Report Card on the Status of Env by fjzhxb

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Report Card on the Status of Environmental Education in Washington State
As requested by the Washington State Legislature

2004 Environmental Education Report Card | 2

Report Card on the Status of Environmental Education
This report card, prepared at the request of the Washington State Legislature, summarizes the status of environmental education (EE) in Washington.1 Two years of statewide surveys, community meetings, and one-on-one interviews yielded useful information as well as gaps in the available data. Some aspects of EE rated outstanding grades while others clearly need improvement. Environmental education’s ability to improve students’ standardized test scores
Dissecting an owl pellet rivets the attention of this 4th-grader at West Valley Outdoor Learning Center near Spokane. Scientific inquiry is one of the hallmarks of environmental education. pag e 1 0 pag e 6

received top marks. The legal and academic foundations of EE also scored highly, as did the delivery of independent and innovative EE approaches to teaching. The two areas with low grades were general awareness of environmental education, and effective statewide support and delivery systems for EE.
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So, while EE holds excellent promise for positively influencing our schools, livelihoods, economies, and landscapes, this potential will be realized only by unifying environmental education in Washington through strategic, state-sanctioned leadership.
PHOTO COURTESY WEST VALLEY OUTDOOR LEARNING CENTER

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Dots mark the locations of Washington schools where environmental education is offered in some or all grade levels

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in Washington State
SUMMARY OF SUBJECTS AND GRADES O V E R A L L R E C O M M E N D AT I O N

EFFECTIVENESS OF ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION IN IMPROVING STUDENTS’ STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES

To sustain the high grades and remedy the
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low marks in this report, the legislature should direct the state education, natural

LEGAL AND ACADEMIC FOUNDATIONS OF ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

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resource, and environmental health agencies to participate in a statewide

strategic plan for environmental
INDEPENDENT, INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
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education. The plan will ensure uniform
quality, quantity, and delivery of environmental education. Broadening the

GENERAL AWARENESS OF ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

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delivery of quality EE will further enhance student test scores and increase public awareness of EE and its substantial benefits.

STATE SUPPORT OF ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

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Everyone in Washington can play a part in environmental education and its benefits for our future: Turn to page 24 to learn

What You Can Do.

WHAT IS ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION?

Environmental education is a learning process that increases people’s knowledge and awareness about the environment and associated challenges, develops the necessary skills and expertise to address the challenges, and fosters attitudes, motivations, and commitments to make informed decisions and take responsible action.
united nations educational, scientific and cultural organizations (unesco), 1977

Schools with EE programs consistently have higher test scores on state standardized tests and have more support from parents, community and administration.

— OKSANA BARTOSH, AUTHOR OF ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION: IMPROVING STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT, A MASTER’S THESIS, EVERGREEN STATE COLLEGE2

PHOTO COURTESY WOODLAND PARK ZOO

The Woodland Park Zoo’s Wild Wise program travels to students around the state, offering first an in-class multimedia show on Washington habitats and animals, and second, a field trip to let kids experience the natural world up close and personal.

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Effectiveness of Environmental Education in Improving Students’ Standardized Test Scores
E VA L U AT I O N

Students in schools using environmental education consistently score higher on standardized tests than students in schools without environmental education.

For years anecdotal evidence showed that students involved in environmental education (EE) became more excited and serious about learning, but qualitative proof also was needed. Research in Washington and other states shows that students in schools using environmental education consistently score higher on standardized tests than students in schools without EE.3

WHY DOES ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION IMPROVE TEST SCORES?

Because EE helps: ◗ Increase motivation for learning in all subject areas ◗ Focus students and improve their overall behavior in the classroom4 ◗ Develop critical thinking skills ◗ Foster the ability to work both independently and collaboratively ◗ Relate school lessons to one’s community and the real world

Environmental education’s boost for student test scores is just the beginning of the benefits. Young people exposed to EE tend to improve their overall gradepoint average, stay in school longer, receive higher-thanaverage scholarship awards, and display more responsible behavior in school and in the community. They also are generally better prepared for the job market.5

National Trends

PHOTO COURTESY © BENJAMIN DRUMMOND / NORTH CASCADES INSTITUTE

Fifth grade students at North Cascades Institute create the web of life. Environmental education is provided in schools and many non-formal settings such as institutes, nature centers, zoos, and parks.

