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NC Science Standards Revision: What This Is and Why It's Important to EE

Attention all education stakeholders! This is your chance to help shape the curriculum standards that are taught in North Carolina’s public schools. Our state has its own Standard Course of Study for each subject that is reviewed periodically. Currently, the NC K-12 Science Standards are up for review.

Here’s how the process works:

  • First, the Department of Public Instruction will collect feedback from a variety of education stakeholders, including classroom teachers, non-formal educators, institutes of higher education, parents, community members, and more! This is happening now through July 1 through this survey.

  • A data review committee will then review the responses to the survey, research, state and federal legislative requirements, and more to generate a list of recommended changes to the current standards.

  • Then, a writing team will draft the updated standards, solicit additional feedback, and then present a final revised draft of the standards to the State Board of Education. The application deadline to be on the writing team is 11:59 PM June 13th.

  • Once approved, these new standards will be distributed to the local districts and charter schools and implemented in teaching across the state. These new standards will influence everything from the content students learn in the classroom, to end-of-year assessments, to which field trips and outside experts teachers will use to help enhance their instruction.

Environmental education is a learning process that increases people's knowledge and awareness about the environment and associated challenges, develops the necessary skills and expertise to address the challenges and fosters attitudes, motivations, and commitments to make informed decisions and take responsible action. Research demonstrates that environmental education has numerous benefits for students from improving academic performance to reducing discipline and classroom management issues and enhancing critical thinking skills and oral communication. Adults and children require knowledge, tools, and sensitivity to successfully address and solve environmental problems in their daily lives, and now more than ever people need to know how ecological systems work and what their role is in these systems.

“To be effective, education for environmental literacy needs to be integrated throughout the PreK-12 curriculum in North Carolina’s classrooms and include connected, sustained opportunities for students to participate in direct outdoor learning experiences and classroom activities that increase awareness of environmental topics and content knowledge." (NC Environmental Literacy Plan). As environmental educators, this revision process will impact almost everything we do with K-12 school audiences.

Your Voice Matters

As educators, you have in-depth experience with these standards and so much content-related expertise. If you work with K-12 students in any capacity, please help ensure that environmental education is a strong part of our state’s science curriculum!

During the last Science Standard Course of Study revision in 2010, many elements of environmental literacy were incorporated into the standards. We need your help to make sure they stay there! Each individual response to this survey will be counted and reviewed, so EENC needs your help to ensure we have hundreds of voices advocating for environmental education to be explicitly incorporated into these standards.

Additional Resources: EE and Curriculum


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