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  • Elizabeth Barrett-Zahn

Environmental Health Literacy (Call for Papers)

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

April/May 2020: Environmental Health Literacy Deadline August 1, 2019

Consider writing an article for Science and Children, NSTA's premier peer-educator journal dedicated to PreK-5 science teaching and learning.

Environmental Health Literacy (EHL) is an emerging field of study that spans topics such as making informed health decisions to understanding a wide range of environmental issues and concerns that affect individuals and societies.

According to The Environmental Literacy Council, EHL includes the development of "a fundamental understanding of the systems of the natural world, the relationships and interactions between the living and the nonliving environment, and the ability to deal sensibly with problems that involve scientific evidence, uncertainty, and economic, aesthetic, and ethical considerations."

And what better time to start than with our young learners, so that they too can make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing. Topics of study can range from diet to air, water, and soil quality and sustainability with various NGSS entry points such as K-ESS3-3 to communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment to 3-LS3-2 using evidence to support the explanation that the environment can influence traits. Teachers can construct meaningful experiences for students to develop an understanding of their role in making decisions about their personal health as well as the health and welfare of the planet.

Article suggestions for this issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Share a problem-based learning experience built around a real-world Environmental Health Literacy topic.

  • Focus on one of the crosscutting concepts, such as Systems and Systems Models, as a framework for an EHL project.

  • Provide examples of students taking ownership of their learning by planning and carrying out investigations of an EHL topic dealing with environmental justice.

  • Share an EHL experience that was supported by the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data.

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