Questions for NH Environmental Literacy Focus Groups

As background participants should review NH Environmental Literacy Plan: Case of Support and the one page sheet that shows the five elements to be included as well as the list of agencies and organizations eligible for small grants that were identified in the legislation. Recommend viewing the introductory presentation to the NH Board of Education before you get started.

Question 1
From your perspective are there any additional sections or information that should be contained in the final plan besides those identified in the legislation?

Question 2
Is there precise content information beyond those listed in the current state science/social studies frameworks you think should be included? E.g. energy education, sustainable agriculture.

Question 3
From your standpoint what would be the components of a high quality environmental education professional development plan for the state of New Hampshire.
Audiences to consider:

  • Pre-service education.
  • In-service educators
  • Non- formal educators
  • Natural resource professionals

Question 4
As part of this plan, the federal legislation calls for  theNH Department of Education to run a small grants program to distribute federal funding to support the development of Environmental Literacy.  How should that small grants program be structured?

Other prompt questions for this question:

  • Type of projects
  • Match versus no match
  • Maximum amount
  • Selection criteria
  • Who would review?
  • Who qualifies to apply?  (Schools/districts, non-formal education providers, agencies, etc.)
  • Advisory Board

Question 5
How will the plan be implemented and sustained over time?
What are the steps that need to be taken to secure necessary funding and support?

Handout for Meeting

N. H. Environmental Literacy Plan Focus Group Meetings

What is “Environmental Literacy”?
Environmental literacy is having an understanding of the natural world and the ability to make decisions about the environment based on scientific, economic, aesthetic and ethical considerations.

What are the elements of a state’s Environmental Literacy Plan?
1)    Specific content standards, content areas, and courses or subjects where instruction will take place.
2)    A description of how state high school graduation requirements will ensure that graduates are environmentally literate.
3)    A description of programs for professional development of teachers to improve their environmental content knowledge, skill in teaching about environmental issues, and field-based pedagogical skills.
4)    A description of how the state education agency will measure the environmental literacy of students.
5)    A description of how the state education agency will implement the plan, including securing funding and other necessary support.

Who is eligible for the small grants?
Eligible partners shall include a local educational agency.

Eligible partners may include—
A)    the teacher training department of an institution of higher education;
B)    the environmental department of an institution of higher education;
C)    another local educational agency, a public charter school, a public elementary school or secondary school, or a consortium of such schools;
D)    a Federal, State, regional, or local environmental or natural resource management agency that has demonstrated effectiveness in improving the quality of environmental education teachers; or
E)    a nonprofit organization that has demonstrated effectiveness in improving the quality of environmental education teachers.

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