TOTOS SEEP Grant EE/ESE Program Descriptions

Sustainability and Environmental Education for Pre-Service (SEEP)

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Name(s) of instructor(s)

Carrie Tzou

Name of university

University of Washington Bothell

Level of preparation for the program being described: elementary, middle school, high school (or combination)

Elementary and secondary

University course number

Elementary: BEDUC 421A&B (two sections of the same course)

Secondary: BEDUC564

University course title

Elementary: Knowing, teaching, and assessing in earth, physical, and life science

Secondary: Field experience in secondary schools

University course catalogue description

B EDUC 421 Knowing, Teaching, and Assessing in: Earth, Physical, and Life Sciences (4)

Introduces the nature of science as subject matter, as a process of inquiry, and as a fascinating way to make sense of the world. Emphasizes the techniques, attitudes, skills, and competencies needed to become a scientifically literate citizen.

B EDUC 564: Field Experience in Secondary Schools (3)

Provides field experiences to reflect on teaching and learning in the secondary schools. Overlap with discipline specific methods course.


(big ideas are fine)

BEDUC 421:

  • Develop a positive attitude, even a passion, for teaching science
  • Be a critical observer of your own and others’ teaching as it relates to inquiry science, diversity and equity in science, and student learning
  • Create all of the individual components of the curriculum process (e.g., accurately write (a) rationale for plans, (b) student learning objectives, (c) activities, (d) content, and (e) assessment, including assessment of student learning, curriculum alignment and of the implementation and planning of unit or lesson
  • Demonstrate an ability to incorporate student thinking into instruction
  • Understand the nature of science as both process and concepts
  • See the possibilities for teaching science in the world around you

EDUC 564:

  • create all of the individual components of the curriculum process
  • develop integrated curriculum with other content areas (e.g., math, science, and social studies)
  • use a repertoire of instructional methods
  • articulate your own curriculum/teaching philosophy/pedagogy
  • Demonstrate an ability to incorporate student thinking into instruction
  • link technology, curriculum, and learning
  • differentiate planning and instruction based on students’ needs while simultaneously maintaining high academic and cognitive standards for all students,
  • demonstrate effective classroom management techniques
  • critically reflect on teaching practices, including their own practices

Description of the experience(s) the pre-service teachers had to learn EE-ESE strategies

(This is the main, detailed description)

BEDUC 421: Project Learning Tree came to my methods class and did a 1-day presentation with them. It took place in our classroom, but there was a short investigation outside to measure ground temperature.

BEDUC564: This was our secondary preservice teachers’ first real field experience. They were to design three 1-week, all-day camps for middle and high –school students around environmental themes. For example, one week’s theme was “the year of the frog”, looking at the importance of frogs in our ecosystem, reading stories about frogs, doing art about frogs. Preservice teachers from mathematics, biology, and language arts worked in interdisciplinary teams to design the instruction, utilizing the wetlands that are on our campus.

Materials/equipment needed for the pre-service teacher experience (include technology that may have been used)

BEDUC 421: PLT materials that they brought (this includes the PLT book, leaf samples, hand lenses, thermometers)

BEDUC 564: probes for testing water, microscopes, art supplies, journals, nature writing, field guides for the wetlands, digital cameras for capturing images of the wetlands, digital storytelling software for creating digital stories at the end of camp, GPS units, Google maps for mapping locations from GPS

Were preK-12 children involved? (Yes or no). If yes, describe their involvement and ages.


Was this an indoor or outdoor project (or both)?

Describe the setting.

BEDUC 421: indoor/outdoor

BEDUC 564: outdoor, in the wetlands on campus

Were other subject area professors involved? Yes or no. If yes, what subjects were integrated? How?

BEDUC421: no

BEDUC564: methods professors in mathematics and language arts. We were going for an interdisciplinary approach to teaching about the environment, so this included math, science, and language arts. Students working in interdisciplinary teams to design week-long camps for middle and high-school students.

Were there community/ agency/institution partners? Yes or no. If yes, how was the partnership structured?


How was the program evaluated? What did the pre-service teachers have to say?

BEDUC421: PLT handed out evaluation forms at the end of the session. Preservice teachers LOVED the session (especially the instructors) and really appreciated receiving the PLT resource at the end of the session.

BEDUC564: Preservice teachers wrote weekly reflections, we evaluated their lesson plans and their reflections. Because this was a very intensive experience for them, the preservice teachers had very mixed reactions, ranging from this experience being transformative to this experience being too overwhelming to be helpful in their learning.


If another grant was written to support your EE-ESE work, what types of things would you hope to accomplish?

I would want to figure out ways to incorporate more environmental education as a fundamental part of science education. For example, helping my students make connections between the curriculum kits that they teach from and environmental issues, or field trips, or connecting to issues of environmental justice (especially in my secondary methods course).

Thank you!