Institute on the Environment Educators Program
To incubate and encourage innovative teaching in sustainability and environmental education, IonE will recognize three to six educators per year. As individuals and a cohort group, these educators will advance best practices in sustainability instruction and curriculum development, and disseminate those innovations to the broader university and Minnesota community. IonE Educators are tenure-track faculty and instructional staff, including adjunct faculty (IonE Educators may or may not already be an IonE Fellow or Associate.) who have a special interest in effective pedagogy and curriculum development. IonE Educators are regularly engaged in formal and informal teaching. The cohort meets throughout their 15-month fellowship term to learn from each other and collaborate.
During the 15-month fellowship, IonE Educators will pursue projects around effective pedagogy and curriculum development. The program is constructed around individual focal projects, cohort community, and collective action.
Focal projects have included improving current courses creating new courses, constructing certificates or programs, and designing tools for educators to use for teaching sustainability. Projects may address education for the general public or Pre-K-12 students. All projects will champion the need for diverse perspectives in solving today’s wicked and complex sustainability challenges.
Educators are immersed in cohort and broader IonE community throughout their fellowship. This immersion brings faculty and staff together from across disciplines and campuses, catalyzing novel insights into sustainability education. Over time, alumni of the IonE Educators will form a dynamic community of educators who are united by shared objectives and benefit from inter-cohort communication fostered by the Affiliates network.
Each IonE Educators cohort designs and implements a collective action around teaching sustainability. The initial cohort of IonE Educators 2016-17 developed the concept of a systemwide conversation focused on generating greater collaboration and reflexive thinking in matters concerning sustainability education. The second Educators cohort furthered the Educator’s mission to advance innovative pedagogy and expand the sustainability community by hosting a multimedia, interactive, online Sustainability Education Summit on February 1st, 2019 that reached all of the University of Minnesota campuses as well as online participants in over 20 different states and 3 countries! The following cohort built upon the Summits’ successes and told their collective stories at the Sustainability Education Summit 2020. These Summits created avenues for disseminating the Educators’ innovations, and fostered connection and conversation amid the sustainability community.
The 4th cohort of IonE Educators is taking a turn in the collective action and writing an E-book that will share their stories of teaching sustainability for other educators, students, and simply anyone interested in diverse approaches to sustainability.
In addition to the benefits and responsibilities of all IonE Affiliates, IonE Educators will have access to a graduate research assistant who will help them in their focal project and receive counsel from IonE staff in the development and implementation of their focal project.
Individuals can apply by submitting:
1) Letter of support from a department chair, dean, or associate dean (or similar supervisory role). (if none of these is available, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the application deadline to find out what else could besubmitted in place of this letter.)
2) Cover letter describing their environmental or sustainability education experiences; and goals and a description of the educational project or activity they seek to advance during their fellowship year.
3) CV highlighting the qualifications described above
Selection will be based on the potential for the proposed project to significantly advance sustainability education within and outside of the University of Minnesota system. IonE Educators are recommended by the Faculty Leadership Council with assistance from the IonE Educators Advisory Board and IonE staff. Consultation with IonE education/leadership staff about possible projects is strongly encouraged before submitting an application.
Read about the first two cohorts of IonE Educators here.