Step 3: Evaluate
The Environmental Literacy Model (ELM) Planning Document helps educators think through the details of a MWEE. ELM is designed to help situate the MWEE within the scope and sequence of the curriculum, and to assist in communicating to school leadership, the local community, and colleagues. Evaluating a MWEE can improve its long-term success and inform future projects and experiences. The first step is to make sure the plan meets all the criteria of the MWEE definition, including the essential elements of Issue Definition, Outdoor Field Experiences, Action Projects, and Synthesis and Conclusions along with the supporting practices of Active Teacher Support, Classroom Integration, Local Context, and Sustained Activity.
Activities in a MWEE must be sustained and connected, providing students the ongoing opportunity to evaluate and communicate the results of their inquiry. Review lesson plans to ensure they provide space and structure for these important outcomes. Look for areas that may need support through community involvement and start reaching out to people before beginning the MWEE.
In addition to classroom learning assessments, tracking outcomes related to student watershed literacy, environmental stewardship, and science learning may also be of interest to some educators implementing MWEEs. Information and questions that can be used to evaluate these outcomes as part of the MWEE can be found at bit.ly/measuring-mwee.