TOTOS and ASTE

ASTE is the Association for Science Teacher Education, an organization focused on promoting leadership and support for professionals involved in the education and development of teachers of science at all levels. ASTE advances practice and policy through scholarship, collaboration, and

innovation in science teacher education throughout the world.

One of the latest collaborations established has been the partnership between TOTOS and the NW regional ASTE. In May, 2009, these two groups came together at the TOTOS EPA Sustainability and Environmental Education for Preservice Teachers (SEEP) Conference in Spokane, Washington. The NWASTE is comprised of members of ASTE from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska as well as the Canadian Province of British Columbia. Many members of TOTOS are also members of NWASTE. At the May SEEP Conference, the members of both groups discussed plans for future meetings and collaborations. Since the NW region of ASTE does not have enough members to support a regional meeting, the members of both groups decided that a combined conference between TOTOS and NWASTE every two years would be a great benefit for everyone. Also, at the May conference, TOTOS and NWASTE members worked on putting together a proposal for the International ASTE conference in 2010. This proposal was comprised of a themed paper set entitled: Preparing Teachers to Teach Environmental and Sustainability Education in their K-12 Classrooms. The proposal has been accepted so the presenters, representing both TOTOS and NWASTE, will present this overview of programs, courses, and perspectives surrounding the preparation of teachers to teach environmental and sustainability education.

A common focus of both TOTOS and ASTE is the preparation of teachers to competently teach environmental and sustainability education. In the past year, the ASTE Focus Group on Environmental Education has put together a position statement on preparing teachers to teach environmental and sustainability education. TOTOS members are working to implement new standards for teacher preparation that requires all K- 12 teacher candidates to “prepare students to be responsible citizens for an environmentally sustainable, globally interconnected and diverse society.” With this common goal between the groups, the hope is that future meetings and conferences will strengthen and develop the collaborations between all members.