OOS 19 - From Reasoning to Action: Environmental Literacy for Effective Earth Stewardship

Tuesday, August 9, 2011: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
15, Austin Convention Center
Organizer: Jennifer H. Doherty
Co-organizers: Jonathon W. Schramm and Eric G. Keeling
Moderator: Jonathon W. Schramm
Society faces a number of environmental challenges connected to the global and local issues of biodiversity, water, and carbon (e.g., greenhouse gases, climate change, energy development) that will require collective human action on an unprecedented scale. Responding to environmental issues will require improvements in the environmental literacy of a diverse public to make informed decisions. Environmental science literacy is the capacity to participate in and make decisions through evidence-based discussions of socio-ecological systems and is essential for responsible citizenship. Citizens take individual actions that have environmental consequences when they decide what kinds of food to buy, how they will get to work, what energy resources they use to heat their house or power their car, where they will live, and how to spend their leisure time. Citizens can also influence collective actions with environmental implications, such as land use planning, tax policies, transportation policies, or participation in international dialogs. Our collective future depends on the ability of citizens to understand and evaluate evidence-based arguments about the environmental consequences of human actions and human technologies, and to make responsible decisions based on those arguments. Preparing our nation’s students as locally active and globally aware citizens for this future makes new demands on scientific communities and on our schools and teachers. In order to be more effective, teachers need to understand more fully how students understand these concepts and thus where persistent difficulties are centered. Research on this understanding needs to include current ecological thinking and also be grounded in what is known about how people learn. This organized oral session brings together cutting-edge research by both ecologists and learning scientists on the reasoning of secondary students as they grapple with ecological concepts, such as carbon cycling, community assembly, natural selection, and water dynamics, across their formal education curriculum and how that reasoning is connected with citizenship decisions and quantitative reasoning.
1:30 PM
Developing an environmental science citizenship learning progression framework
Beth Covitt, University of Montana; Jennifer H. Doherty, Michigan State University; Lisa Pitot, Colorado State University
1:50 PM
Developing a learning progression for water in socio-ecological systems
Jennifer D. Schuttlefield, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh; Kristin L. Gunckel, University of Arizona; Beth A. Covitt, University of Montana
2:10 PM
Santa Barbara Middle School Student Discourse using IPCC Climate Change Evidence
Aubrey Cano, University of California, Santa Barbara; Ali Whitmer, Georgetown University
2:30 PM
Role of quantitative reasoning on the development of environmental literacy
Robert L. Mayes, University of Wyoming; Mark Lyford, University of Wyoming; Marjorie MacGregor, University of Wyoming; Sylvia Parker, University of Wyoming; Jennifer Schuttlefield, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh
2:50 PM
Teaching strategies for improving public understanding of the global carbon cycle
Eric G. Keeling, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies; Alan R. Berkowitz, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies; Charles W. Anderson, Michigan State University; Robert L. Mayes, University of Wyoming; Jonathon W. Schramm, Michigan State University; Rich Foot, Towson University
3:10 PM
3:20 PM
The role of heredity, environment, and agency in students’ accounts of adaptation by selection and phenotypic plasticity
Jennifer H. Doherty, Michigan State University; Jonathon W. Schramm, Michigan State University; Charles W. Anderson, Michigan State University
3:40 PM
Student understanding of processes and principles related to species diversity in communities
Shawna McMahon, Colorado State University; Laurel M. Hartley, University of Colorado Denver; Brook Wilke, Michigan State University
4:00 PM
How can professional development help teachers use learning progressions in teaching for environmental science literacy?
Alan R. Berkowitz, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies; Sylvia Parker, University of Wyoming; Raymond Tschillard, Poudre Learning Center; Bess Caplan, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies; Jennifer H. Doherty, Michigan State University; Ali Whitmer, Georgetown University; John C. Moore, Colorado State University
4:20 PM
What does it mean to be environmentally literate?
Loren B. Byrne, Roger Williams University; Margaret Lowman, North Carolina State University; Teresa Mourad, Ecological Society of America
See more of: Organized Oral Session
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Banner photo by Flickr user greg westfall.