Capstone Project Title
The racial diversity of students in environmental education (EE) is minimal for a myriad of reasons. Factors that environmental educators can control in welcoming students to programming is content and teaching. Research on racial diversity, past and present environmental education, students’ land histories and different pedagogies that incorporate culture and address discrimination and justice inform educators how what and how to optimally teach racially diverse students to maintain engagement. Research finds that incorporating students’ cultures into teaching, representing diverse people in lessons, understanding systems of racism, how that impacts people’s actions along with finding ways to change and or confront racist policies can create stronger engagement to content for all students. Environmental educators need to examine how programming is lacking for these students, the societal structures that inhibit participation and how these students’ cultures could benefit their engagement. A toolkit was created that contains eight different tools to be incorporated into existing EE curriculum. These tools consist of discussion activities, examples of eco rap and spoken word, a list of diverse scientists, naturalists and conservationists, eco injustice case studies, inclusive evaluation/reflection, urban ee lessons, diverse peoples’ timeline in the midwest, opportunities for multilingual infusion. The research and current events indicate that the educator will need to do some introspection to examine and identify their cultural biases, learn about their students to tailor the teaching to their cultural understandings and complex prior experiences, and be courageous in addressing systemic racism and discrimination that has been present to break the cycle and to create a safe and welcoming space for racially diverse students in EE programming.
Multicultural Education, Science, Social Justice, Teachers/ Teaching
Hanson, Heidi, "Creating Environmental Education Programming and Access To Diverse Students" (2020). School of Education Student Capstone Projects. 581.
School of Education Student Capstone Projects