Stanford’s analysis suggests EE provides a wide array of benefits for K-12 students—and environmental knowledge is just the tip of the iceberg.

Experts at Stanford University systematically searched the academic literature and analyzed 119 peer-reviewed studies published over a 20-year period that measured the impacts of environmental education for K-12 students. The review found clear evidence that environmental education programs provide a variety of benefits. Not surprisingly, the studies clearly showed that students taking part in environmental education programming gained knowledge about the environment. But learning about the environment is just the tip of the iceberg. Studies in the review demonstrated that environmental education has led to a number of positive impacts, from improving academic performance to enhancing critical thinking skills, to developing personal growth and life-building skills including confidence, autonomy, and leadership. In addition, a number of studies showed that environmental education increased civic engagement and positive environmental behaviors.

Translating the Findings to Benefit the Field of EE

Based on Stanford’s review, we have translated these findings into several communication tools for EE professionals to use to substantiate their work and bolster support for programming that benefits K-12 students. These tools include pulling quotes, statistics, researcher observations, inspiring stories from across the field substantiated by empirical studies, and more that we hope you will find beneficial for demonstrating the benefits for K-12 students in your work.
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