THE NFCPTA EE PROGRAM is a resource for - parent volunteers- and teachers –providing information on how to begin or enhance an Environmental Education Program at their schools. The purpose is - to introduce children to the wonder of nature – for their own health and well-being, for the future of environmental stewardship , and for the preservation of the beauty- in our communities.
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.
"For the first time in the nation’s history, the United States has released a common set of national standards (adopted by 46 states) with a singular focus on getting all of America’s students prepared to succeed in college and/or their careers.
The key skills articulated in the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts are essential tools required for students to be functionally literate, but they go beyond basic reading and writing skills to include critical thinking, analysis, and synthesis. These standards are shaping education in the United States. The NFCPTA EE Program believes it is essential to link - Environmental Education and the Common Core Standards."1
Why Teach Environmental Education?
Incorporates the teaching methods of outdoor education, experiential education, and place-based education
Is inherently interdisciplinary
Promotes school/community partnerships
Is hands-on, student-centered, inquiry driven, engages higher level thinking skills, and relevant to students' everyday lives
Develops awareness, increases knowledge, builds skills, and creates the capacity for stewardship and good citizenship regarding the environment upon which we depend for life support
Boosts student achievement in math, science, reading, writing and social studies
Environmental Education is important for three key reasons :
"It has a positive impact on student achievement in core subjects. When integrated into the core curricula or used as an integrating theme across the curriculum, environmental education has a measurably positive impact not only on student achievement in science but also in reading, math, and social studies. Moreover, outdoor activities increase student engagement and interest in science and in all core subjects.
It helps improve the health of children. Field experiences and related programs as part of the regular school curriculum contribute to healthy lifestyles through outdoor recreation and sound nutrition. Getting kids outdoors to exercise, play and experience their natural world is an important tool in the battle to prevent obesity, alleviate attention deficit disorder and address other related health problems.
It provides critical tools for a 21st Century workforce. We will be passing on complicated environmental problems to future generations. We must give the next generation a solid understanding of these problems and the basic tools to overcome them and make informed choices in their own lives. Business leaders also increasingly believe that an environmentally literate workforce is critical to their long term success. Finally, environmental education helps prepare students for real-world challenges." 2