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Environmental Education and DEP

Environmental Education Characteristics

The DEP Environmental Education Program recognizes that effective environmental education efforts should:

Explore the complex relationships that exist between humans, the built environment, and natural systems; 

Present factual, accurate, and balanced content, presenting all sides of a topic and encouraging students to examine their own opinions and attitudes;

Teach students more about "how to think" and less of "what to think";

Include hands-on, minds-on investigations that engage students and feature student-centered learning through real-world applications;

Recognize that different learning styles exist among students of all ages and strive to develop both critical and creative thinking skills in all students;

Be interdisciplinary, synthesizing knowledge and experiences across disciplines and in all grade levels;

Allow students to learn from previous knowledge which would then support further learning;

Be localized as well as "globalized," focusing on community, backyard and schoolyard interests as well as on national and international interests; and

Be user-friendly and designed to meet the needs of the state's educators.

(Source: Environmental Education in New Jersey: A Plan of Action, New Jersey Commission on Environmental Education, 1993, pg. 3)

(Source: Excellence in EE - Guidelines for Learning (K-12), North American Association for Environmental Education, 1999, pgs. 2 - 4)