M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Environmental Education


The M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Environmental Education is designed to prepare K-12 educators as specialists in the study of the earth’s environment. Learning and teaching will be based on three key concepts: how to learn about and investigate the environment, an understanding of how humans interact with the environment, and the importance of stewardship for our Earth.

An emphasis is placed on the connection between transformative education practices and the development of critical thinking, problem solving, and self-discovery--skills essential to the successful evaluation of alternative viewpoints related to environmental issues.

This course of study is aligned with the National Environmental Education Standards, the National Science Education Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. Environmental literacy – how daily choices help or harm the environment – is a theme woven throughout the program.

The Next Cohort Start Date is July 26th

M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Environmental Education Program Goals

In addition to meeting the objectives for all Concordia University - Portland’s M.Ed. programs, successful candidates in the M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Environmental Education concentration will demonstrate:

  • Expertise in the utilization of new methods of authentic assessment and strategies as tools to evaluate student learning progress.
  • The ability to modify instructional plans and promote alternative goals and strategies when necessary, particularly in relation to assessment results.
  • Effective instructional skills in planning, implementing, and assessing instruction in settings that include diverse cultural populations and special needs students.

Course Descriptions

Students enrolled in the Environmental Education program must complete:

  • Four core courses required for the Curriculum & Instruction degree
  • Foundation courses for the specific concentration

M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction - Environmental Education
15 credits
EDCI 512 (3)
A Study of the Environment: Past and Present
This course is a study of the environmental history of Earth starting with an examination of the past "status of nature," what the earth's past can contribute to an understanding of what may happen in the future, and continuing through to the earth's status today. Common, underlying themes that contribute to a study of the environment will be explored, such as thinking of the earth in terms of "systems" and interdependence; that is, everything on earth is connected to everything else. The targeted outcome for students in this course is well-developed environmental literacy that will serve as the basis for successful completion of the three courses that follow.
EDCI 531 (3)
Current Environmental Issues
This course will develop the skills of critical thinking, self-discovery and problem solving, all essential to learning about and evaluating alternative points of view relative to both local and global environmental issues. Advocacy for a particular viewpoint or course of action is not considered in this course but, rather, learning about and investigating the environment in order to make informed decisions relative to each individual's role as a responsible steward of the Earth and its natural resources. Throughout the examination of environmental issues conducted in this course, close adherence to the fairness and accuracy recommendation of the North American Association's Environmental Education Guidelines for Excellence (1996, revised 2004) will be maintained.
EDCI 544 (3)
Teaching Environmental Education
This course will focus on the systematic instruction of environmental education, taught through an age-appropriate, coherent sequence. The continued relevance of teaching and learning techniques originated in nature study and outdoor education - nature trails, wilderness education, and outdoor classrooms - will be examined through first-hand experiences. The North American Association for Environmental Education's Guidelines for Excellence (1996, revised 2004) six key characteristics, used to guide the development or selection of comprehensive, high quality environmental education curricula, will be studied. At the completion of this course, participants will be prepared to deliver a balanced, comprehensive study of environmental education as well as encourage their students in seeking knowledge about the environment and in developing informed decisions regarding their role as a steward of the Earth. In addition, strategies that can be utilized in teaching environmental education across the curricula-including language arts, math, social studies and science - will be presented.
EDCI 551 (3)
Transformative Learning and Environmental Education
Leadership in transformative learning and environmental education will be the focus of this course. Building upon the critical thinking, self-discovery and problem solving skills and knowledge developed in prior courses in this program, K-12 environmental education specialists will learn how to develop and apply transformative education practices to the following:
  • Unique issues of study related to environmental education
  • The adoption of environmental education curricula/programs
  • Adapting an environmental education program for special populations
  • The role of the environmental education K-12 specialist in modeling and teaching the principles related to "how to think" not "what to think," relative to environmental education, as an education and community leader
  • Connecting national environmental education standards to local initiatives
  • Expanding an environmental education program beyond the classroom and school setting
EDGR 601 (3)
Educational Research
This course provides students with the basic competencies necessary to understand and evaluate the research of others, and to plan and conduct their own research with a minimum of assistance. This course includes the basics of both qualitative and quantitative research.

The Master of Education culminates with one of two courses
3 credits
EDGR 698 (3)
Action Research (CAPSTONE)
Action research is one of the capstone projects for the Master of Education program. During this five-week course, candidates will learn more about the action research methodology, complete final edits of the Literature Review, and design a complete Action Research proposal including data collection methods and analysis approaches. The proposal will not be implemented with students/participants during the course.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of EDGR 601 Educational Research.
EDGR 699 (3)
The Thesis offers the graduate student the opportunity to investigate, in depth, a topic in the field of education. The student, working with his or her educational research instructor, will explore relevant literature and present a Thesis following the procedure established by the College of Education.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of EDGR 601 Educational Research.

Either option provides candidates with an understanding of the role of research in the field of education as a tool to solve problems and as a way to improve student learning.

Earning Your Curriculum & Instruction: Environmental Education Master's Degree Online

The Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Environmental Education program is fully online. The online format uses cutting-edge curriculum and easy-to-use online learning tools to provide students with a convenient yet challenging educational experience. Online classes are 5 weeks in length and can be accessed via Internet.


Career Opportunities

  • Director, Department of Parks & Recreation
  • Park Ranger
  • Environmental Education Program Lead, Department of Parks & Recreation
  • Environmental Education Docent
  • Environmental Education Consultant, Water Treatment Agency
  • K-12 Teacher with Environmental Education Specialty
  • Higher Education Instructor: Environmental Education Learning and Teaching
  • Consultant/Advisor in Teaching Environmental Education
  • Professional Development (K-12), Environmental Education
  • Environmental Education Community Leader
  • Program Director, Environmental Education (K-12)
  • Learning & Teaching Environmental Education Advisor to State Legislatures/Congress
  • Curriculum Director, Environmental Education
  • Division or Department Chair, Environmental Education (K-12, Higher Education)
  • Lead Teacher, Outdoor/Environmental Issues
  • Teacher, Outdoor School
  • Educator, Environmental or Outdoor Center
  • Outdoor Trip Leader, Outward Bound, National Outdoor Leadership School, other such programs
  • Program Director/Manager, Outdoor Center, Environment Center, Environmental Organization, Conservation Group
  • Lobbyist, Environmental Organization, Conservation Group
  • Lead Fund Raiser, Environmental Organization, Conservation Group, Foundation

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