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Environmental Education Guidelines for Excellence

The education approach of each material in this guide was examined using the North American Association of Environmental Education's (1996) Environmental Education Materials: Guidelines for Excellence. These Guidelines for Excellence reflect a shared conception of environmental education, and were developed to provide educators with a tool to evaluate existing and create new environmental education materials.

The Guidelines for Excellence call for environmental education materials to have six key characteristics, each supported by several guidelines. Indicators for each of these guidelines provide specific measures or conditions for evaluating environmental education materials. For a complete listing of the Guidelines for Excellence go to www.naaee.org/npeee/

#1 Fairness and accuracy
1.1 Factual accuracy
1.2 Balanced presentation of differing viewpoints and theories
1.3 Openness to inquiry
1.4 Reflection of diversity

#2 Depth
2.1 Awareness
2.2 Focus on concepts
2.3 Concepts in context
2.4 Attention to different scales

#3 Emphasis on skill building
3.1 Critical and creative thinking
3.2 Applying skills to issues
3.3 Action skills

#4 Action orientation
4.1 Sense of personal stake and responsibility
4.2 Self-efficacy

#5 Instructional soundness
5.1 Learner centered instruction
5.2 Different ways of learning
5.3 Connection to learners' everyday lives
5.4 Expanded learning environment
5.5 Interdisciplinary
5.6 Goals and objectives clearly conveyed
5.7 Appropriateness for specific learning settings
5.8 Assessment

#6 Usability
6.1 Clarity and logic
6.2 Easy to use
6.3 Long-lived
6.4 Adaptable
6.5 Accompanied by instruction and support
6.6 Make substantiated claims
6.7 Fit with national, state, or local requirements