A Checklist for Leadership Teams


The Checklist

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1) Understanding and Monitoring the Current Status of Environmental Literacy

It is important to understand the current reality as one designs and implements plans to change that reality. You have to know the landscape you are trying to improve.

Current status of existing practices and programs

Current Knowledge of and Attitudes toward Environmental Education

Motives for Improving Environmental Education

Understanding the barriers and constraints to improving environmental literacy

Understanding the surrounding contexts for environmental literacy

2) Developing Foundational Capacities for Improving Environmental Literacy in the Schools

Designing and implementing an effort to increase and improve environmental learning opportunities inside of school systems requires key capacities. The following are seen as critically important assets and resources to design and undertake an effort to increase and improve environmental literacy within a school system.

Developing and strengthening leadership at all levels

Developing a shared vision for environmental literacy and its improvement

Articulating the rationale for the importance, feasibility, desirability and priority of environmental literacy

Creating a design and plan for the improvement of environmental learning opportunities

Capacity to address issues of inequity

Identifying external supports and resources for the improvement of environmental literacy

Initiation of partnerships with external organizations

Capacity for communicating about, growing interest in, and creating demand for environmental literacy

Capacity for gathering feedback and evolving the design of improvement strategies and activities

3) Developing Initial Evidence of Promise and Feasibility

The foundation for future work must include some early illuminative evidence and indicators of progress and future promise. It is important for the leadership team to ask itself questions about the ways in which it will know if it is successful and how it can assess the degree to which implementation efforts will be large-scale and long-standing. If we view environmental learning opportunities as an innovation, which we seek to share and have adopted, we can use the criteria for innovation adoption generated by years of research. These criteria include the ideas outlined below.

Comparative advantages of developing environmental literacy

Compatibility of environmental education

Complexity and cost of environmental learning opportunities and experiences

Visibility of environmental education

Incremental growth potential of environmental education

Growing support for and ownership of environmental education