Results of research by the National Environmental Education & Training Foundation parallel Washington’s success with EE. wisconsin For example, in one Milwaukee, Wisconsin EE school, all third-grade students passed the Reading Comprehension Test, compared to only 25 percent of the citywide school population. In North Carolina, 4th graders involved in EE achieved a 31 percent increase in math tests in just one year. In Minnesota, Apple Valley EE students scored higher in ACT tests than their peers in the district, state, and nation.6

7 | 2004 Environmental Education Report Card Elementary school students in Spokane County collect water samples and record their findings, sharpening their skills of observation, research, writing, and math.

R E C O M M E N DAT I O N S F O R I M P R OV E M E N T

E E S H O W C A S E F R O M A R O U N D T H E S TAT E

To assure an on-going “A” grade in this subject, the following steps are recommended: ◗ Align all local environmental education in public schools with the Essential Academic Learning Requirements.
PHOTOS (CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT): COURTESY ERICA BAKER / TUMWATER SCHOOL DISTRICT. GIRLS ON FIELD TRIP: PROJECT MULE DEER. WESTERN BLUEBIRD: © TOM GREER

Project Bluebird
New home available, rent free. Free, that is, if you’re a bluebird. The Olympia Home Depot donated the lumber from environmentally certified forests for 200 Tumwater Elementary School students to build nest boxes for Western Bluebirds. The native bluebird’s numbers have plummeted as their habitat disappeared and intruders like European starlings proliferated. By providing safe places to nest, the birdhouses help restore bluebird populations. High school students helped members of Black Hills Audubon and The Nature Conservancy hang the new birdhouses in areas of native prairie in Tumwater, at the Olympia airport, at Tenino’s Wolf Haven, and on many private lands.

“ It’s like magic. The kids I have a hard time reaching respond to this.”
Teacher Sean Cogan Environmental Education Project Bluebird

◗ Develop a certification process for EE providers working with public schools. ◗ Provide quality EE in all schools in Washington. ◗ Promote model environmental education stories, such as the Western Bluebird Trail Project.

Tumwater Elementary School

Western Bluebird

Fourth-grade teacher Sean Cogan welcomed Project Bluebird, which helped his kids sharpen math and writing skills, practice reading comprehension, and increase science knowledge. It also taught cooperation. The students worked in teams of four to assemble the boxes, nailing them carefully and trying not to smash each other’s fingers. “It’s like magic,” he said. “The kids I have a hard time reaching respond to this.”

Environmental education saves taxpayers money by getting schools and communities involved in natural resource research to collect data we can use.

— JEFF KOENINGS, DIRECTOR, WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

PHOTO COURTESY DUNGENESS RIVER AUDUBON CENTER

Citizen scientists from teens to seniors team up with biologists to learn about water quality and watershed health during environmental education camps at the Dungeness River Audubon Center.

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Legal and Academic Foundation of Environmental Education
E VA L U AT I O N

Statutory Authority for Environmental Education in Washington Includes:

common school curriculum Fundamentals in conduct, rcw 28A.230.020 (1991)

mandatory areas of study in the common school, wac 180-50-115 (2000) Environmental education projects often combine outdoor research and collection with indoor analysis and data recording.

