This study examined how elementary teacher education programs in the Midwest Environmental Education Conference partner states (Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin) address and assess the competencies set forth by the NAAEE Guidelines for the Preparation and Professional Development of Environmental Educators. In April 2012, chairs and deans of 136 teacher education programs were invited to take an online survey. The survey gathered program data on the use of teaching methods and assessment strategies to address the Guidelines and the extent of familiarity with and use of the Guidelines.
Descriptive statistics, regression, and Mann-Whitney tests were used to analyze the data. Descriptive statistics provided information about the use of specific teaching methods and assessment strategies to address and assess specific Guidelines themes. Regression showed that increased extent of use of the Guidelines led to increased use of teaching methods and assessment strategies. Mann-Whitney tests showed that elementary teacher education programs at institutions that offered a minor in EE or that were in a state that required EE used more teaching methods and assessment strategies than those programs not in such institutions or states. It was also found that there is no difference between programs that do and do not offer certificates or majors in EE in the number of teaching methods or assessment strategies used to address the Guidelines.
The results suggest that elementary teacher education program faculty members are implicitly addressing the Guidelines and should be encouraged to use them explicitly in order to best prepare preservice teachers. Stand-alone courses in EE or coursework embedded with EE should be encouraged at the undergraduate level in order to increase the varied ways EE is included in teacher education programs. Further research should be conducted to better understand the use of teaching methods and assessment strategies to address the Guidelines.
|Advisor:||Henning, Mary Beth|
|Commitee:||Carter, Robert, Simmons, Deborah, Smith, Thomas|
|School:||Northern Illinois University|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Environmental education, Elementary education, Teacher education|
|Keywords:||Elementary education, Environmental education, Guidelines for the Preparation and Professional Development of Environmental Educators, North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), Preservice teachers, Standards, Teacher education|
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