The Development of an Environmental Education Curriculum Guide for Environmental Centers
Johnson, Craig E.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources
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The primary purpose of this work was to identify and address curriculum-related needs of environmental centers. Specific project purposes were to: 1) meet a variety of identified environmental center needs associated with growth in numbers and curriculum development, 2) provide a connection between established environmental education goals and environmental center instruction, 3) present a logical, defined format for a cooperative school-center environmental education program, and 4) make recommendations for evaluation of environmental center program effectiveness. Needs were identified related to the role of environmental centers in environmental education, increasing center numbers, school-center relations, and environmental center curriculum goals. These needs were substantiated by examining the historical foundations of environmental centers; analyzing past and present environmental center curricula in terms of goals, instructional strategies, and program impacts; and looking at environmental education trends related to environmental centers. A curriculum model addressing the established environmental center curriculum needs was developed. The model presents current learning theories and curriculum development principles along with characteristics and principles of environmental education. The "Goals for Curriculum Development in Environmental Education" are suggested as an environmental education curriculum framework for environmental centers. The General Teaching Model is used as the curriculum design to which these goals are applied, thus providing a link between program goals and actual instruction. Organization and development suggestions regarding instructional materials are included. Implementation suggestions are provided including a delineation of the various responsibilities of schools and centers in a cooperative environmental education program. Additionally, recommendations are made for evaluation of environmental center curriculums. Procedures for curriculum development at new environmental centers and for modification of existing environmental center curricula are provided as a summary to the guide.