ERIC Number: ED464819
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
The Right Tools for the Job: How Can Aquatic Resource Education Succeed in the Classroom?
Fortner, Rosanne W.
Because of its bases in science and stewardship, aquatic resource education may be seen as a type of environmental education. The range of environmental education (EE) programs includes a huge variety designed for different groups and settings. This chapter takes the perspective of environmental education as it is done in the formal K-12 classroom situation, that is, with intact groups of individuals who are fairly homogeneous in terms of age and experience and have been assembled for the purpose of learning. Within that classroom the educational experiences are constrained by an existing system of practice and by methods of teacher preparation, both ingrained over many decades. What is acceptable to the classroom education system is structured by community mores and often supported inequitably across geographic regions. Change in classroom education comes at a glacial pace, and it is nearly always top-down and assessment-driven. By its definition, environmental education fosters the development of ecological knowledge, awareness of issues and how to solve them, and motivation to work toward environmental quality. A major goal is to build within learners and intention to act, which is seen as the most dependable precursor to environmentally responsible behavior. Unfortunately, traditional classroom curricula do not encourage, and community mores sometimes do not permit, the kinds of behavioral goals that are key to EE. According to theory and practice, environmental education topics that are appropriate to the curriculum can be infused in the existing curriculum if they are acceptable to teachers. New curriculum restructure in science and geography may offer some opportunities for aquatic resource education. The best EE is interdisciplinary, uses strong science, is implemented using active, cooperative learning, and is extended through service learning or filed activities. Getting aquatic resource education into schools through EE can be accomplished by meeting teachers' needs for topic, having excellent curriculum materials, and delivering them through a strong program of teacher education. (Contains 46 references.) (Author/YDS)
Descriptors: Cooperative Learning, Elementary Secondary Education, Environmental Education, Interdisciplinary Approach, Science Activities, Service Learning, Water Resources
For full text: http://www.rbff.org/educational/BPE4.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A