Environmental Education

Winter 2014 quarter

Taught by

environmental education

It is widely agreed that an environmentally literate and concerned citizenry is crucial to environmental quality and long-term sustainability--but how and where is environmental and sustainability literacy fostered? And where "environmental education" occurs, is it effective?  This class explores the history, philosophical underpinnings, and current trends in environmental education for both youth and adults, in both formal sectors (schools and colleges) and non-formal ones. This class provides a theoretical and practical introduction to the field of environmental education and interpretation.  It will be useful to students interested in environmental teaching or communications as a career, or to those whose environmental work might involve education or outreach components. Note: A one-day Saturday field trip will be taken to NW Trek.  Students should expect to pay a nominal entrance fee.

Course Outcomes:

  • A theoretical grounding in environmental education (EE): its precursors and history, its various rationales, and the working principles to which EE professionals aspire. 
  • An introductory understanding of learning theory and of educational settings which foster meaningful, lasting learning.
  • A working knowledge of several arenas in which environmental education is practiced, with attention to both the opportunities and challenges for volunteer and professional environmental educators.
  • A framework for evaluation of environmental education programs.
  • An understanding of the increasingly politically charged nature of environmental education and implications for professional practice.
  • The student's own construction of the promise of environmental education as well as some of its shortcomings and tensions----and a more complex "concept map" of the field.
  • An introductory understanding of social marketing approaches to fostering environmentally responsible behaviors.
  • A heightened awareness of the importance of fostering environmental literacy. 

2014 Syllabus

Faculty Biography:

Jean MacGregor, M.S., is a Senior Scholar at the Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education at The Evergreen State College. She directs the Curriculum for the Bioregion Initiative, a faculty and curriculum development initiative, whose mission is to prepare undergraduates to live in a world where the complex issues of environmental quality, community health and wellbeing, environmental justice, and sustainability are paramount.  The Curriculum for the Bioregion initiative involves hundreds of faculty members at colleges and universities throughout Washington State. Prior to work at Evergreen, she helped develop the environmental studies program at Warren Wilson College near Asheville, North Carolina.  Earlier in her career, she developed and/or evaluated environmental education programs for both youth and adults at nature centers and science museums, and in various outdoor and wilderness learning settings.

Program Details

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Evening

Advertised schedule: 6-10p Mon


Buy books for this program through Greener Bookstore.

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning: Access to web-based tools required, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Undergraduate Credit Option

Requires Faculty Approval

Registration Information

Credits: 4 (Winter)

Class standing: Graduate

Maximum enrollment: 15


Course Reference Number

(4 GR credits): 20119

Go to my.evergreen.edu to register for this program.