Missouri Environmental Literacy Advisory Board

A network of organizations, agencies and businesses working to advance environmental literacy in Missouri.


This work is supported by a grant from the U.S. EPA


Header Picture Captions: Left to Right: Friends of Rock Bridge Memorial S.P. Nature Detectives, Summer 2010; Academie Lafayette, Kansas City, Stream Class; Sustain Mizzou Green Team recycling at an MU home football game, Columbia. If you have pictures of your students learning aout or working in the environment (with permissions) send them to weaverjc@missouri.edu and we will post them.

MELAB Work Group: Standards/Assessment

March 13, 2012 Meeting Notes

#2 – Environmental Literacy Assessment for High School

Co-Chairs – Kevin Lohraff, Jan Weaver

Participants – Shaun Bates (DESE), Erica Cox (Project WET), Kevin Lohraff (MDC), Bill O’donnell (NPS), Matt Riggs (KCEEN), Fran Stous (River Relief), Al Vogt (Conservation Federation), Jan Weaver (MEEA)

Need – No Child Left Inside Act, Green Ribbon Schools, help define what it is we want people to know

Expected Outcomes – assessment framework, test, plan for getting H.S. students to take test, standards for earlier grades

Measurable Results – scores

Plan – find out what is needed for a MAP level evaluation (from Shaun); need an environmental science class for HS, think about tech-enhanced items for questions, potential for portfolios, research PISA, other state’s assessments, review literature on what other states are doing, check on Show-Me Standards 73 or 75 (Know and Do, Process Knowledge), how to break environment into manageable subject areas – how the world works, where does food come from, where does water go; use environment to teach and assess other things – energy, water, population, watershed; use the framework from the initial governor’s group

November 13, 2012 Meeting Notes

Shaun Bates, Erika Brandl, Melanie Cheney, Jim Jordan, Fran Stous, Jan Weaver
The group read through the draft standards and made these comments and suggestions

Environmental Principles

  1. name is too suggestive of science, educators may not understand it includes social dimensions
  2. include something about homeostasis
  3. be more explicit about environmental justices
  4. population growth? included under carrying capacity and also in living organisms
  5. something about sustainability/greenness >productivity

How Nature Works
Natural and Developed Environments

  1. something about genetic diversity

Environmental Impacts

  1. discussion about whether to use “Impacts”, “issues” (code for negative these days), problems, challenges

Reason About Environmental Problems

  1. if social studies is not left in explicitly, then add another column with the social studies made explicit
  2. spell out the show-me goals in this (and remaining columns)

Other comments
teachers don’t use show-me standards, what will they do with these?  these would be the basis of frameworks and then grade level and course level expectations – just like the current show-me standards are?
where would a school course that uses these standards be categorized – probably science

Comments from the OAK education subcommittee
need to have something about outdoor education – stronger alignment with AFWA conservation education standards

November Follow-up Discussion

Jan Weaver -

Here is the progression of standards in MO: Show-Me Standards > Curriculum Frameworks (also draws on other standards) > Grade Level Expectations (what teachers are most familiar with) >?> not sure which one(s) used for developing assessments (can you help Shaun?)

We are working on draft Show-Me Environmental Literacy Standards, which could then be used to inform Curriculum Frameworks, which could then be used to create Grade Level Expectations and test questions or other assessments.

How about picking one of the Environmental principles (from the 1st column) and, as an exercise, go through the process of developing frameworks for it and then grade level expectations. That may help us with figuring out what to name the standard and how to describe it in one sentence.

Overview of Frameworks Structure – 3 columns, numbers in parentheses refer to Show-Me Standards
Example from Earth Systems: Physical Systems (note – environmental stuff is already present in MO frameworks)

  1. What all students should know by a certain grade band (knowledge standards)
  2. What all students should be able to do by a certain grade band within a knowledge domain (process standards)
  3. Sample learning activities

By the end of Grade 2, students should know, be able to do, learning activities

  1. Earth’s resources are limited
  2. Conduct research to develop and evaluate information on the use and abuse of earth’s natural resources (1.2, 1.9)
  3. Construct posters that promote responsible use of water or trees

By the end of Grade 12, students should know, be able to do, learning activites

  1. Changes in the atmosphere can be caused by natural or human activities
  2. Identify and describe the scope of the impact of human activity on the atmosphere (3.1)
  3. Research and report the impact human activities have on the atmosphere (car exhaust/breathing problems, industrial emissions/acid rain, etc.)

Which principle would you be interested in tackling? Environmental Principles
1. carrying capacity at local, regional and global scales informs the availability of resources for human use
2. many natural resources and processes can only be managed and protected as commons
3. systems of nature and human society are interconnected and can affect each other in multiple ways
4. the benefits and costs of human actions are not always evenly or fairly distributed among populations (Environmental Justice)
5. life experience shapes world view and perception of environmental problems and acceptance of solutions
6. solutions to environmental problems may be cultural, technological, economic, regulatory or some combination of the above