Environmental educators regularly face vexing and controversial environmental issues head-on, as they work to promote understanding and move the public to action; however, beyond their initial training, they often lack time and access to professional development to enhance their practice and deepen their connections with others working on similar issues. In this design-based study, our team is examining how using the community of practice framework could support regional educators seeking to advance their climate change education efforts. As part of the larger MADE-CLEAR project, we initiated and have facilitated the Informal Climate Change Education (ICCE) Community, which consists of Maryland and Delaware informal educators from a diverse set of organizations including Departments of Natural Resources, aquariums, zoos, maritime museums, and county parks. Members meet regularly in-person and remotely to expand their understanding and practice, collaborate on member-driven initiatives, and build relationships with new and familiar colleagues.
Funding: National Science Foundation (5 years, 1239758; 2 years, 1043262)
- Joe Hemlich and Deborah Wasserman, COSI Center for Research and Evaluation, Lifelong Learning Group
- Sasha Palmquist, Institute for Learning Innovation