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State's Teachers Trained to Help Students Learn Environmental Literacy

State's Teachers Trained to Help Students Learn Environmental Literacy

One state is taking environmental literacy seriously by providing its teachers with hands-on training on the subject.

In Maryland, a total of 243 teachers have been part of the program this summer to teach students environmental literacy, an annual project ever since the state made environmental literacy a graduation requirement in 2011.

The teachers participated in numerous hands-on tasks to help them best teach the subject. "They tested the water quality in Baltimore’s harbor and again in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. Near Smith Island, they dropped a scraping net, marveling over the biodiversity of what they pulled in: sea horses, puffer fish and sand shrimp," said The Washington Post.

The experience helped the educators find a deeper understanding of the subject material, and they used the experience to write curriculum modules for classroom use in the coming months.

"The teacher training helps to address one of the state’s key standards for environmental literacy — that students conduct an environmental-issues investigation and develop a local action project," the article said.

The Class of 2015 was the first to graduate meeting the requirement with success, and many districts have integrated environmental literacy into both biology and government classes to give students a well-rounded education on the topics related to the environment.

In one district, "Prince George’s, Sylvester Conyers, supervisor of environmental education, said more than 80 percent of high schools have sent at least one teacher to summer training. Educators who have come back continue to work together and will ultimately refine their lessons, sharing them with other teachers so they all become proficient in providing students with an effective environmental education."

Educators have said the experiences with the Chesapeake Bay has helped them learn more about their local environment and are excited to relay to students what they themselves have learned.

"Andrea Katkow, a Howard County science teacher, said she left the training with a strong sense of how much watermen and Smith Island residents depend on the health of the bay’s ecosystem for their way of life. She made video clips of question-and-answer sessions to show her students," according to the article.

Read the full story here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

08/24/2015

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