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Environment and Ecology

Environment and ecology is grounded in the complexity of the world we live in and its sustainability. It examines the world’s natural processes and social systems.  Environment and ecology places emphasis on the real world.  Through a sound academic content base, students learn how their everyday lives revolve around their use of the natural world, the resources it provides and the laws that influences it.

Many decisions that directly or indirectly affect the balance of our environment are based on individual, community, state, national and international decisions.  Civic responsibilities go beyond political issues because they have far reaching impacts on the quality of our very existence.  Laws and regulations are only as powerful as the actions of each person in enforcing them.

Environment and Ecology Academic Standards

The environment and ecology standards bring together the natural and social responsibilities of a nation to make our world sustainable. The study of these standards allows students to be active participants and problem solvers in real issues that affect them, their homes, schools and communities. The very interdisciplinary nature of this field allows teachers and students to use science, technology and social systems as the vehicles to a better tomorrow.

The Environment and Ecology Standards are part of the Standards Aligned System (SAS) with a curriculum framework and anchor alignments that provide support for the Science PSSA and the ecological section of the Biology Keystone Exam.

SAS is the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s digital curriculum and instruction resource site.  SAS is comprised of six distinct elements which provide a common framework for continuous student, teacher, and school and district growth.  The elements are Standards, Assessment, Curriculum Framework, Instruction, Materials and Resources, and Safe and Supportive Schools.

The academic standards for environment and ecology, as well as resources for teaching and developing high quality environment and ecology education programs, are available on SAS.

Biology Keystone Exam – Eligible Content and Assessment Anchors

Science PSSA – Eligible Content and Assessment Anchors

Certification

Certification and Staffing Policy Guidelines (CSPG) that pertain to environment and ecology education certification and course assignment include: CSPG 30 – Agriculture; CSPG32 – Biology; CSPG 40 – Earth and Space Science; CSPG 43 – Environmental Education; CSPG 46 – General Science; and CSPG 54 – Middle Level Science.  

Questions regarding certification requirements should be directed to the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality.

Programs

Pathways to Green Schools
The Pathways to Green Schools website is designed to provide school districts with helpful information in one location.  It includes the latest information on state programs and grants available for schools. It also includes best practices where schools and communities are making investments that help conserve natural resources and reduce energy costs.

Sustaining Penn's Woods
A Pennsylvania-specific curriculum designed to improve knowledge of forests and land use. It focuses on environmental issues, the wood products industry, harvesting and other related topics.

Food, Land and People
Food, Land and People educates students, teachers and citizens about the interrelationships between food, resources and people.

Keystone Aquatic Resource Education
Keystone Aquatic Resource Education, a resource provided by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, offers specific resources and materials, along with workshops to assist educators in teaching content areas in environment and ecology education.

Project Learning Tree
Project Learning Tree is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12.

Project WET
Project WET is dedicated to bringing water education to children, parents, educators and communities.

Project WILD
Project WILD is a wildlife-focused conservation and environmental education programs among educators of students in kindergarten through high school.


For additional information, please contact:

David Bauman | Science Education Advisor
Pennsylvania Department of Education - Bureau of Teaching and Learning, Division of Curriculum
333 Market Street | Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717.783.6598 | Fax: 717.783.3946
davbauman@pa.gov | www.education.state.pa.us