Currently, New Mexico has no systems or requirements in place for students in grades K-12 to learn out-of-doors. This situation persists, despite mounting evidence on the benefits of environmental and outdoor education for academic performance, motivation and interest in school, social and emotional skills, and civic interest and engagement. In order to help ensure that students in New Mexico will have access to high-quality environmental education, EEANM has partnered with the University of New Mexico’s College of Education to provide environmental education professional development opportunities for pre-service teachers.
As part of the Introduction to Education (Education 101) course, EEANM offers environmental education professional development training for pre-service teachers. This professional development consists of:
- A series of in-class workshops on an introduction to environmental education, outdoor learning, experiential education, and the use of Project Learning Tree curriculum
- Coordination of internship opportunities for students to work directly with organizations providing environmental education, including Bernalillo County Open Space, Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, Cottonwood Gulch Expeditions, and the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center
- Additional more in-depth, high-quality training workshops, including attending statewide and regional conferences as well as Bosque Education Guide and Sandia Mountain Natural History Center teacher trainings
During the 2017-2018 academic year, EEANM was able to engage over 110 pre-service teachers, providing them with the tools and capacity to bring high-quality environmental education to their future students. In the 2018-2019 academic year, we will continue our involvement in the Introduction to Education course, offering environmental education in-class workshops, curriculum trainings, and internship opportunities to two new cohorts of pre-service teachers!