The College of Education's Message on Sustainability
As a large university there are many ways to make our campus sustainable and we are taking giant steps to achieve just that. Many people however are unaware of ways to make every aspect of their life sustainable. Who can we count on to get the message across about sustainability and instill the importance of a “green” lifestyle? The answer is the College of Education here at SRU. Take a look at the campus initiatives and more importantly what our professors are doing to prepare the nation’s best future teachers to be fluent in the subject of sustainability. The students that our future teachers will impact will pave the way to a better environment and that is why it is vital that everyone becomes more aware of the importance of sustainability.
New Online Course: "Green Schools"
This course provides an overview of specific practices and technologies used in green school facilities and grounds. Participants will investigate the role that school facilities play in shaping the student's awareness of the natural environment and ways of living sustainably. Through conducting case studies of existing schools, course participants will learn how to evaluate school facilities. Course participants will develop proposals recommending changes to the structure or operation of school facilities, which would create more environmentally-focused educational settings.
Courses offered: "Instructional Strategies for Science and Technology," with topics that include Pennsylvania Environment and Ecology, Constructivism in Science Education, Next Generation Science Standards, Development in Science Concepts, Cooperative Learning Techniques
Major Topics: Pennsylvania Environment and Ecology, Constructivism in Science Education, Next Generation Science Standards, Development of Science Concepts, Cooperative Learning Techniques
Sustainable Schools Resources:
What do our teacher preparation courses teach in relation to sustainability?
Sustainability through renewable and non-renewable resources and activities
Environment and ecology; waste management, pollution, humans and the environment, natural resources
Project Wild which is a conservation education program our future teachers become certified in
Habitats and what we can do to protect them
Science-process skills; all materials used by humans come from natural resources and affect humans and the environment in many ways
Ideas of what we can do to allow the planet's natural resources to last for generations to come
The students in both the above and below photos are working in our designated Early Childhood Science Lab. These students are examining the life cycle of plants. Students plant seeds in order to monitor root and stem growth, as well as the leaf growth. The clear containers being used are root viewers which allow the students to clearly see the soil levels. A wick system is utilized in this process so students can examine the water that is drawn through the wicks into the soil.
The wicking system for moisture is one example of the relationship between the Science methods curriculum and sustainability. Students will develop a clear understanding of the benefits to growing crops. The wicking system proves that there is not a need for a large amount of ground space to grow crops locally.
As an SRU future educator you will get hands on experience teaching children at our on-campus child care center and local elementary students about sustainability and the environment around us.
In the above photo, students are working with local elementary students as they take soil samples. The children use the soil samples to look for microsystems. They observe living organisms in the sample like insects and worms. They also study decaying leaves, bacteria, and mold.
The two students above are working with children in the daycare program on a center on insects. The children have the opportunity to identify the types of insects, as well as their characteristics. The students work closely with the children to build a clear understanding of why insects are important to the environment around us and discuss with the children the proper care for various organisms.
In the photo below, the children are doing a leaf sample comparison. The children are provided leaf identification charts to help identify the leaves they collected. This helps children recognize the diversity of trees in our region.