Merry Lea offers this inquiry based, action-oriented Green Leaders Curriculum: Using America’s Green Buildings as Learning Tools to educators interested in integrating concepts of green design and energy-efficiency into their 6-8th grade classrooms.
The research conducted to inform Green Leaders curriculum took place during fall of 2009 and spring of 2010 as part of the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College’s Master of Arts Program in Environmental Education.
As of fall 2009, the United States is home to over 160 schools with LEED certified buildings. The Green Leaders curriculum was written to help educators in these schools integrate concepts of green design into their pedagogical practices. From CFLs, to green roofs, to use of low-emitting adhesives, every inch of a LEED certified building contains learning opportunities waiting to be utilized!
While numerous energy education, water education, and environmental education resources are available for teachers, educators in LEED certified schools do not have access to educational materials designed specifically to integrate concepts of green building design into inquiry-based learning experiences for students. This curriculum aims to fill that gap. The Green Leaders curriculum is research-based, inquiry-oriented, and aims to meet the guidelines of excellence as outlined by the North American Association of Environmental Education, as well as meet the National Research Council’s Science Education Standards.
Although integrating buildings into a school’s curriculum is not the sole cause of students acting in environmentally-conscious ways, schools who are choosing to lead the way with this new pedagogical approach may be reinforcing many foundations for environmental literacy. Research in the EE world has shown that many factors contribute to our making everyday decisions with the environment in mind. Some of these factors include our social, political, and economic atmosphere, the attitudes and values of our families and communities, and positive feedback for pro-environmental behavior.
An educational community that acts with the environment in mind and educates environmentally literate citizens can have a tremendous impact on environmental quality, a vision shared by educators, parents, and students who value the importance of understanding how our ideas and actions impact the global community.
For a free copy of the Green Leaders Curriculum, please contact Marcos Stoltzfus