Much of EETAP3’s work built on the efforts of EETAPs 1 and 2 (1995-2005) and the first four years of EETAP3. This continuity enabled unprecedented gains on strategic initiatives that required years to fully develop.
One such example is the national Guidelines for Excellence in Environmental Education, which has been called the single most important event in the field of EE in the last decade. These voluntary standards describe quality EE resources and programs, identify what learners should know and be able to do as the result of K–12 EE programs, and articulate the knowledge and skills needed to be an effective environmental educator. The Guidelines were drafted, reviewed, and approved during EETAP1, and dissemination and training programs were established. During EETAP2, the Guidelines formed the basis of programs to certify professional environmental educators, develop online EE courses, and review EE resources for quality. Efforts to distribute the Guidelines more widely and to train additional educators and leaders to use the Guidelines expanded during this time.
In Year 2 of EETAP3, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) approved the North American Association for Environmental Education’s (NAAEE) Standards for the Initial Preparation of Environmental Educators; across the country, teacher education colleges with EE programs now have to meet EE standards in order to attain or retain NCATE accreditation. In Year 3, NAAEE initiated training programs to help universities and colleges meet these new EE standards, catalyzing advancement of EE programs for thousands of pre-service teachers.
Year 4 saw the development of a new set of guidelines for effective early childhood environmental education programs, which were published and disseminated in Year 5. Five of the Guidelines publications were also revised and reprinted in Year 5.
EETAP3 continued to assist states with development of professional certification programs for environmental educators and finalized a national program to accredit state certification programs.
Taken together, these long-term efforts increasingly ensure that educators have the resources, knowledge, and skills needed to deliver quality instruction about the environment.
Date Published: 04/19/2011
Date Start: 04/19/2011
Date End: 04/19/2011