Environmental Issues

Environmental Issues, CNM 800

Energy related modules were incorporated into the Environmental Issues class.  The three units were the Science of Energy, Alternative Fuels and Coal.  This is one of four courses required for inservice teachers seeking an environmental education endorsement at EKU.  Since this course is a part of this endorsement, it addresses the North American Association for Environmental Education professonal development standards as well as the Kentucky Teaching Standards.

Syllabus and Schedule:

The syllabus for CNM 800 outlines the general content and expectations for the course.  The energy modules are incorporated under the following objective:

4. Evaluate the consequences of specific environmental changes, conditions and issues for human and ecological systems.  More specifics can be found in the course schedule.

Course Text: 

Slattery, M. (2008). Contemporary Environmental Issues. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing

Energy Modules:

Each energy module included 2 components.  The first focused on understanding the scientific knowledge underpinning the issue and the second was directed at the issue itself.  The first component was accomplished by in class activities that taught the information and modeled appropriate teaching strategies.  It is designed so teachers could implement those same strategies in their classrooms.  Below is a listed of some of the resources used for each unit.

Science of Energy Unit

·      Secondary Science of Energy from the National Energy Education Development Project. These hands-on experiments were used to teach about forms of energy andenergy transformations.

Alternative Fuels Unit:

·      Video clips including

o   There Is No Energy Crisis, There is a Crisis of Ignorance

o   The Great Squeeze:  Surviving the Human Project

Rank order activity using Emergency 25 Point Plan of Action, Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak Oil World, Michael Ruppert

Coal Unit

·      Coal in the US mapping activity from the American Coal Foundation

·      Coal Consumption from the American Coal Foundation

The second component focused on the issues.  This part of the unit was taught by having students engage in an online cooperative learning jigsaw activity.  Each student read different information about that issue and then shared in on the online discussion board.  Each student was then responsible for answering specific questions based on the readings.  The jigsaw activity sheets are listed below:


         Alternative Fuels



The students’ knowledge and skills learned from these units were assessed in a variety of ways.

1.    As with all other courses in this project, participants were give the Energy Awareness Survey in a pre/post format

2.    Students were assessed on each of the jigsaw activities.

3.    There were 2 culminating activities

a.    A debate on an energy topic.  The debate guidelines and scoring guide outline the requirements.

b.    Energy education lesson plan.  All students were required to plan and implement a lesson in the real world on an energy related topic.  See the attached scoring guide for details.

alt_fuels_jigsaw_2011.pdf66.75 KB
Coal_Jigsaw.pdf58.33 KB
debate_guidelines_2011.pdf247.28 KB
Energy_Jigsaw_2011.pdf66.86 KB
teaching_assign_2012.pdf287.36 KB
cnm800_syllabus11_outline.pdf75.56 KB
cnm800_springschedule_11.pdf53.78 KB