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MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Environmental Education

If you believe in the importance of helping students be responsible stewards of our Earth, you’ll love this: studies show that environmental education in PreK–12 settings can also improve students’ academic performance across subjects, enhance their critical thinking skills, boost their confidence and autonomy, and increase civic engagement. In other words, as an environmental educator, you can offer lessons that mean the world. See what happens when you become a specialist in the study of the Earth’s environment with Concordia’s MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Environmental Education program.

In our fully online program, you’ll gain skills to successfully evaluate alternative viewpoints related to environmental issues. You will explore the connection between transformative education practices and problem-solving methods, as well as environmental literacy — how daily choices help or harm the environment.

Accredited, nonprofit, and taught by practitioners, all of Concordia’s online MEd programs reflect the same meaningful experience we’ve been delivering on campus since 1905. The convenience of 100 percent online, clearly defined coursework — paired with realistic deadlines and the ability to immediately apply what you learn in your classroom — makes our programs ideal for busy lifestyles. And the potential career benefits — from higher pay to promotions — are second only to the reward of having an everlasting impact on the lives of your students.

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Step 1 of 3: What type of student are you?

Step 2 of 3: What would you like to study?

Step 3 of 3: Get info about this program

Yes! By clicking “Send me info”, I consent to receive e-mail, text messages, and calls on behalf of Concordia University-Portland about its degree programs and its admissions process, at the telephone number and email address I entered above. I agree that automated technology may be used to text or dial the number I provided, and understand my consent to receive these communications is not a condition of purchase. Message frequency varies. Message and data rates may apply. Reply STOP to cancel and HELP for help text messages. Read our Mobile Terms and Privacy Policy.
NEXT START DATE
February 17th
MODALITIES
Online
Program Length 1 Year
Credits 30 Credit Hours
Accreditation NWCCU
SCHOLARSHIPS* Up to $3,000
100% online
100% online (no in-person field work required)
One year
Earn your MEd in one year, one class at a time, with built-in breaks
Updated curriculum
Curriculum is up-to-date and relevant
NWCCU
Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Respected
Concordia is one of the most respected names in learning today
Positive career benefits
87% of our online MEd grads report positive career benefits as a result of their degree
20,000-strong alumni
20,000-strong alumni network
Satisfaction
93% of our online MEd grads say they are satisfied with their overall academic program experience

MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Environmental Education Program Goals

In addition to meeting the objectives and requirements for the MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Environmental Education online degree program, successful candidates will also demonstrate:
Expertise in Evaluating Progress

Expertise in Evaluating Progress

Expertise in the utilization of new methods of authentic assessment and strategies as tools to evaluate student learning progress in relation to Oregon’s Common Core State Standards and specific district standards

Effective Instructional Skills

Effective Instructional Skills

Effective instructional skills in planning, implementing, and assessing instruction in settings that include diverse cultural populations and special needs students

Classroom Diversity Skills

Classroom Diversity Skills

An understanding of the ways that the specific curricular/instructional area has the potential to be responsive to classroom diversity

Moral Leadership

Moral Leadership

A clear understanding of the moral leadership required of them as advanced scholars in the chosen area of curriculum and instruction

Differentiation

Differentiation

The ability to modify instructional plans and promote alternative goals and strategies when necessary, particularly in relation to assessment results

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

The MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Environmental Education is a 30 credit-hour program

MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - Core Courses
12 credits

Please note: Completing a Master of Education degree program does not lead to state certification or licensure. The MEd is not designed or intended to lead in any way toward a teaching license, endorsement, or administrative credential.

MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - Environmental Education
12 credits

Please note: Completing a Master of Education degree program does not lead to state certification or licensure. The MEd is not designed or intended to lead in any way toward a teaching license, endorsement, or administrative credential.

Research Course 1
3 credits

The Master of Education culminates with the choice of either EDGR 698-Action Research or EDGR 696-Practitioner Inquiry. 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.

SELECT ONE CAPSTONE COURSE:

Research Course 2
3 credits   Select one of the following:

Please note: Completing a Master of Education degree program does not lead to state certification or licensure. The MEd is not designed or intended to lead in any way toward a teaching license, endorsement, or administrative credential.

ON-CAMPUS/HYBRID OPTIONS

In addition to fully online, Concordia offers several Master of Education programs in an on-campus or hybrid format. See the options here.

Is the MEd in Environmental Education concentration right for me?

Consider choosing this path if:

  • You want your students to understand what it means to be a responsible steward of the Earth and its natural resources
  • You’re looking to develop your critical thinking, self-discovery, and problem-solving skills when it comes to environmental issues
  • You’d like to hone your environmental literacy overall

Still unsure? We know we offer a lot of programs! Let’s talk more about your professional and personal goals.

