The Environmental Learning Collaborative

We believe that connecting schools, local environmental education providers, and community partners around similar goals can create a successful model that is sustainable and tailored to the area itself.

Environment-based education relies heavily on using place as a primary teaching tool, encompassing students’ learning experiences both inside the classroom and outside in the world around them.

Ten Strands collaborates with a wide variety of stakeholders to create models for how to blend standards-based instruction in the classroom with experiential, environment-based education, where both elements are given strong support to succeed.

We convene Environmental Learning Collaboratives that support teachers with professional learning workshops and ongoing support to develop engaging, relevant units of study for their classrooms.

Through the Collaboratives, more than 140 teachers have attended professional learning institutes, working with district leaders, curriculum experts, and local providers to create and teach comprehensive units of study. As a result, over 5,000 students are receiving meaningful, integrated, interactive learning experiences using their local environment as the context.

The Collaboratives include the following elements:

  • Committed district leadership
  • Teachers who want to meet academic standards with environment-based learning
  • Participation of local environmental education providers coordinating their programs with what students are learning in the classroom
  • Professional learning for teachers
  • Local support from a variety of stakeholders, including county offices of education, nonprofit partners, and community foundations
  • Expertise and guidance from Ten Strands and its partners