Changing Lives through Service Learning/Environmental Service Learning: Creating Lifelong Stewards

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Changing Lives through Service Learning/Environmental Service Learning: Creating Lifelong Stewards

  1. 1. Mary Pardee, 4-H Youth Development Educator, Barron County October 20, 2010 – CES Connections & Engagement Conference
  2. 2. Service-Learning projects designed to maintain, protect and/or restore the health of the environment. Have all elements of Service-Learning in a project with an environmental focus.
  3. 3. What are your observations regarding youth and the environment?
  4. 4. Service- Learning Science Inquiry Sense of Place Environmental Sensitivity
  5. 5.  Only 18% of U.S. high school seniors are proficient in science (NAEP 2005)  Only 5% of current U.S. college graduates earn science, engineering, or technology degrees compared to 66% in Japan and 59% in China National Assessment of Educational Progress. (NAEP). http://nationsreportcard.gov/science_2005/ 4-H.org. http://www.4-h.org/youth-development-programs/4-h-science-programs/
  6. 6. Engages youth in hands-on investigations to satisfy curiosity and construct mental frameworks that help explain their experiences.  Observing  Comparing and measuring  Ordering and categorizing  Relating and inferring  Applying
  7. 7. Views the natural world with empathy Aspects of development:  Frequent outdoor experiences  Role models such as parents or teachers
  8. 8. Object vs. Relation study: Loughland, Tony et al. (2003). Factors Influencing Young People’s Conceptions of Environment. Environmental Education Research, vol. 9(1).  1 in 8 students perceived the environment as being related to them.  Balancing environmental and social concerns makes “relation” conception more likely.
  9. 9. Intimacy with the natural process, community, and history of a place, based on experiences with that place.
  10. 10. Dimensions:  Biophysical – Contact with a setting, ecological knowledge  Psychological – Emotional and functional attachment  Social– People, experiences and memories (cultural)  Political-Economic – Power and identity relationships Ardoin, Nicole M. (2008). Sense of Place and Environmentally Responsible Behavior: What the Research Says. Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
  11. 11. Cross, Jennifer E. (2001). Protecting our place: Establishing and maintaining community attachments in the face of population growth and change. (Doctoral Dissertation). Davis, CA: University of California, Davis. Relationship Type of Bond Process Biographical Historical and familial Being born in and living in a place Spiritual Emotional, intangible Feeling a sense of belonging Ideological Moral and ethical Living according to moral guidelines for human responsibility for a place Commodified Cognitive (based on choice) Choosing a place based on traits Dependent Material Constrained by lack of choice
  12. 12. Can we apply these concepts in Service-Learning projects?
  13. 13. All the benefits of Service-Learning, plus:  Opportunities to research and analyze environmental information;  Opportunities to determine and practice positive solutions to problems;  Enhance understanding of the environment;  Give youth a sense of pride in the natural communities around them;  Increase cooperation between youth groups and natural resource professionals. Clifton, L., Mauney, T., & Falkner. R. (1998). Take a class outdoors: A guidebook for environmental service-learning. Clemson, SC: National Dropout Prevention Center College of Health, Education and Human Development.
  14. 14. Youth have the ability to…  Take initiative  Make decisions  Put their ideas into action …about the environment they live in.
  15. 15. Sauk County YEPS Program (Youth Environmental Projects of Sauk) found that youth who participated in environmental service-learning projects:  Learned life skills such as communication and teamwork  Learned knowledge such as being able to identify tree species  Understood how humans can positively and negatively affect the environment.
  16. 16. Sauk County YEPS Program (Youth Environmental Projects of Sauk) found that youth who participated in environmental service-learning projects:  Formed a positive environmental attitude  Believed they could personally help improve the environment. Jens, J. and Kates, B. (2006). Best practices of forestry service-learning projects: A practical guide for formal and nonformal educators. Wisconsin Environmental Education Board and the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents.
  17. 17. TMTTR - 2008 partnership with National Park Service Service-Learning projects included:  Storm drain stenciling  Public education/awareness campaigns  River clean ups
  18. 18. Resources:  Service-Learning Materials for project leaders  “Watershed Champion” curriculum materials for youth  Website with information  Brochure to inform/invite youth organizations  Evaluations and recognition
  19. 19. After stenciling storm drains, educating residents and cleaning up trash in the riverside park, 23 high school students answered questions as part of their reflection.  65% mentioned that they made residents aware of issues such as runoff, dumping waste into storm drains and littering. “I felt like I was actually helping the community.”
  20. 20.  95% thought their work helped improve the environment.
  21. 21.  All 23 students stated they will do something differently in the future because of their service- learning project. Behaviors mentioned: not littering anymore, picking up trash when the see it, teaching others when the opportunity arises “I feel connected to the St. Croix because it’s literally a part of me. I drink, I use, I shower in the water it provides me.” “It (the St. Croix River) is a part of my life even though I never realized it.”
  22. 22. 2010-2011 Community water conservation projects
  23. 23. Resources:  Funding – up to $1000 per county  Access to assistance  “Water Conservation in Your Home” Activity Guide  “Conducting a Service-Learning Project” leader’s guide  Evaluation and recognition materials  Information/ideas on STEM website
  24. 24. 15 counties participating – Results from 11 so far: In 11 counties, 765 youth:  Made 273 rain barrels  Created 4 rain gardens And everything that goes along with that…
  25. 25. Youth have:  Been in charge of placing rain gardens and choosing plants  Been the lead contact person for the project; wrote funding request  Provided education for younger children
  26. 26. Youth have:  Taught rain barrel workshops for families  Shared information at public events such as county fairs and Earth Day celebrations
  27. 27. Youth have worked with:  Land and Water Conservation Department employees  DNR employees  Master Gardeners  UW-Extension Agriculture/Horticulture and Nutrition Educators, Basin Educators  4-H adult leaders
  28. 28. In Juneau County, youth grades K-6:  Reported learning about how much rainwater comes off a roof  Believe they helped their community by saving water and electricity  Took an active role in educating others about saving water  Will do things differently in the future because of their rain barrel project: use rain water for gardening, ride bike more, use a rain barrel to save water
  29. 29. Give Water A Hand Youth Action Guide and Leader Guidebook for protecting and improving water resources. http://www.uwex.edu/erc/gwah/ Holding on to the Green Zone Action Guide and Leader Guide for the study and stewardship of community riparian areas. http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/res/Education_in_BLM/riparian_module.html Best Practices of Forestry Service-Learning Projects http://sauk.uwex.edu/4-h-youth-development/yeps4h/
  30. 30. Connecting the Coasts Website: Investigate and act on Lake Superior Basin issues. http://connectingthecoast.uwex.edu/Resources/index.html Water Action Volunteers (WAV) Citizen Science program to learn about and improve the quality of Wisconsin’s streams and rivers. http://watermonitoring.uwex.edu/wav/ 4-H2O Replenish Conserving water using hands-on technology. http://www.uwex.edu/ces/4h/set/4-H2OReplenishProject.cfm

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