Developing an Environmental Education Liaison Network in the Fond du Lac School District to Enhance the Infusion of Environmental Education
Winter, Margie R.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources
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In the years prior to this project, the Fond du Lac school district funded three Environmental Education (EE) liaisons; one elementary, one junior high, and one high school teacher. The ability of three liaisons to serve a district teaching staff of about 430 teachers was minimal. This project was conducted over a two-year time period (1993-94, 1994-95) in an attempt to improve the infusion of EE in the Fond du Lac school district by increasing the number of liaisons and organizing a system for liaisons to share ideas. The goal of this project was to enhance the EE program of the Fond du Lac school district by developing an EE Liaison Network Administrative support and funding were obtained to register fifteen liaisons in the district with the Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education. This provided for one liaison at each of nine elementary schools, one liaison at each of three junior high schools, and three liaisons at the high school. Four liaison inservices per year were conducted for the purpose of disseminating EE resources, sharing ideas for EE infusion, and discussing issues and proposing solutions to the problems liaisons were encountering in performing their roles as liaisons. A survey was distributed to the teaching staff of the entire Fond du Lac school district at the end of each year to assess the effectiveness of the EE Liaison Network. Survey results showed an EE Liaison Network can be an effective means to improve the infusion ofK-12 EE in a school district. Over the two-year time period, there was a great increase in the number of teachers who became aware of the existence of EE liaisons in their school and who the liaisons were. A majority of the responses (57% and 64%) indicated that teachers were informed of EE opportunities by their liaisons. Approximately one-third of those responding incorporated additional EE activities into their teaching as a result of information received from EE liaisons. Based on liaison input, suggestions and methods for effective liaison networking were identified for the Fond du Lac school district.