CISDE is a Not-For-Profit Foundation with Special Interests in Education and the Environment.
The Center for Instruction, Staff Development and Evaluation (CISDE) was incorporated in 1995 as a 501(c)(3) educational foundation. As asserted in its mission statement, CISDE strives to improve instruction in science and environmental education through providing methods, materials, and opportunities to meet the often-spoken and seldom realized goal of developing responsible citizenship. Ultimately, our specific mission is to assist middle and secondary school students in gaining the higher order thinking skills needed to carefully investigate and evaluate science-related social issues of importance in their own communities. Supporting that mission, major efforts within CISDE focus on three general goals:
— to develop educational materials that incorporate and/or support a research-based instructional model (IEEIA),
— to design and deliver professional development workshops, conferences, and seminars that help teachers and other educators become comfortable with and proficient in implementing the IEEIA instructional model and other related aspects of environmental education, and
— to conduct ongoing research into aspects of environmental education, to consistently evaluate our own educational materials and professional development activities, and to assist other agencies and organizations with programmatic evaluation.
CISDE had a world-wide reputation for curriculum development in science and environmental education. Our instruction programs are both research-based and research-supported.
Instructional Materials developed at CISDE include the following:
- Investigating and Evaluating Environmental Issues and Actions
- Investigating and Evaluating S-T-S Issues and Solutions
- Solid Waste Management
- Threatened and Endangered Animals
- Coastal Marine Issues
- Environmental Issues of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Rive
In addition, CISDE has produced or reprinted:
- Basic Ecology Concepts for Non-Science Majors
- Essential Readings in Environmental Education
- The General Teaching Model
- Molokai; An Investment in Children, the Community, and the Environment
See Publication Page for more information about each publication.
New Instructional Materials Dealing With Chesapeake Bay Issues:
CISDE is cooperating with the development of a new issue investigation case study focusing on the environmentally issue-laden Chesapeake Bay. The case study is being written by a curriculum development team headed by Ms. Donna Stotts and Ms. LeeAnn Hutchison, both Certified Trainers for the issue investigation and evaluation curriculum housed at CISDE. If you would like more information on this important contribution to environmental education in middle and secondary schools, contact Donna at the Horn Point Environmental Laboratory (410-221-8483 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org).
CISDE collaborates with science and environmental educators to plan and deliver quality staff development programs in EE. Our collaborations with universities, zoos, museums, public school districts and schools, private schools, formal and non-formal EE programs, and other agencies in staff development and training often are supported by grants from federal and state agencies and private foundations.
CISDE also directs, organizes, and conducts workshops for Investigating and Evaluating Environmental Issues and Actions (IEEIA), and for its other publications based on the IEEIA instructional model. With a cadre of Certified Trainers (professional development experts) located from Maryland to Hawaii and in Canada, South Korea, Argentina, and Suriname, we can work with you in delivering a workshop to meet your needs.
CISDE has pursued a number of related research themes over the past several decades. The development of responsible environmental behavior has received great attention as the foundation has committed itself to the evaluation of its own curricular efforts – focused largely on the issue investigation and action model, which originated at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in the 80’s. CLICK HERE to learn more about IEEIA Research.
More recently, we have been involved in efforts to assess environmental literacy in middle school students. Our research, the National Environmental Literacy Assessment (NELA) project, has been supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), and conducted by a six person research team consisting of Dr. Bill McBeth, Dr. Tom Marcinkowski, Ms. Karen Cifranick, Dr. Ron Meyers, Dr. Trudi Volk, and Dr. Harold Hungerford.
Two phases of the NELA project are now complete. The initial phase involved sixth and eighth grade students in a nation-wide random sample of middle schools. This research resulted in established baseline measures of levels of environmental literacy for those grade levels. The second phase assessed levels of literacy in sixth, seventh, and eighth graders from schools with established environmental education programs, and compared their levels of environmental literacy to those of the national random sample. The instrument used in both phases of this research was the Middle School Environmental Literacy Survey (MSELS), which included measures of ecological knowledge, environmental affect, issue-related cognitive skills, and environmental behavior. Please Contact Us if you are interested in reviewing or using the MSELS.
This environmental literacy research is ongoing; future research efforts will include secondary analyses of the data bases from the earlier phases to explore relationships between environmental literacy and demographic, school, teacher, and instructional variables.
Final reports for the two initial phases can be viewed at sites below:
NELA, Phase 1
NELA, Phase 2