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 Start Date is December 13th

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.
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 focuses 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 --- are 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. In addition, strategies that can be utilized in teaching environmental education across the curricula --- including language arts, math, social studies and science --- are presented.
EDCI 551 (3)
Transformative Learning and Environmental Education
Students will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be informed and transformative leaders in environmental education.
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 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 three 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. (During this course, the proposal will NOT be implemented with students/participants.)
This design provides students with the requisite skills and means to pursue the transformative practice called "Action Research" in their classroom, school, district or other work environment. The design method for the capstone project closely aligns with current classroom realities, with district and school requirements, and the needs of teachers and students.
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 thesis instructor, will explore relevant literature and present a thesis following the procedure established by the College of Education.
EDGR 696 (3)
Practitioner Inquiry (CAPSTONE)
Practitioner Inquiry focuses on the reflective acts of the candidate as an educator seeking to improve teaching practice. Premised in the self-study research methodological traditions (Samaras, 2011), Practitioner Inquiry provides the opportunity to reflect on teaching practice and generate improvements based on classroom observation. Practitioner Inquiry focuses on the educator and her/his own practices, developing skills of inquiry, observation, reflection, and action in teachers. Prerequisite: Successful completion of EDGR 601 Educational Research

Any of the above options provide 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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