SS 10 - The Ecology Curricular Framework Initiative-Current Status

Monday, August 8, 2016: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
Grand Floridian Blrm B, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center
Bob R. Pohlad, Ferrum College
George A. Middendorf, Howard University; Kenneth M. Klemow, Wilkes University; Carmen R. Cid, Eastern Connecticut State University; Jennifer H. Doherty, University of Washington; and Alan R. Berkowitz, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Over the past three decades, numerous authors have attempted to define those ecological concepts that represent core ecological knowledge, and thus are worthy of inclusion in basic ecology courses.  Some of the approaches focused on traditional concepts found in most textbooks, while others argued for a more cross-cutting approach, including more explicit links to human impacts and sustainability.  This past year, a Task Force organized by the ESA Committee on Diversity and Education compiled and is in the process of vetting a set of fundamental concepts in ecology that: (1) recognize ‘traditional’ ecological principles and (2) embrace new areas of education and research. Using these concepts, the Task Force is in the process of developing a societally approved curricular framework, the Ecology Curricular Framework Initiative (ECFI). During the first part of this evening session, attendees will learn about: (1) the current work-product of the ECFI, (2) possible ways in which the concepts can be presented at various education levels (high school, freshman, introductory ecology), and (3) how the ECFI relates to ESA’s Professional Certification program.  During the second portion of the session, attendees and session organizers will discuss strategies that allow faculty to implement a society-sanctioned curricular framework, while still retaining academic freedom and autonomy.  Attendees involved in teaching ecology at all levels (K16 through professional) are encouraged to bring their course syllabi to help illustrate the opportunities for incorporating topics from the Concepts Initiative into specific course scenarios.
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