Early Elementary Environmental Education Project

Early Elementary Environmental Education:
A Field Based Approach (4Es)

Cycle 10 Improving Teacher Quality Grant Program

Project Director: Dr. Alice (Jill) Black 

This program will provide professional development in hands-on inquiry-and field-based methods to 30 K-4 elementary teachers per year from the West Plains Service Area (WPSA). Faculty and staff from Missouri State University (MSU), the Rural Education Center (REC), Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), and identified West Plains area schools will provide a comprehensive summer institute with follow-up activities that will address the goal of increased student achievement and understanding in environmental science content at lower elementary levels.

Participating teachers will attend an intensive two week summer institute at the Rural Education Center in West Plains. Following the summer institute, teachers will continue their professional development through:

  1. implementation of activities, lesson plans, and data competencies targeting student achievement in the environmental sciences,
  2. documented observation visits by project staff,
  3. planned follow-up sessions,
  4. additional field activities, and
  5. use of online discussion boards.

Through these 4Es activities, teachers will develop understanding of environmental science concepts by improving physical, Earth, and biological science content as applied to environmental science concepts.

In addition to improving science content knowledge, participants will refine instruction and assessment skills, including data driven instruction.

Teachers will be guided in implementation of science content knowledge and pedagogical skills to create environmental science lessons that integrate science with mathematics, literacy, and other core content.

Incentives to Participating Teachers:

  1. 3 graduate-level credits at the completion of the Summer Institute
  2. Up to $1,080.00 stipend, paid in two installments of $540 December 1, 2013, and May 31, 2013 (note: to receive the full stipend, all sessions must be attended; missing sessions will result in a pro-rated amount based upon hours of attendance, with a minimum required)
  3. Up to $900 in science supplies for personal and classroom use (note: materials will be distributed during planned sessions, and if sessions are missed by participants, participants are not guaranteed receipt of materials)

Requirements of Participating Teachers:

  1. Attend Spring 2013 initial meeting session (May 25th or June 1st)
  2. Attend two-week Summer Institute, held July 22nd to August 1st
  3. Attend 4 follow-up Saturday Sessions the following 2013-14 school year (TBD)
  4. Participate in on-line discussion boards
  5. Complete pre- and post-tests during select meeting sessions
  6. Allow for program evaluators to observe classroom lessons using learned 4Es materials

Requested of Participating Teachers:

  1. Complete follow-up surveys one, two, and three years post 4Es program completion.

Interested elementary educators should submit applications no later than May 1, 2013.

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