December 8, 2010: The NCATE recently released a groundbreaking new report: Transforming Teacher Education through Clinical Practice: A National Strategy to Prepare Effective Teachers.
Source: North American Association for Environmental Educators
The National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (of which NAAEE is a partner in setting teacher education standards) recently released a groundbreaking new report: Transforming Teacher Education through Clinical Practice: A National Strategy to Prepare Effective Teachers. This report is the result of a year-long collaborative effort on the part of NCATE’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Clinical Preparation and Partnerships for Improved Student Learning
Commissioned by NCATE, the Panel’s charge was (1) to address the gap between how teachers are prepared and what new teachers need to be successful in helping all students succeed; (2) to address the connection between clinical preparation and public and professional accountability; (3) to develop principles for clinical preparation to help provide a foundation for preparation program redesign; and (4) to make recommendations to NCATE and the field at large on how all stakeholders can participate in transforming clinical preparation to meet 21st century teacher and student needs.
The report lays out a bold, comprehensive vision of the change needed in teacher education, signifies a consensus statement from a diverse group of stakeholders, and presents a historic opportunity for the education community to co-construct a 21st century educator preparation system that is relevant to contemporary needs. It is a demonstration of the teaching profession’s commitment to transform educator preparation.
Read the Official Press Release
December 7, 2010: U.S. EPA Luanches the ecoAmbassadors Program
Source: Wendy Dew U.S. EPA Region 8 Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator
Communities are the place where individuals join together in powerful ways to make change. Across the U.S. many communities are embarking on projects to engage residents to become part of a more environmentallyaware future.
Because we want to empower you and help you make your communityhealthier and safer, we have launched EPA’s ecoAmbassadors program. Through this program, EPA will work with a variety of different community spaces across the country. Through the ecoAmbassadors program EPA will provide training and guidance that can be taken back to the community and put into practice.
Our OnCampus ecoAmbassadors program is running a small pilot project this year – the program has its first group of participating students from colleges and universities across the U.S. If you are a college student or if you want more information about this program, see our
OnCampus ecoAmbassadors page.
Our Tribal ecoAmbassadors program will launch in the summer of 2011. If you live on American Indian tribal lands or work with tribal communities and you want to learn more about this program, see our Tribal ecoAmbassadors page.
For more information please contact Wendy Dew our Region's EPA Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator!
November 18, 2010: Moving Outdoors in Nature Act Supports Recreation, Health Initiatives
Source: National Wildlife Federation
By Amanda Cooke
Congressman Ron Kind (D–WI) today introduced the Moving Outdoors in Nature Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill supports federal, state and local plans that help connect children with the natural world.
The Moving Outdoors in Nature Act will help get America’s kids healthy and active by bolstering support for more natural play areas, outdoor recreation programs, public health initiatives, outdoor learning environments, service learning and other initiatives. Visit beoutthere.org/MONA to learn more.
“National Wildlife Federation commends Congressman Kind for introducing this legislation that will help combat obesity and improve overall health in the United States. Once passed, the Moving Outdoors in Nature Act can get Americans moving and engaged in recreation and active outdoor play,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, NWF’s Director of Education Advocacy.
August 19, 2010: Mission Mountain ranger (and MEEA founding member) meets Hikers, Rehabs TrailsSource: Missoulian
By Rob Chaney
CONDON - One dictionary definition of "social" reads: "marked by or passed in pleasant companionship with one's friends or associates."
Mission Mountains Wilderness ranger, Kari Gunderson fits that like a well-seasoned hiking boot.
Another definition of "social" describes something "designed for sociability." These dictionary writers obviously never encountered one of Gunderson's "social trails."
Gunderson has walked almost twice the distance around the planet without leaving the confines of the Mission Mountains. In her 31 years as a backcountry wilderness ranger, she's logged an average 1,500 miles annually.
Probably one equator's worth of that mileage has been on social trails that lace the 74,000-acre national wilderness area along the eastern spine of the Mission Mountains. Social trails appear on no official map. They lead to and around dozens of lakes and cirques that could win a beauty contest with any Glacier National Park postcard landmark.
But the trails themselves could win an ugly dog contest. They crawl over tree stumps and through bogs and into alder thickets. Over generations, amateur trail engineers hacked them into the forest to reach the places they loved, or lusted after. ...
April 21, 2010: How to Green Your Parents
Source: New York Times
By Allison Arieff
Thursday is the 40th anniversary of the original Earth Day. Over the years, the impact of this once seminal day has lessened. Earth Day brings people together for nice gatherings and noble efforts but has, for the most part, made sustainable action more of an annual event than a daily habit. We’ve got to change that.
Here’s a move in the right direction: launching this Earth Day is Green My Parents, a nationwide effort to inspire and organize kids to lead their families in measuring and reducing environmental impact at home. Not just on Earth Day, but every day. ... Read more
April 9, 2010: Do We Care Less? Polls Show Decline in Concern for the Environment
Source: New West
By Courtney White
As we approach the 40th anniversary of the original Earth Day, two new polls, as well as one recent report, raise important alarm bells about our attitudes toward nature and should, by extension, influence a new mission statement for the next ‘New West.’
The first poll is Gallup’s annual update on American feelings toward the environment. The news is sobering. ...Read more
The Healing Power of Nature
Source: To Your Health
By Dr. Meridel Gatterman
In a world increasingly dominated by video games and processed foods - conveniences that typically keep people indoors and sedentary - spending time outdoors is an absolute necessity from a health and wellness perspective. Evidence suggests a lack of time spent enjoying nature and all it has to offer can directly and indirectly contribute to obesity, depression and other serious health conditions.