Begun in 1998, the on-going project shows strong correlation between Washington students’ exposure to EE and higher standardized test scores. This unique assessment effort has involved: ◗ Classroom teachers and administrators from twelve school districts, two field-study institutes, informal EE centers, educational service districts, and national EE programs ◗ Representatives from nonprofit, civic, and business organizations ◗ Public agency educators, managers, and scientists

“This account is created to provide natural science, wildlife, and environmental education opportunities for teachers and students to help achieve the highest quality of excellence in education through compliance with the essential academic learning requirements.”
washington natural science, wildlife, and environmental education partnership account, rcw 28A.300.445 (2003)

A grant in 2001 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s EE training partnership enabled the Assessment Project to link colleges of education with K12 schools to form statewide “EE hubs.” These hubs are publicprivate regional EE networks that share EE resources and information, provide professional development opportunities, and connect student teachers with classrooms using exemplary EE approaches to further teacher training in EE. The hubs support research on student achievement and “best practices” in curriculum integration.

PHOTOS (CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT): COURTESY DUNGENESS RIVER AUDUBON CENTER. RIVER: RICHLAND GROUP. GREAT HORNED OWL: © GEORGE W. HARTWELL. KIDS: WOODLAND PARK ZOO

“All common schools shall give instruction in science with specific reference to the environment. All teachers shall stress the worth of kindness to all living creatures and the land.”

“Instruction about conservation, natural resources, and the environment shall be provided at all grades in an interdisciplinary manner through science, the social studies, the humanities, and other areas with an emphasis on solving problems of human adaptation to the environment.”

Since the 1920s, public and private organizations have built Washington’s EE scholastic foundation with academic assessment, teacher preparation and in-service training, and curriculum development and delivery, and two nationally recognized, cutting-edge efforts:
The Environmental Education Assessment Project (Assessment Project) EE and Teacher Preparation Programs in Colleges and Universities

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Richland high school students monitor wetlands, creeks, and rivers to understand water’s essential role in the health of habitat.

R E C O M M E N DAT I O N S F O R I M P R OV E M E N T

E E S H O W C A S E F R O M A R O U N D T H E S TAT E

◗ Secure dedicated public and private funds to the Natural Science, Wildlife, and Environmental Education Partnership Account. ◗ Develop ways and means to continue the work of the Assessment Project and to fully implement Washington’s mandate for EE in all schools.

◗ Appropriate funds to state agencies to do EE strategic plan ◗ Publicize environmental education stories, such as Woodland Park Zoo’s Wild Wise program

Wild Wise Project
From the speakers come the sounds of creeks gurgling, water dripping, and birds twittering. Suddenly, “Whoo-WHO-who” echoes through the room. Every eye in the class scans the verdant rainforest on the screen. Students spot the owl, hurriedly sketch it in their field notebooks, and flip through field guides to identify it. After the forest, the action-packed, multi-media Wild Wise tour shifts to the coast, the shrub-steppe, wetlands, and urban areas as it introduces Washington habitats and wildlife to schoolkids from fourth grade through middle school in every county in the state. Created by Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo with public and private funding, the award-winning Wild Wise program is presented by two naturalists, who also offer field sessions where students explore natural areas with local scientists and refuge managers. By the end of its fourth year this December, Wild Wise will have reached more than 50,000 students and teachers with its exciting hands-on blend of science, math, communication and art lessons in the environmental classroom. “Dear Zoo guys,” wrote one Olympic Hills Elementary student, “I really liked your show because I learned a whole bunch about habitat, animals, and field notes. I learned a lot more than I knew. I enjoyed the animals howling, eating, hiding, and flying, and hope you come again!”

Woodland Park Zoo’s Wild Wise program goes statewide.

Great Horned Owl Wild Wise students use field guides to identify animals and then sketch them in their field notebooks.

“ Dear Zoo guys, I really liked your show because I learned a whole bunch about habitat, animals, and field notes.”
Olympic Hills Elementary Student Environmental Education Wild Wise Project

Environmental education is integral to our core curriculum because it provides rich opportunities for critical thinking, complex decision-making and community service.

— NANCY SKERRITT, ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT, TAHOMA SCHOOL DISTRICT, MAPLE VALLEY

PHOTO COURTESY PROJECT MULE DEER

West Valley Outdoor Learning Center students help state Fish and Wildlife Department scientists with research to determine why mule deer populations in Eastern Washington are declining. Kids combine field investigation with classroom data assessment.

