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Environmental Education Professional Development Priorities Study (2009)



Using interview, focus group and questionnaire data, the Environmental Education Professional Development Needs and Priorities Study identified 89 professional development needs for environmental educators, the top priorities for the next 5 years (2010-2015), gaps in current offerings, and work needed to advance education for environmental literacy. Of immediate need is professional development that helps environmental educators:
  • Conduct comprehensive EE programs with diverse audiences in local communities
  • Share models of what works, work together, and network
  • Address environmental sustainability, stewardship, and climate change
  • Apply research knowledge to practice about how to:
    • motivate for citizen participation, action, attitude and behavior change
    • connect others with nature
    • engage diverse audiences and partners
    • help students learn
    • instruct adults
  • Comprehend and apply basic EE fundamentals, core concepts and instructional techniques, and the Guidelines for Excellence
  • Teach and implement critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, and inquiry
  • Integrate EE into K-12; Science, Technology, Engineering & Math projects; No Child Left Behind; and state standards
  • Increase funding, leadership, administrative/executive skills, and communication skills
  • Perform needs assessments, build evaluation into program design, develop objectives, and conduct outcomes evaluation
Click on links below to access the executive summary (PDF = 578 KB), the complete study (including the executive summary) (PDF = 2.53MB), and study appendices (PDF = 3.80).

In addition, two follow-up reports completed in 2010 describe the professional development needs of educators working in formal and nonformal settings (see related link below, Teachers' and Practitioners' PD Needs).