Investigating and Evaluating Environmental Issues and Actions
Investigating and Evaluating Environmental Issues and Actions (IEEIA) is a middle and secondary school curriculum that promotes environmental citizenship for large numbers of students over long periods of time. It is the ONLY environmental education curriculum with in-depth research to back this claim.
Do you want your students to learn how to become environmentally responsible citizens? If so, the IEEIA program has been shown to develop strong environmental responsiblity in students that can last a lifetime. This Environmental Education Curriculum works for your Students and their Parents, your Community, and for You as a teacher.
What are the instructional elements in the IEEA program?
What does the research tell us about the IEEIA program?
Chapter I. Environmental Problem Solving
• Students learn about their interactions with the environment.
• Students explore the impact of beliefs and values on environmental issues.
• Students analyze environmental issues.
Chapter II. Starting Issue Investigation
• Students identify environmental issues and write research questions.
• Students learn how to access information from print, electronic and human sources.
• Students compare and evaluate information sources.
Chapter III. Using Surveys, Questionnaires & Opinionnaires
• Students learn how to access information using first hand methods of investigation.
• Students learn how to develop and evaluate research instruments.
• Students systematically collect and record data using surveys, questionnaires and
Chapter IV. Interpreting Data In Environmental Issue Investigations
• Students learn how to produce and interpret data tables and graphs.
• Students learn how to draw conclusions, make inferences and formulate
Chapter V. Investigating An Environmental Issue
• Students select and investigate environmental issues.
Chapter VI. Environmental Action Strategies
• Students learn four major methods of citizenship action.
• Students analyze individual and group actions.
• Students develop and evaluate action plans
It is the ONLY environmental curriculum in the US which has been shown to change responsible citizenship behaviors for large numbers of learners over substantial periods of time. Evidence gathered over 20 years of work with teachers tells us that students of all ability levels show greater gains in knowledge of responsible citizenship action skills as a result of participating in the program. Students also report taking more actions in their communities. Parents of students in the program observe more voluntary citizenship behaviors on the parts of their children.
Our own research at CISDE tells us that there are two major elements that are critical to the development of responsible citizenship on the part of middle school and secondary school students. These are: (1) personal "ownership" of environmental issues and (2) a feeling of "empowerment" related to attempting to help resolve these issues. Therefore, we know that changes in learner (citizenship) behavior occur when learners "own" the issues they are invested in and when they feel "empowered" to do something about those issues.
Teacher-led or 'dictated' issue investigations do not achieve the same level of citizenship reaction(s) on the part of students as do student-selected issue investigations. Thus, after the students have the skills needed to investigate and evaluate issues, the instructor must be willing to allow the students to be responsible for their own learning. Here the instructor acts as a guide, helper, consultant, partner in the investigation and NOT the decision-maker!
Teachers who use the program also report . . .
• better student performance on standardized tests in science, social studies,
language arts and research skills.
• fewer classroom management problems.
• increased enthusiasm for learning and on-task performance.
• greater pride and ownership in student learning.
• higher levels of academic discourse between students.
• heightened expectations and greater confidence in their students.
• feeling a renewed interest and sense of mission in their own teaching careers.
Investigating and Evaluating Environmental Issues and Actions supports many of the education reform characteristics such as . . .
• interdisciplinary integration of subject matter (primarily science, language arts, and
• consistency with national and state education standards in major content areas.
• collaborative instruction and team teaching.
• emphasis on problem solving and independent projects.
• combinations of independent and cooperative learning.
• student centered and constructivist teaching approaches.
• authentic learning and authentic assessment.