Wherever you are right now, stop for a moment or two and picture yourself outdoors on a sunny afternoon, taking a brisk walk on the beach or through a park. Feel the sun on your face and the wonder of your outdoor environment filling up your senses. ... Read More
The Power (and Peril) of Praising: How Not to Talk to Your Kids
Source: The New York Times
By Po Bronson
What do we make of a boy like Thomas?
Thomas (his middle name) is a fifth-grader at the highly competitive P.S. 334, the Anderson School on West 84th. Slim as they get, Thomas recently had his long sandy-blond hair cut short to look like the new James Bond (he took a photo of Daniel Craig to the barber). Unlike Bond, he prefers a uniform of cargo pants and a T-shirt emblazoned with a photo of one of his heroes: Frank Zappa. Thomas hangs out with five friends from the Anderson School. They are “the smart kids.” Thomas’s one of them, and he likes belonging.
Since Thomas could walk, he has heard constantly that he’s smart. Read More
September 26, 2009: Pumkins and Pencils
Source: Bozeman Chronicle
By Lauren Russell
GALLATIN GATEWAY -- Debbi Clark has found that sometimes substituting pumpkins for pencils makes the best lesson plan.
Clark hauled about 20 green pumpkins -- ranging in size from a baseball to only slightly smaller than students in her second-grade class -- into her Gallatin Gateway School classroom Wednesday and arranged them against the back wall.
The class started the pumpkins...Read More
September 2, 2009: Let the Children Play (Some More)
Source: The New York Times
By Stuart Brown
Here on the balmy central coast of California and all across the country, kids are heading back to school. The classes are larger, the No Child Left Behind mandates remain in place and, despite advice from the nation’s secretary of health and human services and others, recess and physical education (not to mention art and music instruction) have in many schools been cut back or eliminated. While most of our backpack-laden kids are eager to catch up with friends they haven’t seen over the summer, the general feeling is that “playtime is over.”
Even if summer does not bring...
"Creating Memories in Nature" -- Fish & Wildlife Service launches summer campaignSource: Children & Nature Network
Create memories this summer as you get out into nature and see wildlife – in your backyard, at your local park or at a nearby national wildlife refuge. The “Let’s Go Outside” initiative, supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, encourages children, educators and parents to venture out and share experiences. And here’s your chance to see your favorite nature photos become part of an image mosaic created by artist Robert Bateman. Become part of the outdoors. Have you captured a memory in nature while enjoying the outdoors?
Visit the "Let's Go Outside" website
The campaign primarily aims to reach "tweens" (children ages 8-12) and their parents. The goal is to encourage children to get outside and experience nature first-hand, instilling a life-long love for nature by fostering a connection with urban and national forests.
Visit the "Discover the Forest" website
April 22, 2009: No Child Left Inside Celebrates Historic Legislation Introduced on Earth Day
Citing the critical need to improve environmental education across the country, The No Child Left Inside Coalition today applauded Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD) for introducing the Senate and House versions of the historic No Child Left Inside Act (NCLI) on Earth Day 2009. The bi-partisan legislation, if passed, would mark the first environmental education legislation to pass Congress in more than 25 years...
Online Fundraising Strong Despite Economy
Source: Network for Good
The 2009 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study found that among 32 leading nonprofit organizations, online fundraising grew by 26% in 2008 over 2007, but that the average gift size has decreased by 21%...
May 13, 2009: Teens for Planet Earth Social Networking Site
Source: EE News
Teens for Planet Earth (T4PE) has been completely transformed into a social networking site with a brand new look and a whole new set of ways to help teens and adults who work with teens carry out environmental service-learning projects. Members can connect with teammates and friends as well as many other T4PE members in their area and around the world. They can share photos and videos of their projects; start or comment on a blog, post upcoming events related to their projects; find resources to help them carry out a successful project; start a group to communicate with team members, keep track of tasks, and encourage reflection; offer and receive advice on conducting service-learning projects; and much more.
May 13, 2009: EE Leads to Cleaner Air!
Source: EE News
EPA funded study shows that environmental education programs provide the impetus in improving the air quality at the surveyed institutions' facilities. www.peecworks.org/PEEC/PEEC_Research/S03CB4...
May 13, 2009: UM Launches Online Wilderness Management Graduate Certificate
Source: EE News
The University of Montana is now offering a Graduate Certificate in Wilderness Management. The certificate provides students and professionals with training and expertise in the key topics related to wilderness management. Four online courses cover the history and philosophy of the wilderness system, wilderness law and policy, wilderness recreation management, wilderness ecosystem conservation and resource monitoring, and wilderness planning. Courses are offered as traditional correspondence courses or interactive online courses through the Wilderness Management Distance Education Program in the College of Forestry and Conservation. http://wmdep.wilderness.net/
March/April 2009: A Walk in the Woods: A right or priviledge?
Source: Orion Magazine
A FEW YEARS AGO, I visited Southwood Elementary, the grade school I attended when I was a boy growing up in Raytown, Missouri. I asked a classroom of children about their relationship with nature. Many of them offered...
February 24, 2009: The Four R's? A Fourth is Crucial Too, Recess
The best way to improve children’s performance in the classroom may be to take them out of it. New research suggests...
February 23, 2009: BillingsGazette.com :: Scientific approach
Waking up early to plumb science's most mystifying questions doesn't bother Billings West High senior Ty Schmechel."It's definitely worth being there at 6:55 every morning," Schmechel said. "It's the most ...