Various types of Environmental Education Jobs
There are a variety of environmental education jobs available for a candidate opting for environmental education. Some of them are listed below:
- Teachers in main-stream education courses generally available for secondary school, focusing on outdoor/environmental issues through literature, science, history, and politics.
- Teachers in outdoor programs at schools.
- Educator posts at environmental centers. These are the educators that work at environmental centers like aquariums, zoos, national parks, biological sites, etc. They help in educating the visitors which frequently includes school-trip students.
- Educator posts at outdoor centers.
- Management consultants focusing on corporate challenge and development. These consultants act by educating the corporate leadership and employees about environmental issues and are the working minds behind the companies choosing to go green.
- Outdoor trip leaders. These are adventurous and outdoor-action jobs leading education trips.
Responsibilities Involving an Environmental Education Career
As this career deals with every field of environment (geology, marine, biology, chemistry, and oceanography, to name a few), a candidate opting for an environmental education career should be prepared for an exciting and dynamic career.
- They have to remain up-to-date with every ongoing environmental crisis or development. Of course, their main source of work will involve educating students at different forums, but without updated knowledge, the field does not have any validity.
- They also should be flexible in their teaching methodologies. For example, environmental educators can provide the proper value for the scientific method and the data behind complex environmental issues, leading to a better-informed populace. There will always be questions like the authenticity of collected environmental data. Educators should be able to explain these procedures thoroughly.
- There is one more process, called interpretation, which is widely used by environmental educators. Interpretation is defined as an educational activity that brings out meanings and relationships with natural objects. This can be achieved by first-hand experience and by illustrative media, rather than simply by relating scientific principles in a formal classroom setting.
- This career option requires students to use inquiry to approach learning, where the real quality remains. Experimentation, research projects, field investigation, etc., lead to a better understanding of facts and theories that are learned inside the classroom. So educators must be versatile to offer indoor and outdoor support for students.
The outlook and the career opportunities for the environmental educators have increased exponentially in recent years, due to the increasing awareness and demand for information regarding environmental issues. Since this career was previously treated in the traditional sense of classroom teaching activities, there are still radical changes needed to bring forth quality in the education system.
There should be a joint action between the different groups of educators working under the umbrella of environmental education careers. For example, schoolteachers may work in sync with educators at environmental centers or outdoor centers such as museums, aquariums, zoos, national parks, etc. An educational trip for students would be an ideal synchronization between schoolteachers and outdoor trip leaders.
Many K–12 science teachers who come under the purview of environmental education do not consider themselves as environmental educators. So, there is also a need to make these profiles more professional and flexible for environmental education jobs to be used to a maximum. Professional educational training and presentations can help teacher accomplish this. Also, many times agencies and private corporate office hire educators for addressing the public or corporate employees. For example, many federal environmental agencies, while giving public awareness programs, employ these educators.
Since all these above activities are in their starting phase of development, there is a huge scope and potential for the environmental education career sector. The future of environmental education career appears to be solid, and would be a challenging career to pursue.