.aspx) works to connect children and youth with nature by providing educators with easy-to-implement, trusted curriculum and activities that help inspire the next generation of environmental stewards. They work with educators to get kids learning outdoors and help parents find new ways to engage their children outside.
The Environmental Literacy Scope and Sequence (http://eeportal.minnesotaee.org/eemn_c.cfm) (March 2002) provides a systems approach to environmental education that can focus the efforts of teachers and deliverers of EE to unify their many independent efforts to achieve the goal of environmental literacy. Because the Scope and Sequence is based on both state and national standards, it enables environmental education deliverers to build, adapt or integrate curriculum and assessments that are most appropriate for their particular grade level or audience.
Minnesota Association for Environmental Education (http://www.minnesotaee.org/) serves environmental education professionals, students, K-12 educators, and supporters of EE in Minnesota through coordinating an annual conference, acknowledging successful EE programs and professionals, supporting legislation that advances EE at the state and federal level, and sharing resources among our members.
Minnesota Naturalists' Association (http://www.mnnaturalists.org/) exists to advance natural and cultural resource interpretation for the purpose of fostering wise stewardship of all resources. It is a non-profit organization of professional environmental educators, park rangers, naturalists, interpreters and volunteers throughout the state of Minnesota and beyond.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (www.mndnr.gov/education) works with citizens to conserve and manage the state's natural resources. It offers teacher trainings, outdoor classroom development assistance, workshops, safety-education classes, and naturalist-led programs at state parks.
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|Order information or contact:||Jeff Ledermann Environmental and Outdoor Education Project Coordinator Minnesota Pollution Control Agency 520 Lafayette Rd N St. Paul, MN 55155 651-757-2520 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|MAEE Partner||Minnesota Department of Education|