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Independent, Innovative Approaches to Environmental Education
E VA L U AT I O N

Numerous individuals and organizations across Washington are forging new, dynamic directions for environmental education—and saving taxpayers money in the process.

National Trends

Formal and nonformal EE networks help encourage school-community partnerships, and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of EE delivery at the local level.

◗ Partnerships in natural resource stewardship and conservation, such as those profiled in this report card, help local governments and state agencies save money on research, monitoring, restoration, and maintenance. ◗ Formal and non-formal EE networks — e.g., the Spokane EE Hub, Hood Canal Watershed Education Network, and the Kittitas Environmental Education Network — help encourage school-community partnerships, and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of EE delivery at the local level.
Learning to read animal tracks increases students’ ability to perceive the natural world around them and to learn about animal behavior.

◗ The Pacific Education Institute — a consortium of educators, businesses, government, and leaders of civic and non-profit organizations — was formed in 2003 to provide organizational and financial support to teachers and school districts statewide. ◗ Teachers and non-formal EE providers have been trained by the Environmental Education Assessment Project (Assessment Project) to align their lessons and curriculum with state learning requirements.

◗ Research conducted in 2002 by the Assessment Project found that 1,140, or 53 percent, of Washington’s public schools have at least one classroom involved in community or statewide environmental education programs.

Environmental education by independent groups in Washington parallels similar innovation in other states. For example, Audubon Florida involves African American high school and college students in restoration of the Everglades florida through field studies, scientific research, public speaking, and mentoring younger students.7 The North American Association for Environmental Education is developing national environmental educator certification and guidelines to further professionalize the burgeoning field of EE.8 Dozens of other states have developed comprehensive statewide strategic plans for EE coordination and implementation, such as Kentucky’s “Land, Legacy and Learning; Making Education Pay for Kentucky’s Environment.” 9

Classrooms involved in environmental education programs

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Students use field guides and textbooks to understand information they see outdoors, and draw conclusions in the classroom, enhancing critical-thinking skills.

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E E S H O W C A S E F R O M A R O U N D T H E S TAT E

◗ Replicate statewide EE partnerships among schools, natural resources agencies, and the private sector. ◗ Expand EE and develop new approaches to reach students from all demographic backgrounds in rural and urban areas statewide. ◗ Publicize environmental education stories, such as Project CAT.

Project CAT
A 100-pound cat? Not in my backyard! Don’t be so sure, say the students, scientists, and citizens of Cle Elum’s Project CAT (Cougars And Teaching), who use global positioning satellites to keep tabs on twenty local, radio-collared cougars. “We’ve found that cougars know a lot more about human habits than we know about theirs,” said Gary Koehler, research scientist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (wdfw). “These remarkable creatures know how to avoid us, especially as we increasingly live and recreate in wild places.” The project, which runs from 2001 through 2007, puts students and teachers in the field with biologists to study North America’s largest cat through snow tracking, live captures, telemetry, and prey surveys. Back in the classroom, data analysis reveals the daily life of a cougar: where it goes, what it eats, how it interacts with other wildlife and people.

Cle Elum’s Project Cat

PHOTOS (CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT): SNOW TRACKS PHOTOS: COURTESY PROJECT MULE DEER. COUGAR WITH STUDENT: PROJECT CAT

Project CAT biologists and students work together to live trap, examine, and radio-collar cougars to help people better understand cats’ needs and habitat use.

“ Long-time residents help newcomers understand how to live safely and harmoniously with cougars as neighbors.”
Beth Marker, Cle Elum Councilwoman

Project CAT’s unique combination of education, science, and nature advances the community’s “respect for our cats,” said City Councilwoman Beth Marker. “Long-time residents help newcomers understand how to live safely and harmoniously with cougars as neighbors.” Project CAT is supported by Cle Elum and neighboring communities and schools, wdfw, University of Washington, Woodland Park Zoo, Central Washington University, Discuran Foundation, and Pacific Education Institute.

