Environmental Literacy: A Lifelong Learning Approach

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Environmental Literacy: A Lifelong Learning Approach. Claire Sweigart, J.D. Sustainability Coordinator Mary Beth McGrew, AIA Associate VP of Planning + Design + Construction and University Architect. Presentation Outline. Sustainability at UC Environmental Literacy Certificate Staff Track - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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<ul><li><p>Environmental Literacy: A Lifelong Learning ApproachClaire Sweigart, J.D.Sustainability CoordinatorMary Beth McGrew, AIAAssociate VP of Planning + Design + Construction and University Architect</p></li><li><p>Presentation OutlineSustainability at UCEnvironmental Literacy CertificateStaff TrackStudent TrackFuture Developments</p></li><li><p>Sustainability at UC</p></li><li><p>Why Environmental Literacy?Everyones individual decisions have an impactSustainability conversation on campus is currently limited to small groupBroader engagement needed for real change on campus (behavioral and institutional)</p></li><li><p>Our GoalsRaise awareness of UCs sustainability prioritiesSpur critical thinking and creativityBehavior changePeer outreachEncourage participation in other events</p></li><li><p>Our GuidesEnvironmental Literacy*Understanding of the environmentUnderstanding of societys impact on the natural worldIndividual and collective actions towards addressing environmental challenges* Partnership for 21st Century Skills, http://www.p21.org/overview/skills-framework/830</p><p>Adult Education*Include opportunities to interact and discussAllow for personalization and collaborationMaintain physical and mental comfort in an informal atmosphere*Knowles, M.The Modern Practice of Adult Education; From Pedagogy to Andragogy. Cambridge, The Adult Education Company. NY. 1980.</p></li><li><p>Our Approach StaffStaff Track9 monthly meetings each on a different topicParticipants selected from one departmentRequired to attend by supervisor in lieu of staff meeting </p></li><li><p>Staff Track Details1st Group: Housekeeping Supervisors22 participants ranging from age 19 to 56Mostly African Americans who lived in urban areasAll had high school diploma, some had associates degreeBased on a preliminary questionnaire, we found a wide variety of opinions and behaviors on environmental topics and some foundation of environmental knowledge</p></li><li><p>Example Questions</p></li><li><p>Example Questions</p></li><li><p>Staff Track Sessions9 Meetings:IntroductionWasteFoodSoil &amp; land useWaterEnergyChemicalsConsumptionSummaryGuest Presentations:Hamilton County Solid Waste &amp; Recycling DistrictLandscape ArchitectProfessors from Environmental Studies, Architecture, and Engineering</p></li><li><p>Staff Track Goals &amp; EvaluationOur goals are to start a conversation, engage new participants, and change behaviorsA final questionnaire was administered to gauge results</p></li><li><p>Staff Track Goals &amp; Evaluation</p></li><li><p>Our Approach - StudentsStudent Track7 monthly meetings using NWEI discussion course bookOpen to anyoneRequired attendance at other events</p></li><li><p>Student Track DetailsMust attend:4 Lectures4 Film discussions5 Sustainability Suppers3 Volunteer activities4 More from any categoryTotal of 20 events (approx. 40 hours)</p></li><li><p>Student Track DetailsCan be completed within 1 year, but there is no time limitOpen to students, staff, professors, community members, etc.Online registration system</p></li><li><p>Student Track GoalsFurther engagement with sustainability beyond mere passive attendanceProvide more substantial benefit to attending sustainability events</p></li><li><p>Future DevelopmentsStaff TrackVoluntary enrollment, but still focused on a narrow staff setRefinement of guest presentationsPossible addition of 1 or 2 sessions for economics and policyStudent TrackDetermine evaluation methodPartner formally with Environmental Studies DepartmentEngage more students from other disciplines</p></li><li><p>Contact InfoClaire Sweigartclaire.sweigart@uc.eduMary Beth McGrewmarybeth.mcgrew@uc.edu</p><p>www.uc.edu/sustainability</p><p>www.uc.edu/af/pdc/sustainability/get_involved/environmental_literacy.html</p><p>Facebook: UCSustainability &amp; UCBikeKitchenTwitter: UCSustainableInstagram: UCSustainability</p><p>Using the triple bottom line theory, we take a very collaborative approach to sustainability at UC. We have an All-University Committee made up of students, faculty, and staff called the Presidents Advisory Council on Environment and Sustainability. PACES helps guide the work of the Office of Sustainability. There are also many student organizations that collaborate under the SustainUC umbrella. Some of the programs of the Office of Sustainability include the UC Garden, Bearcats Bike Share, and Bearcat Recycling. We also participate in RecycleMania and CCN, and we are a member of several regional and national organizations, such as AASHE and the ACUPCC.