What's exciting enough to make Dr. Terry Wilson postpone his retirement? It's a bold move by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE)—one that Wilson, director of the Center for Mathematics, Science and Environmental Education at Western Kentucky University, notes is making it "easier to get support for new environmental education courses."
In 2002, NAAEE joined the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). A coalition of 33 organizations, NCATE is the professional accrediting body for college and university programs that prepare preschool through high school teachers and administrators. Two-thirds of the nation's new teacher graduates come from NCATE-accredited schools.
Wilson says that participating in NCATE's national accreditation program provides a long-awaited opportunity to weave environmental education into the fabric of teacher education. In November 2007, NCATE adopted NAAEE's standards for environmental education teacher education programs. This opens the door for institutions across the country to improve or develop environmental education programs as their teacher education programs come due for seven-year NCATE accreditation reviews.
Click on links below to read the article and learn more about NCATE EE Program Standards, and how involvement in NCATE is increasing the visibility of environmental education and its influence in the broader field of formal education.