Hood Canal Middle School students don snorkel gear to inventory bull trout in the Skokomish River as part of an environmental education project funded by the Puget Sound Action Team. The program funds environmental education projects through its Public Involvement and Education (PIE) fund that teach young people and adults how to protect and restore Puget Sound’s marine environment.

PHOTO COURTESY PUGET SOUND ACTION TEAM

Respondents wanted all levels of government to support and fund EE. They strongly agreed that Environmental Education helps:
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PREVENT EXPENSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS (92%) PRESERVE LONG-TERM, SUSTAINED USE OF NATURAL RESOURCES (95%) WORKERS ADDRESS COMPLEX ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS (91%) MAINTAIN A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT FOR PEOPLE (96%)

— KARIN FERNBACH KRAFT, AUTHOR, MASTER’S THESIS, “AN ASSESSMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING CENTER VISITOR ATTITUDES TOWARDS ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION,” EVERGREEN STATE COLLEGE, 2004 10

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General Awareness of Environmental Education
E VA L U AT I O N

Environmental education is humanity’s oldest way of learning: gaining knowledge of natural, social, and economic systems through observation and collaboration in order to live successfully in the world. Innovative educators in Europe, Asia, and North America began developing the modern field of environmental education in the early 1900s. Since then, this multidisciplinary method of study has spread through schools abroad and in the United States, gaining momentum, support, and academic credibility along the way.

However, EE is not currently available to all students, mostly due to a lack of awareness about what EE is, how to include it in the curriculum, and its benefits to students, teachers, and communities. Funding is another limiting factor; see page 22. What distinguishes EE from other methods of education? Environmental education: ◗ Focuses on the components and complex interactions of natural and human systems ◗ Uses all methods of learning, from hands-on discovery to intellectual inquiry, from individual observation to collaborative problem-solving ◗ Integrates all classroom subjects — math, science, social studies, visual and language arts — and applies them to realworld situations

◗ Emphasizes individual and collective responsibility for the systems that sustain us ◗ Encourages collaborative decision-making to create healthy, viable livelihoods and communities The more people know about environmental education, the more likely they will value and support it.

What is EE?

Environmental education is a learning process that increases people’s knowledge and awareness about the environment and associated challenges, develops the necessary skills and expertise to address the challenges, and fosters attitudes, motivations, and commitments to make informed decisions and take responsible action.
united nations educational, scientific and cultural organizations (unesco), 1977

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Students in Vancouver’s Watershed Monitoring Network collect water-quality samples from the shallow near-shore waters of the Columbia River.

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E E S H O W C A S E F R O M A R O U N D T H E S TAT E

Now in its eighth year, Vancouver’s Watershed Monitoring Network Includes 1,300 students from 40 classes, grades 2 through 12.

R E C O M M E N DAT I O N S F O R I M P R OV E M E N T

PHOTOS (CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT): HANDS: DNR. KID BY RIVER: PUGET SOUND ACTION TEAM. GROUP OF KIDS: WATER RESOURCES EDUCATION CENTER. GIRLS: © BENJAMIN DRUMMOND / NORTH CASCADES INSTITUTE

◗ Create a Washington state EE resource center so people will know about EE in their communities. ◗ Broaden promotion of EE through civic, business, non-profit, and academic organizations statewide. ◗ Publicize environmental education stories, such as the Watershed Monitoring Network.

Watershed Monitoring Network
Like me, like you, Fish breathe O2. Life needs what hue? Best is deep blue.
Vancouver’s Watershed Monitoring Network

Chemistry’s not some dry, indoor pursuit to students of the City of Vancouver’s Watershed Monitoring Network. In fact, it’s a pretty wet endeavor as they plunge their hands into streams, ponds, lakes, and rivers to fill plastic vials with H2O. They break glass tubes inside the vials to release testing compounds, shake the containers, and compare the resulting hues to water-quality charts.

