What is an Environmental Literacy Plan?

An environmental literacy plan provides the framework for school systems to expand and improve their environmental education programs. The No Child Left Inside Act (HR2547 and S1372) proposes giving states that develop environmental literacy plans access to additional funds.

Many states are developing environmental literacy plans and some have adopted their plans and are not implementing them. One of the leaders of the environmental literacy plan movement is Maryland (read a news story here).

As described in the No Child Left Inside Act, an environmental literacy plan must include:
  1. Specific content standards, content areas, and courses or subjects where instruction will take place.
  2. A description of how state high school graduation requirements will ensure that graduates are environmentally literate.
  3. A description of programs for professional development of teachers to improve their environmental content knowledge, skill in teaching about environmental issues, and field-based pedagogical skills.
  4. A description of how the state education agency will measure the environmental literacy of students.
  5. A description of how the state education agency will implement the plan, including securing funding and other necessary support.
Resources to learn about environmental literacy plans:

Does Minnesota have an environmental literacy plan?

Minnesota has guiding documents for environmental education that give us a great start on an environmental literacy plan, but we do not have a plan that meets the definition above.

Read more about the No Child Left Inside Act
Read more about Minnesota's guiding documents for environmental education.

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