ERIC Number: ED412118
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Aug
Professional Development of Environmental Educators through Partnerships.
Bainer, Deborah L.; Cantrell, Diane; Barron, Pat
While natural resource professionals are adept at managing resources, they often lack the skills and desire to work effectively with the public. School-based partnerships are a potential vehicle for enhancing social interaction skills. Research shows that teachers benefit from partnerships but the benefits of partnering for the resource professionals are unknown. This qualitative study explored how the skills and competencies identified as "essential" in the workplace were impacted for resource professionals engaged in partnerships. The results of the interviews suggest that professional development did indeed occur for natural resource professionals as a result of participating in active partnerships with elementary school teachers. Professional development was greatest in subcategories related to social interactions such as interpersonal skills, personal qualities, thinking and basic skills, and managing resources and information. These enhanced job-related skills and competencies led to resource professionals who perform their jobs with more confidence and initiative, greater thinking and reflective abilities, and more enthusiasm and a greater sense of purpose. Resource professionals were also made more aware of what the agency had to offer to the public. They came to value the education/public service mission of the agency more highly, especially service to children. Contains 12 references. (Author/PVD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Eisenhower Program for Mathematics and Science Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the North American Association for Environmental Education (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, August 15-19, 1997).