SEER is a cooperative program that helps state education agencies in their
efforts to strengthen the role of environment-based educational approaches
in K-12 curricula and systemic reform efforts. SEER's staff coordinates
professional development activities and research programs, disseminates
educational resource materials and provides technical assistance to the
SEER was established in 1995 with funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts,
a national philanthropy with major interests in both environmental and
school reform issues.
The Council of Chief State School Officers administers the grant. Representatives
of the participating state education agencies serve as SEER's
professional advisory board.
A 1994 study of federal and state education agencies, local school districts,
universities and environmental organizations revealed a broad-scale need
for better information about strategies that are working to integrate
environmental content, pedagogy and principles into formal K-12 educational
systems. This study found that EE had achieved only minor integration
in systemic education reform efforts. (Click
here to see a copy of the report)
As part of the study, environmental education coordinators from nine state
education agencies convened to identify what specific steps needed to
be taken to build a better knowledge base for the field. Among their recommendations
was the establishment of a national entity that could help facilitate
information sharing among the EE coordinators in the various state agencies
and identify successful implementation strategies that might be replicated.
SEER's mission is to aid state education agencies in their efforts
to improve learning by incorporating environment-based education schools.
SEER members coined the term EIC, using the environment as an integrating
context, to represent the type of environment-based education that they
seek to promote. They defined EIC as: education that employs natural and
built environments as the context for learning and, within that framework:
· crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries;
· relies on team-teaching;
· provides hands-on learning experiences, often through project-based,
· offers cooperative learning opportunities; and,
· adapts to the needs of individual students through learner-centered
In addressing the needs of the participating state departments of education,
SEER pursues five primary objectives:
Create a Network. SEER organizes semi-annual
meetings of the member state's program coordinators. These seminars provide
opportunities for them to refine their skills, share experiences and identify
resources to help them enhance their respective programs.
Build a Knowledge Base.SEER collects information
on existing EIC and EE programs through case study research and literature
studies. These findings form a foundation of practical experience and
knowledge from which the states can build successful programs for schools
and school districts.
Disseminating Research Findings SEER disseminates
its research through semi-annual SEER seminars, technical reports
and its WWW site on the Internet (http://www.seer.org). SEER members
and staff also actively seek opportunities to present the results of their
work at national and state conferences of education professionals.
Develop Successful Strategies.SEER works with
state education agencies to develop and disseminate recommended implementation
strategies for addressing each of the highest-priority, essential components
of effective state EE programs.
Provide Technical Support. SEER's staff serves as an
information and technical resource for its member education agencies.
The staff provides technical assistance on implementation issues such
as program planning and assessment.
To meet its objective of serving as a resource to the field, SEER
offers a number of services to its members, including:
Seminars Semi-annual seminars where state EE coordinators
can discuss critical issues facing EE, learn about relevant pedagogy and
environmental subject matter and visit successful projects in other states.
These seminars strengthen the working relationships among the states and
increase the number of cooperative projects.
Publications SEER is currently completing three
major reports. These publications include: a report on case studies of
the effects of EIC approaches on students in 40 schools, nationwide; a
report on the results of an extensive review of research literature regarding
the educational efficacy of EE; and, a student assessment framework for
Technical Assistance Register SEER maintains
a directory of experts in various aspects of integrating the environment
into education. This directory provides access to educators who have expertise
related to implementing EIC programs at all levels, K-12. It can be queried
through SEER's Internet site.
Electronic Communication System. SEER has a
presence on the Internet to facilitate the exchange of information. The
WWW site (http://www.seer.org)
provides program participants and other interested parties with access
to SEER's publications, Technical Assistance Register, reports
of SEER's seminars, links to other educational and environmental
resources on the Internet, and a bibliography of education reform resources.
Whom We Serve
SEER concentrates on serving the needs of EE coordinators from
the 12 member states that have made the most progress to date in establishing
strong programs. By assisting these states intensively at a critical juncture
in their development, it is hoped that their experiences will form the
practical foundation on which the broader field will be able to rapidly
grow. SEER's research results and publications are, however,
SEER's member agencies include:
° ° California Department of Education
° ° Colorado Department of Education
° ° Florida Office of Environmental Education
° ° Iowa Department of Education
° ° Kentucky Environmental Education Council
° ° Maryland Department of Education
° ° Minnesota Department of Families, Children and Learning
° ° Minnesota Environmental Education Advisory Board
° ° New Jersey Department of Education
° ° Ohio Department of Education
° ° Pennsylvania Department of Education
° ° Texas Education Agency
° ° Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
(Click here to see contact
information for the states)
Please visit our World Wide Web page on the Internet to learn about our
current projects and research. Our WWW address is: http://www.seer.org
If you would like to be added to SEER's Internet mailing list
or for further information about activities and services contact:
Dr. Gerald A. Lieberman
State Education and Environment Roundtable
16486 Bernardo Center Drive, Suite 328
San Diego, California 92128
Telephone: (858) 676-0272
Facsimile: (508) 462-8331
To send e-mail to the Director click here: Director
To send e-mail to the Professional Development Coordinator click here.
Professional Development Coordinator