Education and the Environment Book

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The EIC Model™
Environment as an Integrating Context for improving student learning

The EIC Model™ is an integrated system of instructional practices developed by SEER.
Learning based on the EIC Model™ is about using a school's surroundings and community as a framework within which students can construct their own learning, guided by teachers and administrators using proven educational practices.
The EIC Model™ weaves together:
Local Natural and Community Surroundings as Context (more than a venue) for connecting together these proven pedagogies, to improve teaching and learning;
Community-based Investigations with Opportunities for Environmental Service-Learning that provide learning experiences that offer both minds-on and hands-on experiences through service-learning opportunities;
Integrated-Interdisciplinary Instruction that breaks down traditional boundaries between disciplines;
Learner-Centered, Constructivist Approaches adapted to the needs and unique abilities of individual students;
Collaborative Instruction so teachers, parents, students and community members can connect together instruction and learning; and,
• Combinations of Cooperative and Independent Learning that promote collaboration among students while encouraging individual students to maximize their potential.

For additional information on the EIC Model™ as a system visit Integrated System of Practices
Schools that are successfully implementing the EIC Model™ employ:
Local Natural and Community Surroundings as Context
The school's EIC educators:

• Use local natural and community surroundings as a context for interconnecting all of the educational practices of the EIC Model™ into a comprehensive school improvement strategy;
• Use local natural and community surroundings as a context for standards-based instruction;
• Develop students' understanding of natural systems in their community;
• Develop students' understanding of social systems and their community's cultural characteristics; and,
• Develop students' understanding of interrelationships and interactions among natural and social systems and their components.

Community-based Investigations with Opportunities for Environmental Service-Learning
The school's EIC educators:

• Offer students opportunities to apply skills and knowledge in local surroundings;
• Provide students with opportunities to investigate real-world community problems and issues;
• Encourage use of higher-level thinking and creative problem-solving skills to achieve comprehensive understanding of the complexity of real-world problems and issues involving the interaction of their natural surroundings with diverse cultural, economic, and political perspectives and interests;
• Provide students with opportunities to pursue authentic issues of personal interest to them;
• Support students as they undertake and monitor service-learning activities;
• Require students to reflect on their service-learning activities and communicate their findings to classmates, teachers and other appropriate audiences both inside and outside of their community; and,
• Create a continuum of learning that crossesgrade levels and allows students to conduct multi-year research and service-learning projects that contribute to their community.

Integrated, Interdisciplinary Instruction
The school's EIC educators:

• Provide students with opportunities to explore connections between subject area disciplines and, among natural and social systems;
• Coordinate students' learning between subject areas and class periods; and,,
• Cross traditional disciplinary boundaries to develop comprehensive understanding of natural and social systems.

Learner-centered, Constructivist Approaches

The school's EIC educators:

• Take into account students' individual learning styles, multiple intelligences and cultural background to insure effective instructional design and practices in the context of the local community;
• Assist students as they initiate self-directed courses of study;
• Allow students to construct their own understandings; and,
• Support students as they define specific learning goals and objectives.

Collaborative Instruction
The school's EIC educators:

• Involve students and community members in planning and instructional delivery;
• Provide opportunities for teachers to model positive team relationships; and,
• Allow teachers to have regularly scheduled team meetings.

Cooperative and Independent Learning
The school's EIC educators:

• Facilitate students as they form teams to work on projects and investigations;
• Assure that student teams include a wide range of learning styles and ability levels; and,
• Help students develop group membership skills.

rainbarState Education and Environment Roundtable
13648 Jackrabbit Road
Poway, California 92064
Telephone: (858) 676-0272
Fax: (508) 462-8331

Founding Sponsor The Pew Charitable Trusts 

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The "EIC Model™" and "using the Environment as an Integrating Context for
learning (EIC Model™)" Copyright © 1997-2014. All rights reserved.

Last update 5/1/2014