Special Topics in Education: Issues in Environmental Education
Fall 2000
Richard A. Huber    

Randall Library D.L. Room

King 106-C

Wed. 5:15-8:05


I. This course will focus on current issues and trends in environmental education; the development,
    implementation, and assessment of curricular materials; and, effective instructional strategies to 
    teach about the environment.
II. The purpose of this course is to provide you with:
      1. a conceptual framework that

          . identifies characteristics of exemplary programs,            
          . addresses the current goals of environmental education, and
          . examines curricular/instructional alternatives
      2. ideas for teaching environmental education to enhance your expertise in the following domains

        . the selection, development and/or implementation of curricular materials and resources,
        . the selection of instructional strategies, and
        . the evaluation and assessment of students, teachers, and the curriculum

III. After completing this course, you should be able to:

    1. Develop an understanding and appreciation of the components of comprehensive environmental
        education programs.

    2. Present and defend a philosophy for teaching environmental education.

    3. Select appropriate tasks/activities for different developmental and intellectual levels.

    4. Apply and evaluate safe procedures for outdoor environmental education.

    5. Compare and evaluate the major curricular alternatives for teaching K-12 environmental

    6. Apply one's knowledge of instructional strategies in teaching an environmental education lesson.

    7. Integrate environmental education with other academic subjects.

    8.Select safe and meaningful environmental education activities for the different ability groups.

    9.Implement components of environmental education listed in the North Carolina Standard Course
      of Study.

    10.Select appropriate technology for use in environmental education.

    11.Assess your effectiveness as an environmental education teacher.

IV. Course Readings:

  1. Selected chapters from The Age of Environmentalism by J.E. de Steiger and The Case for
     Constructivist Classrooms by Brooks and Brooks. (books will be placed on reserve)
  2. Selected journal articles, laboratory guides, and curriculum/reference materials.

V. Professional Development (beyond the scope of EDN 595/495)

1. It is recommended that you join the North Carolina Environmental Educators. I will provide you
    with a membership form.

2. You may also wish to attend the North Carolina Science Teachers and Educators State 
    Conference and Meeting, Nov. 16-17.

VI. Attendance:

     Your promptness and active participation is expected at every class. Each anticipated absence 
     must be discussed with the instructor in advance. Each unanticipated absence must be discussed
     with the instructor immediately upon return to class. Excessive absences may result, at the 
     discretion of the instructor, in a reduced grade.

VII. Instructor Availability:

     Scheduled office hours (and exceptions to them) are posted on my office door. I am also usually 
     available to students whenever I am in the building. If you come by and I am not in my office, 
     please leave a message. I will call you as soon as possible.

VIII. Course Projects:

     All material submitted for grading must be neatly typed or handwritten in ink on standard sized 
     paper with clean margins with careful attention given to grammatical conventions. Please discuss 
     with me at least 2 days in advance any problems you will have meeting a due date. If this is not
     done, ten percent will be subtracted from the grade received for each day the material is late.

    1. Three journal reviews, one each from:

            Science and Children or Scope                    Due 8/26                 5 pts.
            School Science and Math                            Due 9/2                   5 pts.
            The Journal of Environmental Ed.                 Due 9/9                   5 pts.

          Select three articles, one from Science and Children, one from School Science and Math
          and one from the Journal of Environmental Education. Read the article and summarize its
          content in relation to your area of anticipated responsibility. Include in your review the
          positive and negative aspects of the article.

    2. Water Quality Training and Teaching                                            25 pts.

         Check out one of the Lamonte test kits and become proficient at conducting the six water
         quality tests in the kit.  After passing a quantitative chemistry exam on the use of the kit,  
         participate in one of four teaching sessions using the kit.

    Possible teaching sessions include:

        Saturday or Sunday at Riverfest
        A Monday or Wednesday morning at the Wilmington Center for Inquiry

    3. State Curriculum class presentation                    Due 10/25                10 pts.

        Your team will present to the class an outline of the topics/objectives assigned to selected grade

    4. Six hour elective                                                Due 11/15                10 pts.

     You will be able to choose from a wide range of experiences designed to enrich your experiences
      in a non-traditional science setting.  Such activities may include participating in a Project Wild
      Workshop, attending a conference, assisting a park ranger, or assisting with an environmental
      science field trip etc. This assignment must be approved by submitting a description of what you
      are going to do and the estimated time involved.  After completion of the six hour elective you
      must submit a one page description of what you did, including reflections on the impact of the
      project on you and the participating students.

I. Exams
     A mid-term and final exam will be administered to assess the extent to which you have mastered
     the concepts, principles and process skills outlined in the lab and lecture/discussion sessions. Both
     the midterm and the final will consist of science content questions (approximately 50%) and
     methodology questions (50 %).

Mid-term = 100 points
Final = 100 points 

X. Grading Procedure:

During this course, it will be possible to earn a total of 263 points. Your final letter grade will be determined as follows:

A =  (92%) of total possible points

B =  (86%)          "           "

C = (80%)          "           "   

D = (76%)          "           "

Final Exam: Wed. Dec.6, 5:00 - 8:00 pm

Project Wild Workshops:


Aquatic Wild Workshops: