Earlier this month, a small group of experts announced a new framework for assessing environmental literacy. It is one of the resources that Extension staff will consult in developing and evaluating Environmental Science Education programming.
Whether working with passionate volunteers or natural resource professionals, one of the chief aims of University of Minnesota Extension Environmental Science Education programming is to improve environmental literacy. What exactly do we mean? Environmental literacy is a complex set of values, knowledge, and skills that enable individuals to act intentionally toward the environment. But resources like the new framework help us improve our aims, and impact.
A series of report cards on environmental literacy have consistently suggested that Minnesotans score above average on a general assessment of their literacy. But we have significant room for improvement. Improvements in environmental literacy can subsequently better prepare us to effectively tackle natural resource issues.