M.Ed. Environmental Literacy (32 units)
Responding to the California Department of Education’s document, "A Blueprint for Environmental Literacy: Educating Every Student In, About, and For the Environment" (see the CDE Website for more information), the graduate department at TCSJ has developed a new master's degree in education: Environmental Literacy. The concentration will prepare educators who are ready to assume leadership roles in STEM with particular expertise in Environmental Literacy. Further, we will prepare educational leaders who are able to address SB720 which was signed into law September 13, 2018 relating to environmental education.
The Environmental Literacy M.Ed. coursework provides a close examination of the intersection between peoples, societies, and natural systems, and how to relate within those systems in a humble, sustainable manner. Educators learn to develop integrated curricula and learning opportunities that nurture PK-12 students' understanding of the natural world outside the classroom, expand critical thinking skills, and prepare engaged citizens. Graduates have expertise in developing, implementing, and sustaining capacity building plans for an Environmental Literacy program within an organization, such as a school district.
- CURR341 Preparing Students for the 21st Century (3)
- STEM320 Research in the STEM Classroom (3)
- CURR345 Teacher Action Research (3)
- CURR384 Writing a Literature Review (2)
- STEM387 Masters Project in Environmental Literacy (4)
STEM351: Environmental Phenomenology (3)
Place-based investigations to discover and model local environmental phenomena provide opportunities to build capacity and non-deficit thinking. The Environmental Principles and Concepts (EPCs) are introduced and used to help design inquiry-based activities that take students outside the classroom. Useful community and everyday resources are identified which enhance the quality of environmental education, with emphasis placed on opportunities to participate in community science and impact local and global environments.
STEM370: History: Environmental Influences (3)
Examination of historical evidence from multiple sources regarding environmental policies and practices is the focus of the course. Why and how the Earth's topography and humans' access to natural resources have influenced inequities and biases within societies, and how humans have impacted the environment over time frame the coursework. The Environmental Principles and Concepts (EPCs) and the K-12 California History and Social Science framework also helps inform the study of relationships between humans and the natural environment.
STEM344: Lesson Study Environmental Principals and Concepts (2)
The purpose of this course is to build knowledge and expertise related to the theory and components of effective lesson design. Educators work with peers to co-design, teach, and reflect upon an integrated lesson designed to address Environmental Principles and Concepts, National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Pathways to Sustainable Development, and/or the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Sustainable Development Goals.
STEM343: Curriculum for Developing Environmental Literacy (3)
Educators learn to develop and assess integrated curricula and learning opportunities that nurture PK-12 students' understanding of the natural world outside the classroom and expand critical thinking skills. Beginning with local challenges in the environment, candidates create units that connect human and environmental systems. The units focus on enhancing learning outside the classroom, they are tied to Environmental Principles and Concepts, National Wildlife Federation Pathways to Sustainable Development, and/or UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals, and they integrate the history of local land use.
STEM375: Actions for Change: Environmental Solutions (3)
"They wanted to bury us, but they didn't know that we were seeds" ~ Mexican Proverb.
Development of engaged citizens prepared to navigate and influence the local, national, and global landscape is the purpose of this course. Candidates will be challenged to learn how to engage their PK-12 students to act collectively for shared outcomes, analyze and use social media to examine science with a social justice perspective, and understand the impacts of individual beliefs about land. Educators learn to use Design Thinking with their PK-12 students as they engage with their community to create solutions to local environmental concerns. PK-12 students' Environmental Literacy is fostered as they wrestle with questions such as: How do we assess the health of the environment? What is the capacity of our natural systems? How might we adjust to pollution?
STEM380: Building Capacity for Sustainability (3)
"It's amazing what you can get done if you don't care who gets the credit." ~ H. Truman
Organizational and systems theories that identify structures needed for sustainability of initiatives within school districts provide a focus for this course. Students build a Plan of Action that addresses leadership strategies for rollout, establishes community support, includes strategies for dealing with local, state, and national political stressors, identifies grant opportunities, builds capacity throughout the district, and develops a shared vision statement. Ensuring that PK-12 students have access to equitable learning focused on local, relevant and actionable environmental concerns requires teachers who are empowered with resources, supported to take learning outside, and have access to local partnerships.