The Earth Instituteís (CERCís) Professional Development Program in Environmental Sustainability provides three graduate credits in human ecology coupled with curriculum development for the secondary school classroom. The Program is designed to support educators in increasing their understanding of the inquiry process and environmental sustainability in the urban context that is New York City and then to translate that knowledge to their teaching practice. Likewise, the Program incorporates the current focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and Literacy education and 21st century skills acquisition for our Cityís and nationís youth.
Now in its eighth year, the Program is comprised of a two week period, typically held in July.
In week one, Earth Institute faculty and researchers guide teachers as they work in teams to explore New York City marshes, estuaries, parks and neighborhoods using ecological field methods. Teams then develop mini-research projects, gather and assess data, present their findings and reflections on the inquiry process through scientific posters.
In week two, teachers contextual their field experience through cases and designed to reveal the complexity of issues in environmental sustainability. The goal here is to demonstrate and experience the importance of both the natural and social sciences for understanding and addressing that complexity. Case studies have included the BP Oil Disaster and Hydraulic Fracturing in New York State.
Additionally Week Two incorporates the design and development of curriculum units for use during the upcoming academic year, aligned to Common Core Standards, effective technology use and formative and summative assessment. Teacher implementation and resource plans complete the Program
The Earth Instituteís (CERCís) Professional Development Program in Environmental Sustainability encourages currently practicing secondary educators from all disciplines to apply. Likewise, students currently enrolled in graduate or undergraduate schools of education or in graduate programs in sustainability science are encouraged to attend.
For New York City and New York State teachers, the three graduate credits fulfill the New York State Department of Educationís science teaching certification and can also be applied to a masterís degree or to the ď30 points aboveĒ requirement for a salary increase in New York City public schools.
For more information on the Earth Institute visit www.earth.columbia.edu
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