Child Learning
If you are an educator sitting on the fence about getting your master’s, go through Concordia. The online program was easy to implement into my schedule and it made my life so much better. As educators, we should always be trying to figure out what the next step is or how we can better ourselves so we can influence our students.
DEBBIE DOYLE, MEd in Curriculum &amp Instruction:
STEAM '18

MORE ON THE TOPIC OF ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

What makes this program so relevant today

From the early 19th century, we began publicly extolling the virtues of nature, and exploring man’s relationship with it:

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Nature (1836) and Henry David Thoreau’s Walden (1854) led a generation of transcendental naturists.
  • John Muir (1838–1914) created the Sierra Club, a conservation group still in existence today.
  • After World War II, the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was held in Stockholm, Sweden, publishing a list of 26 environmental principles — one of which included “education in environmental matters.”
  • Rachel Carson’s infamous text Silent Spring (1962) alerted everyone to the dangers of manufacturing and pest-control chemicals in our environment.
  • The 1960s saw political action for the conservation of lands, animals and for the responsible disposal of hazardous materials. Earth Day was started, and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) became the law of the land.
  • The famous Tbilisi Declaration was created at an international governmental conference in 1977 and it laid out what Environmental Education should entail. This was revised by the United Nations in the 1990s (see next section).

The period from the 1980s to the present day has seen a push and pull of environmental policy, led by political interests and a contentious debate on the validity of Climate Change science.

Source: Summarized from The History and Philosophy of Environmental Education by Robert L. Carter and Bora Simmons

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization created an international set of environmental education objectives in 1996 that are still followed today. These objectives are to improve:

Awareness: help social groups and individuals acquire awareness and sensitivity towards the environment; respond to issues, questions and problems related to environmental education and development

Knowledge: help individuals, groups, and societies gain a variety of experience in, and acquire a basic understanding of, what is required to create and maintain a sustainable environment

Attitudes: help individuals, groups, and societies acquire a set of values and feelings of concern for the environment, and the motivation to actively participate in protection of the environment

Skills: help individuals, groups, and societies acquire the skills for identifying, anticipating, preventing and solving environmental problems

Participation: provide individuals, groups, and societies with an opportunity and the motivation to be actively involved at all levels in creating a sustainable environment

Source: UNESCO-UNEP Environmental Education Newsletter Vol.1, No1 (January 1996).

  • Communities benefit from conservancy, preservation, and environmental rehabilitation
  • Students learn to serve, protect, and participate with their communities
  • EE promotes citizenship and social responsibility among learners
  • EE promotes activity outside of the classroom, allowing students to unplug and interact with nature
  • EE influences learners to consider the long-term condition of the world they will inherit
  • EE is helpful for students with learning disabilities, attention deficits, and for whom traditional classroom learning is challenging. Nature becomes a “working laboratory” for learners.
  • Students become real-world problem-solvers
  • Environmental programs are proven to increase academic performance

Sources: Project Learning Tree, National Environmental Education Foundation, Environment-Based Education: Creating High Performance Schools and Students. Washington, DC: National Environmental Education Foundation, 2000-Sep. And Taylor, Andrea Faber & Kuo, Frances E. Children with attention deficits concentrate netter after walk in the park. Journal of Attention Disorders. 2008

Our Environmental Education concentration will prepare you to introduce ecological stewardship in PreK-12 settings. You’ll learn:

  • The environmental history of Earth
  • Current environmental issues and debates
  • Advocacy and investigation related to environmental issues
  • Systematic instruction of environmental education taught through an age-appropriate, coherent sequence
  • Knowledge and skills necessary to be an informed and transformative leader in environmental education
  • Cognitive science, learning theory, and relevant teaching theories
  • How to build community within social, ethnic, economic, and alternative lifestyle differences
  • How to identify, review, and analyze major trends and issues impacting state and national education initiatives

CAREER OUTCOMES

See where an MEd focused on environmental education could take you

Planning to stay in your current teaching job? Many MEd graduates do! But in addition to potential benefits like increased salary and more self-confidence, an MEd could also expand your career opportunities within the education industry.

Potential careers include:

  • Director, department of parks & recreation
  • Park ranger
  • Environmental education program lead, department of parks & recreation
  • Environmental education docent
  • Environmental education consultant, water treatment agency
  • 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)
  • 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

(Some states may require specific licensure for some of these positions. Check with your state’s Department of Education for more details.)

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