Educational Strategies

wer3Below is a list of seven educational strategies that can be integrated into wildlife education programming and lesson development. These strategies provide guidelines for instruction, differentiation for a variety of learning styles, and increase participant engagement and learning outcomes. Information and resources are provided for each strategy.

Place-Based Education

Definition: “Place-based education (PBE) is the process of using the local community and environment as a starting point to teach concepts in language arts, mathematics, social studies and other subjects across the curriculum. Emphasizing hands-on, real-world learning experiences, this approach to education increases learning.” David Sobel, Place-based education: Connecting classrooms and communities.  Why use PBE: PBE has… Continue reading Place-Based Education

Experiential Education

Definition: Experiential learning is a cyclical process of learning through experiencing, reflecting, developing generalizations and applying the learning to a new situation. Reflection and the intentional process of thinking and expanding on the experience is critical to completing the learning cycle. Without reflection, generalization and application, the learner cannot fully process the experience and transfer… Continue reading Experiential Education

Active Learning

Definition: Active learning is the process of involving students in their own learning through a variety of techniques used to engage students beyond passive learning methods such as listening and watching. Why use active learning: Active learning has the ability to engage all types of learning styles while creating excitement and interest in a topic.… Continue reading Active Learning


Definition: Storytelling is an active learning technique that engages students with content by eliciting emotions and memories throughout the use of telling stories.  Why use storytelling: Teaching content through stories allows learners to become involved with the learning process by creating connections to the characters and content. Storytelling can be used to introduce or reinforce… Continue reading Storytelling

Developing Empathy

Definition: “Empathy is simulated emotional state that relies on the ability to perceive, understand, and care about experiences or perspectives of another human or animal” (Seattle Aquarium, 2015). Why empathy? Having empathy for wildlife can help foster affective attitudes and a concern for the protection of wildlife because it allows people to think outside of themselves and… Continue reading Developing Empathy

Next Generation Science Standards

What are the NGSS? The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are national standards developed to increase science proficiency in K-12 education. They provide a three-dimensional learning framework designed to elicit science proficiency through the learning of content, practices and concepts. The three- dimensions are: Disciplinary core ideas (physical science, life science, earth and space science, engineering… Continue reading Next Generation Science Standards

Educational Animals

Definition: Educational animals are live animals used in educational programs which target concepts about conservation and life sciences. They can also be used to help develop empathy and a positive attitude change towards a species.