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President Obama’s “Blueprint for Reform” includes environmental education in part because research has demonstrated significant benefits from environmental education, including impacting student test scores in science, reading, math, and social studies. Additionally, studies have shown that environmental education can reduce discipline problems, increase attendance, and develop leadership and other social skills. Other important benefits include increased engagement, motivation, and enthusiasm for learning. The National Science Board of the National Science Foundation recognizes the importance of environmental education to student learning in their 2000 report, Environmental Science and Engineering for the 21st Century.
The need for environmental literacy arises from the growing complexity of environmental and social issues facing our nation today. Addressing these issues is important to sustain healthy communities, schools, and individuals, which requires a high level of knowledge, skills, and motivation. Creating an environmentally literate citizenry requires a concerted systematic approach to environmental education. This approach is detailed in The GreenPrint: Nevada’s Environmental Literacy Plan for Schools.
The framework for the Nevada GreenPrint is driven by No Child Left Inside funding requirements. The GreenPrint details how Nevada will boost student knowledge across subject areas and connect students to communities through a variety of experiences.
The Nevada GreenPrint Environmental Literacy Plan for Schools recommends the integration of Nevada State Environmental Literacy Core Concepts into NV State Standards of Science, Health, and Social Studies. These Core Concepts and their Benchmarks will ensure students the ability to begin their journey toward Environmental Literacy.
Through this plan, existing courses and tests will be refined and strengthened to ensure academic achievement and foster Environmental Literacy. Associated professional development will give administrators, teachers, and pre-service educator’s opportunities to establish and demonstrate their understanding of environmental literacy. The GreenPrint also addresses methods to measure students’ environmental literacy level, both through coursework and experiences outside the classroom. These experiences will be held to rigorous standards, designed to promote and assess environmental literacy.
Curriculum planning; Ecology – Study and teaching; Environmental literacy; Environmental sciences – Study and teaching; Nevada
Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Science and Mathematics Education
Education about the Environment
The GreenPrint: Nevada’s Environmental Literacy Plan, Part 1.
Available at: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/pli_environment_education/4