GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 10-6
Presentation Time: 9:30 AM


BALDWIN, Kathryn A., Department of Education, Eastern Washington University, Williamson Hall 315D, Cheney, WA 99004, EGGER, Anne E., Dept. of Geological Sciences, Central Washington University, 400 E. University Way, Ellensburg, WA 98926-7418, GEARY, Edward, Science, Mathematics, & Technology Education, Western Washington University, 516 High St., MS-9126, Bellingham, WA 98225, NELSON, Tamara H., Department of Education, Washington State University Vancouver, 14204 NE Salmon Creek Ave., Vancouver, WA 98686-9860 and NOLLMEYER, Gustave E., Department of Education, Eastern Washington University, Williamson 316D, Cheney, WA 99004,

With the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in Washington State, many K-12 teachers find themselves reexamining their existing Earth science curriculum and how it aligns with the NGSS. In higher education, faculty involved in teacher preparation programs are re-examining how they preparing future teachers to teach about the Earth. Washington State also has an Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) endorsement for teachers, but uptake of this endorsement has been slow. The emphasis on sustainability in the Earth and Space Science disciplinary core ideas of the NGSS makes this time of transition the perfect time to also reexamine environmental and sustainability education both for pre-service and in-service teacher programs.

Education for Sustainability (EfS) was identified by the WA–NextGen Teacher Preparation consortium as crucial to the future of K-12 teacher preparation. Our EfS working group consists of members from colleges and universities, state education agencies, STEM related businesses and non-profit organizations, and is based on a collaborative model to produce collective impact at scale. The EfS working group has identified existing resources and programs that could help leverage and elevate the status of EfS in teacher preparation programs, including integrating “top-down” approaches (such as promoting the ESE endorsement) and “bottom-up” approaches (such as infusing sustainability concepts across the curriculum). This presentation will discuss where environmental and sustainability education fits in the NGSS, provide an overview of existing EfS resources and programs, and discuss how to prepare pre-service teachers to teach EfS in their future classrooms.