Connecticut Core Science Curriculum and Environmental Education in New London

By: Rhea Corson-Higgs '13

Advising Faculty: Jane Dawson

School shapes the way that young people interpret, observe and interact with the world around them, and this is dependent on the value of education and on the cultural values emphasized in standards, curriculum and assessment tools. Many pressing environmental concerns stem from deeply ingrained systemic inequities in society that manipulate and exploit both humans and the environment for the benefit of a few and at the cost of the health and wellbeing of the majority. The purpose of my study was to examine current Connecticut State high school science curriculum and to suggest how an environmental curriculum can address some of the primary concerns about public education in New London, Conn., and can be used as a tool for social mobilization, youth empowerment and societal change. This investigation sheds light on the opportunity for states to adopt core science standards and to improve science education nationwide, given recent adoption of core standards in English/language arts and mathematics by 45 states and Washington D.C. Lessons learned about public science education in New London’s public schools can be applied to many states throughout the nation and to a general conception of and approach to pedagogy.

Related Fields: Environment, Goodwin-Niering Center, Environmental Studies