Place-based Learning

As an educator for over 20 years, I have started questioning the goal of education.  With an overemphasis on grades and testing, sometimes the things that matter the most—such as learning about climate change—get put on the back burner.  To bring environmental literacy and advocacy to the forefront, and educate high school students about climate […]

Even though our classroom at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) sat adjacent to a parking lot in the midst of an extensive construction zone, the three-day teacher institute was punctuated multiple times with cries from a hawk perched in one of the few eucalyptus trees nearby. It was a ripe opportunity to think about […]

Teaching robust Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) lessons can be challenging, so asking teachers to center instruction on local environmental phenomena can make the task feel overwhelming. For the last six years, we’ve been introducing teachers in San Diego to local environmental phenomena that can be used as a focus for instruction both in and […]

“For the love of God, not one more thing!” This was my first thought when hearing about the Environmental Principles & Concepts (EP&Cs) roughly three years into my Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) journey. After much struggle and frustration I was by no means an expert, but was just beginning to feel like I had […]

“I need a glue gun!”  “Should we use black or white paper?” “Think about the angle.” “Let’s try putting the foil here.”  “Should we seal it completely?”   If you were at Bay Farm School in Alameda on June 12, 2019, you would have heard these phrases coming from teams of teachers who were designing, building, […]

The challenge: How to equitably increase access to environmental and arts knowledge for 4,000 K–12th grade students countywide in just a few months? How to make sustainable changes that will support and transform the landscape after the end of one-time funding?  To meet the challenge, the Marin County Office of Education (MCOE) partnered with organizations […]

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” ~John Muir  In April 2019, nearly 70 K–12 educators from Amador, Calaveras, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne counties came to a special dinner in Stockton to learn about environmental justice, culturally responsive teaching, and the benefits […]

In May 2019, the California Environmental Literacy Initiative (CAELI) Leadership Council came together to have their second meeting, with a focus on environmental justice and environmental literacy. The goals for the day were to: develop a common understanding of environmental justice concepts and explore the interrelatedness of environmental justice and environmental literacy in K–12 education; […]