“Even our seven-year-olds know that dark blue water is good for living things and light blue means it’s not healthy for salmon and many other creatures.” Now in its eighth year, the network includes 1,300 students from 40 classes, grades two through 12. Monitors visit sites usually three times a year and test for oxygen, nitrates, and other characteristics such as temperature, pH, turbidity, and aquatic insects. They also study adjacent land use, wildlife, vegetation, and erosion. The monitoring season begins with a “Teacher Kickoff” in the fall and culminates in the spring with the Watershed Congress, where 100+ students spend the morning reporting on monitoring results and the afternoon working with 40 community leaders on ways to improve their watersheds.

Girls explore a glacier through the North Cascades Institute, and learn about ice crystals, geology, and the formation of Washington landscapes.

“Kids love watching the water turn color because it’s like discovering a secret,” said Cory Samia, an educator with Vancouver’s Water Resources Education Center, which runs the watershed network in Clark County.

Students in environmental education (EE) not only perform better academically, they also tend to cooperate better in class and show more interest in learning than kids without exposure to EE.

PHOTO COURTESY PROJECT BLUEBIRD

Getting children and adults directly involved with hands-on activities to protect and restore the Sound is extremely valuable environmentally as well as educationally.

— BRAD ACK, DIRECTOR, THE PUGET SOUND ACTION TEAM

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State Support for Environmental Education
E VA L U AT I O N

Puget Sound Action Team’s Public Involvement and Education (PIE) fund helps communities protect the Sound. Each year funding requests increase while available dollars diminish.

Efforts to integrate environmental education into schools and communities throughout Washington are primarily hindered by the lack of a unified approach, supportive structure, and adequate funding. In 2001, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (ospi) and the Northwest Environmental Education Council surveyed all of Washington’s 2,651 K-12 schools to identify EE status and needs.
Schools that want Environmental Education.

Of those responding: ◗ 33 percent were unaware of the state’s environmental education mandate ◗ 60 percent did not use EE to improve student learning and Washington Assessment of Student Learning (wasl) scores ◗ 87 percent wanted more information on how to improve student learning using EE as a context for learning ◗ 87 percent wanted environmental education lesson plans, training, and/or technical support 11

Additional research for this report showed that: ◗ EE is not adequately funded statewide to meet legal mandates ◗ Teachers are not given sufficient EE training or resources ◗ The EE community must forge stronger ties with diverse cultures and perspectives ◗ Central leadership is needed to assure broader EE delivery, quality assurance, and data collection 12

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In 2002 legislators requested specific estimates of costs for developing EE curriculum, teacher training, transportation, supplies, quality assurance, and access to EE. It was found that such information does not currently exist nor is there state staff in place to compile such data. Due to recent budget cuts, three full-time state positions for supporting, coordinating, and tracking EE have been eliminated. As a result, the bulk of this report was compiled completely by volunteers with thousands of dollars in private and in-kind contributions. No central record of EE offerings, costs, needs, and beneficiaries is available, given the low level of support provided by Washington’s state government.

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“ Kids learn best when their learning is based on personal experience.”
Tom Moore, Founder, Director of West Valley Outdoor Learning Center

R E C O M M E N DAT I O N S F O R I M P R OV E M E N T

E E S H O W C A S E F R O M A R O U N D T H E S TAT E

◗ Establish a lead organization or agency to coordinate and promote EE in Washington. ◗ Appropriate funds for statewide EE strategic planning and grant programs.

◗ Using national and state guidelines, create standards and programs to provide pre-training and in-service training to EE teachers. ◗ Promote environmental education stories, such Project Mule Deer.

The West Valley Outdoor Learning Center
Say you live in the Spokane Valley and want information about mule deer, barn owls, trout, trails, or nature mapping.
Spokane’s West Valley Outdoor Learning Center

our wildlife and landscape. That connection improves student learning overall.” Nature dominates the four-acre OLC campus, which also includes a trail, footbridge, classroom building, and Hawk and Owl Sanctuary. In addition to time at the center, students and teachers work region wide with biologists and volunteers to track mule deer, map habitat, install barn owl nest boxes, and raise hatchery trout. The OLC receives support from the Big Horn Foundation, Inland Northwest Wildlife Council, Pacific Education Institute, state and federal resource agencies, university staff and students, as well as regional and state businesses.

