Education and the Environment

Education and the Environment Creating Standards-Based Programs in Schools and Districts

Gerald A. Lieberman, foreword by Richard Louv
Pub. Date: December 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-631-9
paper, 224 Pages
Pub. Date: December 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-629-6
Price: $33.00

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In this timely book, curriculum expert Gerald A. Lieberman provides an innovative guide to creating and implementing a new type of environmental education that combines standards-based lessons on English language arts, math, history, and science with community investigations and service learning projects.


For decades, Gerald Lieberman has been at the forefront of environment-based learning. The concept, which has acquired several names over the years, is essentially this: children and young people learn best when their time in the classroom is augmented by experiences in the wider community . . . School should be more than a polite form of incarceration; it should be a portal to a wider world. Gerald Lieberman’s ongoing work underscores the right of a whole child to feel and be fully alive. — From the Foreword by Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods

Jerry has been a true pioneer for decades, breaking trail for the rest of us. What makes his work so impressive is that he not only conceives and writes about new K–12 education models, he finds effective ways to actually implement them on a significant scale. This book recounts some of those great adventures, and provides an indispensable map for any teacher or administrator who seeks new ideas for how to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century. — James L. Elder, director, Campaign for Environmental Literacy

Gerald A Lieberman’s Education and the Environment is the most important publication of its type in the past decade. At the heart of the book is his thorough-going explanation of how the environment can serve as the context for standards-based learning. This is an essential book for all practitioners and system-changers. — Annie Levine and Tim Grant, Green Teacher

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About the Author

Dr. Gerald A. Lieberman is an internationally recognized authority on school improvement using natural and community surroundings as interdisciplinary contexts. Over the past thirty years, Dr. Lieberman has created and conducted professional development programs for more than nine thousand educators and other professionals, working with formal education systems at local, state, national, and international levels. He has designed and coordinated curriculum development programs in the United States, Costa Rica, Honduras, Colombia, and Argentina.

In 1995, Dr. Lieberman founded and has since directed the State Education and Environment Roundtable (SEER), initially a cooperative endeavor of departments of education in sixteen states sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts for its first ten years and administered by the Council of Chief State School Officers. In 1997, he led the development of the innovative educational strategy called the EIC Model, using a school’s local Environment as the Integrating Context for learning. During the past fifteen years, Dr. Lieberman has focused his work on professional development programs that help schools achieve school improvement goals through implementation of the EIC Model.

From 2003 to 2010, Dr. Lieberman served as the principal consultant for the State of California’s Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI), a cooperative endeavor of the California Environmental Protection Agency, the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the governor’s secretary of education, the Integrated Waste Management Board, and the California Natural Resources Agency. Dr. Lieberman led the development of the state’s “Environmental Principles and Concepts,” the plan for the EEI curriculum approved by California’s State Board of Education in 2010 and now in use by K–12 classrooms throughout California.

Dr. Lieberman is the principal author of Closing the Achievement Gap: Using the Environment as an Integrating Context for Learning, a groundbreaking national study that received an award from the National Environmental Education Foundation for “bringing environmental learning into the mainstream of American K–12 education.” He has authored forty other major reports, books, and articles on subjects related to environment-based teaching strategies and environmental science.

Dr. Lieberman received his PhD and MA from Princeton University and his BA from UCLA. He served on the executive committee of the National Education and Environment Partnership, operated by the National Environmental Education Foundation, and is a past chair of the Commission on Education and Communication of IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature. He lives in Poway, California.

Table of Contents

"Exploring the Environment with Standards-Based Lessons" in Harvard Education Letter

Interview with Author

E-book available through online bookseller

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