Environmental educators have the knowledge and skills to make informed and responsible decisions about the environment. Environmental educators should also model these skills and behaviors. In this course, you will be guided through a five-step process for investigating and analyzing environmental issues. Each step is designed to elaborate the processes and skills for facilitating environmental issue investigations within a community of learners.
Welcome! Please watch our short introductory video to learn more about the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education and get a short introduction to what we will learn in Investigating Environmental Issues. The course will follow the following outline:
1. Welcome and Introduction to the 5 Step Process for Investigating Environmental Issues
2. What are key considerations when investigating environmental issues with learners?
3. Step 1: Choosing an Issue
4. Step 2: Identifying the Problem and Issue
5. Step 3-5: Searching for Solutions, Analyzing Options, and Taking Action
7. Quiz: What did you learn?
Let's get started. Watch this video to learn about some of the considerations needed when addressing environmental issues with learners. After watching the video, check out some of the included resources to learn more about your role as an educator (Two Hats Article by John Hug) and what skills learners will be practicing and using.
The first step in the process of issue investigation with learners is choosing the issue. This is an important step in the process to ensure investment and interest of your learners. Watch the video lecture and then check out some of the attached resources, including additional guidelines for success.
Step 2 is the most important step in the process- unpacking the issue and identifying both the environmental problem and the issue from multiple perspectives. Check out the resources included for an easily adaptable activity to engage your learners in thinking about the many perspectives that come into play when making decisions.
When you are investigating issues with learners, many activities engage multiple steps at once! In this section we will explore steps 3-5: Searching for Solutions, Analyzing Options, and Taking Action. After viewing the 7 minute video, be sure to check out the attached resources you can use including : Guidelines for Taking Action with Learners (Action Packed and Ready to Go), Assessment Questions for Issue Investigation, and a Planning Template for a Classroom Community Project.
Congratulations! You have completed the learning sections of this course and learned the basics of the five step process to investigating environmental issues. The whole process is included in the attached handout for easy reference.
The Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education serves all sectors of the Colorado community to improve the collective effectiveness of Environmental Education. We envision an environmentally-literate Colorado, and we work to ensure everyone in Colorado has an opportunity to learn about the environment where they live. We value inclusiveness and welcome everyone to the field of environmental education.