Try the first-grader next door and the 18-year-old across the street. The West Valley Outdoor Learning Center (OLC) takes students from seven area school districts and turns them into local natural-history experts through real-world projects that combine the three R’s with scientific inquiry and resource stewardship. “Kids learn best when their learning is based on personal experience,” said Tom Moore, founder and director of the four-year-old program that serves 3,000 kids each year. “We humans are hard-wired to connect with nature, so OLC kids go outdoors and really get to know

PHOTOS (CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT): PROJECT MULE DEER. GROUP BY TREE: WEST VALLEY OUTDOOR LEARNING CENTER

Students study animal behavior and habitat use in Project Mule Deer at the West Valley Outdoor Learning Center near Spokane—and have fun while they’re learning.

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What You Can Do
PARENTS AND STUDENTS TEACHERS AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS

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Tell your school board, parent-teacher association, and elected officials about the benefits of EE.

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Integrate EE into your curriculum across subjects and grade levels.

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Urge community leaders to support and expand environmental education locally.

Seek in-service training to learn about outstanding EE programs and methods.

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Help local EE providers to meet student needs by aligning activities and curriculum with local, state, and national learning standards.

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Volunteer with a local EE program and recruit others to participate.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science urges teachers to take science out of the textbook and into reality and to help students do science rather than learn about it.

PHOTOS COURTESY WILD WISE PROGRAM AND PROJECT MULE DEER

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Washington residents who care about our kids, our communities, and our future can take the following actions to promote environmental education.
BUSINESSPEOPLE AND COMMUNITY LEADERS ELECTED OFFICIALS E V E RYO N E

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Partner with local school districts and EE providers to enhance student learning.

1

Establish a lead organization or agency to coordinate and promote EE in Washington.

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Join the Environmental Education Association of Washington.

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Contribute time, products, and services to EE programs in your community.

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Appropriate funds for statewide EE strategic planning and grant programs.

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Participate in the development of a comprehensive strategic plan for EE in Washington.

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Support schools and non-profit partnerships providing EE in your community.

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Using national and state guidelines, create standards and programs to provide pre-training and in-service training to EE teachers.

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Support your local EE network, which can be found at www.eeaw.org

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The full Environmental Education in Washington: Status Report 2004 is available online at www.eeaw.org
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This report card summarizes the detailed findings of Environmental Education in Washington: Status Report 2004, which was compiled by the Governor’s Council on Environmental Education (GCEE) at the request of the following legislators: Senator Rosemary McAuliffe Senator William Finkbeiner Senator Tracey Eide Representative Dave Quall Representative Kathy Haigh

◗ The many individuals and organizations that made invaluable contributions to this report card and the full Environmental Education in Washington: Status Report 2004.

advisory committee for the full “environmental education in washington: status report 2004”
Co-Chairs Heath Packard, Audubon Washington Margaret Tudor, Phd., Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Pacific Education Institute Members Tony Angell, Retired, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Office of EE John Bergvall, Retired, WA Department of Natural Resources Pat Boyes, Washington State University, 4-H, Youth Development Debbi Brainerd, IslandWood Bob Butts, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction Nina Carter, Audubon Washington Laura Clark, Okanogan Conservation District Pam Emerson, US Environmental Protection Agency Lisa Eschenbach, National Park Service Lynne Ferguson, Washington Forest Protection Association, Pacific Education Institute

ee report card 2004
Written by Audubon Washington; edited by Barbara MacGregor and designed by Luis Prado, Department of Natural Resources; with contributions from: The Environmental Education Association of Washington Audubon Washington The Pacific Education Institute Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction Washington Department of Natural Resources Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

special thanks to
◗ The Russell Family Foundation for its

generous support of workshops for Washington educators, during which ideas were developed for this report card.