*The PACES committee was interested in developing a meaningful way for people from across the campus to participate in campus sustainability. The original idea was to develop a for-credit certificate program that would be accessible to students from all disciplines, beyond the existing SUE certificate focused on engineers and architects. Unfortunately, building a certificate program is a lengthy process and requires academic resources. Therefore, PACES decided to take a different approach the non-credit Environmental Literacy Certificate of Achievement. *To develop our program, we first laid out our goals. UC2019 Plan</p><p>*In order to create a quality experience, we researched the existing literature on environmental literacy and adult education. While the PACES committee is made up of students, faculty, and staff, Mary Beth and myself were creating this program. We both have some background in education, but are not formally trained teachers. We wanted to be sure we were creating a program with a strong foundation.**These are just a few questions from the preliminary questionnaire we administered using a personal response system (clickers). As you can see, we had a wide variety of behaviors related to the environment.*On the questions that were focused on knowledge, rather than behavior, we say much less diversity. We were also pleasantly surprised to find a good foundation of environmental knowledge. The questions covered basic environmental knowledge. Because we werent trying to teach an environmental science course, we kept the questions basic just to get some idea of where the participants were coming from.*We had 9 sessions beginning in September 2012, with 7 substantive topics. We had guest presenters for 4 sessions and presented 3 sessions ourselves. With each session the presenters used a mix of lecture, hands-on activities, media and open discussion. *At our final session, we used a second questionnaire with the clickers to assess how we did. Overall, we were pleased to see that the participants responded positively about the sessions. Many of them also responded that they had changed some behavior as a result of our conversations and that they had talked with others about the content of the sessions.**Building on the success of the staff track, this fall we launched the student track. For the discussion portion of this track, we decided to make it a bit more formal and utilize readings. Since we anticipate most participants in this track being students, we felt we could take an approach closer to formal education. We picked the NWEI book, since it is designed to be used for discussion groups. In addition to these discussion sessions, we are requiring participants to attend some of our other sustainability events.*Our pre-existing event series included lectures, films, and volunteer activities, such as working in our campus garden and helping with recycling. To round out the student track, we are asking students to participate in some of these events. We also added a discussion after each film to make it a more meaningful event.*Even though we call this the student track, it is actually open to anyone. In fact, at our first sustainability supper we had one staff person. The online registration system is incredibly important for this track because of the different requirements. *With the student track, we have a couple additional goals. We already have a large number of students who attend our events, often for extra credit. We hope to engage those students in a deeper discussion via this program, rather than having them merely sit in the audience. We also want to provide those students who are attending so many of our events with some concrete benefit to that attendance something that they can put on their resume.*For the next staff track sessions, we will make a change in getting participants. Instead of having a manager require a group to attend, we will be opening up participation. We will be inviting administrative assistants from across the campus to sign up. For the student track, we still are working on an evaluation tool. We also hope to partner formally with the Environmental Studies Department, once we establish the dependability of the program. Finally, since most of the participants in the student track are Environmental Studies students, we will be working on reaching out to other disciplines and marketing the program more extensively. *</p></li></ul>

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