Environmental Education in Early Childhood Education;
Write a Dream School Vision Paper
There will be many times in your life as a teacher when you will need to make decisions about how to teach (pedagogy), what to teach (curriculum), and from which worldview (social justice, equity, ecoliterate). The purpose of this assignment is to develop the skills you will need to propose an idea clearly and succinctly, supported by your experience (observations and field notes) and experts in the field (texts, historical references, and contemporary voices). The weaving together of your commitment, your understanding of the value of environmental education in early childhood classrooms and experts in the field will be the basis for your dream school vision, inspiring and persuading your reader to support your vision of your dream school.
Your dream school doesn’t have to be a whole school. It could be just your classroom. Your plan could be small, like creating a school garden or making your classroom greener by incorporating some of the ideas in the Green Rating Scale, or it could be a grand vision of a whole school that you have designed based on what you have learned in this class.
This description may help you organize your assignment. The order of the paragraphs may not be the same for everyone. Although most papers will start with an introduction and end with a conclusion, the middle section may vary, depending on your own writing style, flow and logic. While the order may not be the same, the presentation of supporting references and your personal analysis must be included in every paper.
Each paper must also include your reasoning: Why did you make the choices you made? How does this dream school vision fit within your human experience as a student, a teacher or a parent? Ask yourself, ‘So What?’ and ‘Why’ every now and then as you read your paper. If it isn’t clear to you it won’t be clear to your reader either.
Citations can occur in any part of the paper. There is a minimum of 5 different citations. This means from 5 different sources. It is not necessary for you to look for sources not presented in this class. Students are strongly encouraged to use the texts, videos and analysis of their field observations or experiences in the classroom to support their dream school vision.
This paper should be 5 -7 pages long. I strongly recommend creating an outline. If you remember that each new idea needs a new paragraph, and you write an outline before you begin, you can count the number of paragraphs you need to write. This may help you plan where more elaboration should be added. No paragraph should be more than 7 or 8 sentences. If your paragraphs are long, chances are they contain more than one idea and they should be separated. Read each paragraph separately. Make sure each paragraph has a topic sentence.
EED 615 Eco-Dream School Paper Assignment Description 2
Grammar, syntax and spelling errors are easy to find and fix. Don’t worry about them when you begin writing. These problems can be fixed in the editing process. You may have several versions of your paper before you complete this assignment and turn it in. When you save drafts on your computer, date the drafts so that you will know which version of the paper you’re working on. Proof read your paper carefully before you turn it in. Get a friend or classmate to read your work, if possible. You will have an opportunity to get some feedback on your paper once before it is due. When reviewing your paper, use the rubric to help insure that you have completed the assignment to get the highest possible grade.
Dream School Vision Paper Outline Introduction (one page)
1. ” My vision of a dream school” may help you begin, but don’t start your paper this way. As the author this is obvious and doesn’t require personification. Start strong, with a strong statement that really captures the passion of your vision. This may be the place to include some of your personal narrative to explain how you came to your vision and what you hope to accomplish.
2. Why this dream school vision? From a distanced perspective and without details discuss your world view on this position. If there is some paraphrasing of texts or short quotes to support your ideas from a global perspective, this is a good place to use them to let the readers know how you intend to approach ecoliteracy and environmentalism. Don’t lift whole sections of text from any of the books. Paraphrase by using your comments in the forums.
3. Foreshadowing the writing to follow gives the reader an idea of the landscape of the paper. Briefly describe how your paper is organized and tell the reader again how your dream school supports ecoliteracy and environmentalism within the classroom.
After the introduction the reader should have a clear idea of what your position is, how it fits within Environmental Education and some general idea of how you are going to support your Dream School idea with personal observations and environmental experts.
Supporting expert opinion, course materials, assignments and your Analysis (three pages)
1. The presentation of your ideas needs to include enough detail for the reader to believe that your plans are supported by historical references, experts in the field, contemporary thinking on the subject and what you have learned about the integration of environmental education in early childhood skill development.
EED 615 Eco-Dream School Paper Assignment Description 3 2. If it fits, use your lesson plan as an example of how environmental education
can be incorporated in your dream school.
3. Use your understanding of scientific inquiry and environmental education in early childhood classrooms to support your dream school vision.
4. Include a budget (with realistic amounts) and a method of program assessment. How will you know that your vision is meeting your goals? Think about including some of the ideas from the Green Rating Scale, or develop your own method of assessment. Good ideas without assessments and ties to developmental goals are dreams that will never become reality. This assignment should be a feasible plan, even if the budget requires millions of dollars.
Conclusion (one page)
1. ” I think……” Remind the reader of the reason for your vision. This may be another place to include some of your personal narrative to explain how you came to your vision and the context behind your ideas.
2. Why is this dream school idea important enough to write about? From a distanced perspective and with reminders of the details discussed within your paper, restate your world view on this position. Paraphrase the authors of texts (no short quotes here) to support your position. Remind the reader of why your idea is an important contribution to environmental education.
3. Summarize for the reader what you discussed in the paper. Briefly remind the reader how your paper was organized and again how your dream school vision supports ecoliteracy and the learning foundations within the classroom and which experts you used to support your vision.
After the conclusion the reader should have a clear idea of what your dream school vision is, how it fits within the learning foundations, environmental inquiry curriculum and some general idea of how your vision was supported with references to experts and your personal analysis.
If during the course of this assignment you had a “aha” moment, include that in your conclusion. Readers like to know what you learned through this process of this assignment and analysis. A short reflection of the process and how this will relate to your work as a teacher should be the final paragraph.
EED 615 Eco-Dream School Paper Assignment Description 4
This is not part of the minimum 5 pages reserved for writing. Use APA format and remember there should be a minimum of 5 different sources from the course materials. If you want to use outside sources, they will be in addition to these five.
Use your forum reflections to help you find ways to support your vision. If you used citations within your reflections, you can easily cut and paste from previous assignments.
Any of the course assignments can also be imported to this paper, provided they make sense in your presentation of your vision. Cut and paste from these assignments and use your writing skills to transition and make connections for flow and continuity.
Use page numbers and headers (your last name and the course number) throughout the paper. There is no need for a title page.
Normal margins (1inch), 12 point font, double spaced. Partial pages will not be considered under 3/4 of a page.
Headings for each section are recommended. No larger than 14 point font.
Photos or artifacts of children’s work can be included, provided that these inserts are no larger than 4 inches square and limited to no more than two.
Sections of field notes or transcripts of conversation need to be brief and support your dream school vision through your analysis. Italics, indented margins, single spacing and centered text should be used to let the reader know that this is excerpted material.
Please cite from if possible:
“Nature Education with Young Children: Integrating Inquiry and Practice” Edited by Daniel R. Meier & Stephanie Sisk-hilton 2013.
“Center for ecoliteracy: ECO Literate” by Daniel Goleman 2012
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