Martin Fortin, Cispus Learning Center, WA School Principals Association Kim Freier, Phd.,Washington State University, Pullman Craig Gabler, Washington Science Teachers Association, Education Service District 113 State Representative Kathy Haigh, Washington State Legislature Frank Hein, Woodland Park Zoo Tim Hicks, Center for Agriculture, Science and EE, Battle Ground School District Brenda Hood, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction Rhonda Hunter, WA Department of Ecology Beverly Isenson, Retired: Governor’s Council on Environmental Education David Jayo, Recreational Equipment Incorporated Mary Knackstedt, Puget Sound Action Team Chuck Lennox, Interpretive Consultant, Cascades Interpretive Consulting Greg Lovelady, Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation Jean MacGregor, National Learning Communities Project, The Evergreen State College Barbara MacGregor, Washington Department of Natural Resources Marie Marrs, Bainbridge Island School District, US EPA Advisory Council on EE Sheila McCartan, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Members, Governor’s Council on Environmental Education Frances Moore, WA State Parks and Recreation Tom Moore, Environmental Education Association of Washington, West Valley Outdoor Learning Center Terry O’Connor, Woodland Park Zoo Robert Olson, Arrowroot Consulting Cleve Pinnix, Retired, Washington State Parks and Recreation Dave Reid, Puget Sound Energy Dixie Reimer, Komachin Middle School Nicole Ricketts, WA Department of Fish and Wildlife Steve Robinson, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission Fred Romero, WA State Parks and Recreation Abby Ruskey, National Environmental Education Advancement Project Jeff Sellen, Phd., Academic Service Learning Center, Washington State University, Pullman Robert Simmons, Washington State University Cooperative Extension, Mason County Sue Wattier, Girl Scouts of America Katrina Weihs, Environmental Education Association of Washington Saul Weisberg, North Cascades Institute Karen Wieda, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Eric Wuersten, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction

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ENDNOTES

The full Environmental Education in Washington: Status Report 2004 is available online at www.eeaw.org
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Full thesis is available online at www.pacificeducationinstitute.org. Washington’s Environmental Education Assessment Project completed a study of students involving 77 pairs of schools across the state. Each pair included one school that had EE integrated throughout the grades and curriculum and one school without EE. Students attending the EE schools scored higher on standardized tests than their counterparts in non-EE schools. It is remarkable that schools with as little as 20% of the teaching staff involved with EE showed statistically higher standardized test scores and more students who met state standards. See endnote 2.

National Environmental Education & Training Foundation, June 2002, page 8; www.neetf.org/pubs/ NEETF_Annual_Report_2001.pdf
6 Page 91, www.neetf.org/roper/ ELR.pdf

enforcement, www.ky.gov/ agencies/envred/masterplan.htm
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Full thesis is available online at wa.audubon.org www.nweec.org/wseena.htm

This document was printed with vegetable-based inks in Washington state, on acid-free, 30% postconsumer waste, recycled paper. For additional copies of this report contact Audubon Washington at 360-786-8020 Ext. 205 or download the EE Report Card online at www.eeaw.org

11 12

3

7 www.audubonofflorida.org/

education/default.htm
8 www.naaee.org/projects/ index.php

Findings detailed in full Environmental Education in Washington: Status Report 2004 available online at www.eeaw.org

Land, Legacy and Learning; Making Education Pay for Kentucky’s Environment Kentucky’s first Environmental Education Master Plan, developed in 1999, focused on strategic investments in EE in order to reduce taxpayer expenditures on environmental cleanups and

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4

National Environmental Education & Training Foundation, Wash. D.C., Environment-based Education, September 2000, p.3, www.neetf.org/ roper/ELR.pdf

5 Environmental Learning in America:

Working Toward Nationwide Environmental Literacy,

Environmental Education Association of Washington

Natural Resources

WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF

Governor’s Council on Environmental Education


								
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