Basics of Environmental Education

Course Materials

This is an independent study and can be completed on your own time. It is a prerequisite for taking the Methods of Teaching Environmental Education workshop, which is also a required course for North Carolina Environmental Education Certification. The Basics of Environmental Education consists of a group of articles, videos, and online interactive lessons as well as reflection questions.

Participants are encouraged to complete the readings and activities in the sequential order for full understanding. Your completed answers to the discussion questions should be between 40-200 words, depending on the depth of the question. Do not submit answers to the discussion questions until all are completed.

You can download the questions as a pdf or as a Word document:

Basics of EE Independent Study Questions

NOTE: The location and format of the required NAAEE Modules "What is EE?" and "The History of EE" have changed. To access them and get a completion certificate, go to 

Your answers should be sent as an attachment to subject line should be your full name and Basics of EE. Example: John Doe – Basics of EE. The Basics of EE counts as 10 hours in Criteria I; an EE Form is not necessary. You will be notified when your response has been accepted.

Articles and Activities for the Basics of Environmental Education

*Note: Before you begin the readings, please answer question number one from the Basics questions:

1.) "As you begin this independent study section, reflect on your involvement and role in environmental education. How would you describe environmental education to a friend or family member?"

2.) What is EE?  This is a NAAEE eePRO Module (the NAAEE site will provide a completion certificate. Please attach it to the email with your other Basics responses).

3.) The Tbilisi Declaration

4.) The History of EE  This is a NAAEE eePRO Module (the NAAEE site will provide a completion certificate. Please attach it to the email with your other Basics responses).

5.) Captive and Noncaptive Audiences - A Story about How I Arrived at the Idea and What I Mean by It  (Appendix 4 from Making a Difference on Purpose, Sam H. Ham) 

6.) A Sense of Wonder for Young Minds  David Orr

7.) Beyond Ecophobia David Sobel 

8.) Two Hats John Hug

9.) Should Action Be a Goal? No J. Kwong

    Should Action Be a Goal? Yes Rick Wilke

10.) National Project for Excellence in Environmental Education - The Guidelines for the Preparation and Professional Development of Environmental Educators

      Self-Assessment (hard copy)

      Self-Assessment (online)

11. Review the EE Organization and Agency Information document. Our Partners page can provide more details if desired.

12. The "Reflection" question is required, even if you do not feel your definition of EE changed from your first answer. 

(Optional) Watch Meaning Making as the Endgame of Interpretation Sam H. Ham