This course will be offered as a split level course comprised of both preservice (undergraduate) and inservice (graduate) students. The course is designed to use the Earth Force model of service learning.
Classroom strategies and techniques are modeled and discussed. The first two hours of the class is designed to replicate a typical middle school classroom period each with the last 45 minutes set aside for discussion about practical application in elementary, middle and secondary classroom situations. A Student led environmental service project is planned and implemented during the course. The project will be presented to the University community.
Earth Force engages young people as active citizens who improve the environment and their communities. Through Earth Force students get hands-on, real-world opportunities to practice civic skills, acquire and understand environmental knowledge, and develop the skills and motivation to become life-long leaders in addressing environmental issues. This program also helps increase knowledge and interest in STEM disciplines.
Earth Force achieves these results by training and supporting educators as they implement a unique six-step model for engaging young people. Thanks to rigorous evaluation, Earth Force has documented that the model positions young people to use their creativity and passion to play a meaningful role in environmental decision-making.
The Earth Force environmental service learning model is flexible and can be used in a variety of settings including a club, an elective class, a component of a science or social studies class, or as a part of a self-contained classroom teacher’s activities.
The 6 steps of earth force are:
- Step 1: Community Environmental Inventory-Gather information about environmental assets & issues
- Step 2: Issue Selection-Democratically select an environmental issue for further study
- Step 3: Policy and Community Practice Research-Identify policies and practices related to the issue
- Step 4: Options for Influencing Policy and Practice-Select a policy or community practice to change
- Step 5: Planning and Taking Civic Action-Create and carry out a plan for action
- Step 6: Looking Back and Ahead-Reflect on the project and identify next steps
The syllabus (attached) for EMS 764/564 outlines the general content and expectations for the course.
The schedule (attached) is tentative and subject to change dependent on student choice of project.
Earth Force (2007) Community Action and Problem Solving, Denver: Earth Force.
Sample Course Activities:
- Environmental Citizen (Attached)
- Youth Voice (Attached)
- Snack Attack (Attached)
- Energy Flow (Attached)
The students’ knowledge and skills learned from these units were assessed in a variety of ways.
1. Weekly reflection assignments (attached)
2. Pre/Post Energy Awareness Surveys. This was the common assessment for all classes. (Link to an evaluation Page with the survey itself and the results from all classes??)
3. Pre/Post service learning open response questions (Attached) evaluated by the Quality Enhancement Program at EKU.
4. There were 3 culminating activities
a. A presentation to the University on the service learning project. (Rubric Attached)
b. Final reflection Essays (Rubric Attached)
c. A service learning action plan for incorporating Earth Force in their classroom or workplace (Graduate Students Only) Rubric Attached