Happy New Year! Reflecting on our current political “climate” over the past couple of years, we believe that it is timely to reaffirm the importance of the ASTE’s Position Statement on Environmental and Sustainability Education (https://theaste.org/aste-position-statement-on-environmental-and-sustainability-education/). The ASTE strongly supports the inclusion of environmental education in science teacher education as a way to instill environmental literacy and sustainability in our nation’s preK-16 students. Environmental and sustainability education in science teacher education is critical because informed decisions regarding the future of our planet depend upon an environmentally literate citizenry. Accordingly, the ASTE has made the following declaration:
- ASTE urges science teacher educators to prepare teachers that have understandings, skills, and attitudes necessary to be environmentally literate.
- Environmental education provides interdisciplinary, multicultural, and multiple viewpoints to promote awareness and understandings of a global environment.
- Environmental education provides a balance between environmental, economic, ecological, and social perspectives to sustain future needs.
- Environmental education provides an opportunity to foster learning through nonformal and formal learning centers such as aquariums, museums, nature centers, zoos, and government or community agencies.
- Appropriate use of technologies should be used to enhance environmental experiences and understandings.
- Science teacher education should emphasize content, pedagogy, and instructional planning that promotes environmental literacy, an important component of scientific literacy.
- Science teacher educators can foster inquiry by taking students outside and encouraging them to ask questions and explore their local environment.
- Environmental education involves becoming an active participant in local communities. In this way, science teacher educators can provide opportunities for teachers to develop personal connections through ownership and empowerment. Some examples of environmental community projects that promote sustainability include recycling, planting native plants, open space planning, and green building.
In light of the ASTE’s declarations, the Innovations journal is continuously in need of fresh new perspectives on innovative environmental and sustainability science teacher education and professional development. The Innovations journal provides a place for science teacher educators to share detailed descriptions of how their environmental and sustainability science teacher education programs or professional development programming is conducted. Innovative environmental and sustainability science teacher activities are also essential for science teacher educators and classroom teachers, as both attempt to improve science teaching and learning. Thus, we encourage science teacher educators, scientists, science coordinators and supervisors, and informal science educators who prepare and provide professional development for teachers of science at all grade levels to share their innovative ideas with our international science education community through the Innovations journal.
Innovations is the official peer-reviewed online practitioner journal of the ASTE that serves as a forum for disseminating effective instructional practices that are innovative and inspirational. So, take some time right now to reflect back on the innovative aspects of your environmental and sustainability programs for science teachers. Do you have an innovative idea to share with your colleagues? Consider sharing your ideas and lessons learned with colleagues by submitting a manuscript describing your outstanding work with preservice and inservice science teachers!
Also, be sure to check out our website to learn more about publishing in Innovations in Science Teacher Education by using the following link: https://innovations.theaste.org. Please be sure to review the instructions for authors section prior to submitting to ensure that your manuscript adheres to format guidelines and addresses each criterion. We look forward to receiving your manuscripts and want to thank everyone who is, and will be, participating in the submission and review of manuscripts. We hope that you have an amazing 2019!