It’s learner-centered. EE provides students with opportunities to construct their own understanding through hands-on, minds-on investigations.
It’s inclusive. EE recognizes the importance of investigating the environment within the context of human influences, incorporating the study of economics, culture, political structure, and social equity as well as natural processes and systems. EE asks students to investigate multiple sides of many issues and promotes tolerance of different viewpoints and cultures.
It’s engaging. Countless studies demonstrate that when learning about the environment (or any other subject!) in the environment, students are more attentive, eager, enthusiastic, and focused.
It sparks creativity. Because EE activities require students to study, observe, and investigate why and how things happen, students’ critical and creative thinking skills are sharpened.
It’s interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary. EE activities can incorporate science, math, social students, language arts, and more. Countless EE lessons—in all subject areas— satisfy state and national academic standards.
It informs. EE focuses on the environment and how humans interact with it in a systemic way, transforming students into environmentally literate citizens capable of making to make informed decisions and taking responsible actions.
It motivates. EE paves the way for lifelong environmental stewardship and a more sustainable society, all while focusing on education rather than advocacy.
It enhances communities. EE is all about connections, both with our natural surroundings and our social systems. When learners come to understand these connections between society and their environment, their desire to protect and strengthen both grows.
It’s fun. Study after study prove that outdoor learning and EE lead to reduced stress levels and depression among students.
It’s everywhere. Education about the environment, in the environment, and/or for the environment can take place anywhere, anytime. No formal curriculum is needed (though hundreds of curricular EE activities are available!) to introduce a child to the world around them. A puddle, a pine tree, a feather, a seed, a butterfly, a log—the outdoors provides us with unlimited ways to incorporate EE into our daily lives.