IDEAS for Education (I4E)

Environmental education by students for students

IDEAS for Education (I4E) is a service-learning program, started by UCF Executive Sebastian Church, that connects students of higher education to public school students through environmental education. Students of higher education learn about pedagogy, the art and science of teaching, develop curriculum through PEEER Pedagogy Sessions and then apply the curriculum in real world teaching experiences through FIELD Trips. These real world experiences involve teaching at the preschool, elementary, middle, and high school grade levels. With the Critical Pedagogical Values steering I4E, the program holds its focus as a catalyst for community improvement by empowering public school students of all ages, interests, and abilities to be the agents of change.

Strategic Plan:

Mission Statement:
– Educating young people about global environmental issues while engaging and empowering them to create localized solutions.

– Exposing students of higher education to critical pedagogy and real world teaching experiences.

 Critical Pedagogical Values

Reciprocation of teaching and learning:
It is when we have the courage to teach ourselves and others that we may learn most effectively. It is when we have the modesty to learn from ourselves and others that we may teach most effectively.

Problem-based learning (PBL):
In posing specific, real world problems, we create a critical atmosphere in which real world solutions can be explored through an interdisciplinary and collaborative lens.

Place-based education (PBE):
In using the local environment and community as the context for learning, we connect students to the real world in which solutions can be applied through collaborative effort.

Transformative education (TE):
Knowledge is generated by students to purposefully improve themselves and their society. Learning is grounded in action that benefits the community beyond the classroom.

Literacy integration:
By integrating reading, writing, and mathematics into environmental education, students develop proficiencies necessary for success in more complex realms of academia.

Arts integration:
By integrating visual (drawing, painting, sculpting) and performance (music, theatre, dance) art into environmental education, students are immersed in natural processes of creation that enhance their learning.

Authentic assessment:
Learning is measured by students’ demonstration of progress in the problems and solutions they explore. Depth of research, group efficacy, and organizational strategy are among factors of assessment.


Propagate awareness of environmental issues and solutions by providing environmental education to public schools.

Cultivate a greater understanding and appreciation for the teaching profession by exposing students to critical pedagogy.

Ignite a sense of generativity between students of various ages by fostering mentoring relationships.


— FIELD Trips

Students of higher education provide environmental education to public schools by attending individual classrooms and conducting lessons developed in Peer Pedagogy Sessions.

Find environmental problems that impact their local communities through PBE.
Investigate these localized problems through PBL.
–  Explore localized solutions to implement in their communities through TE.
–  Lead community service projects focused on enacting these localized solutions.
–  Determine the effectiveness of their projects and reflect on how to ameliorate action.

— PEEER Pedagogy Sessions
Students of higher education learn about various educational orientations and apply new knowledge to curriculum development for Field Trips lesson plans.

  • Objectives:
    –  Prepare for real world teaching experiences.
    –  Explore various educational orientations.
    –  Establish curriculum and implement it.
    –  Engage young people in mentoring relationships.
    –  Reflect on their own perspective of the purpose and function of education.

Case Study 2010-2011

IDEAS at Coral Reef High School

IDEAS has 1 K-12 chapter at the Coral Reef High School in Miami, FL.  Marta deTuya, English teacher at Coral Reef, who has successfully created an incredible network of high school students helping to implement recycling programs, sustainable fundrasiers and educate local elementary schools about the environment!

For more information, contact Sebastian Church at:

One response to “IDEAS for Education (I4E)

  1. Pingback: IDEAS for Coral Reef High School | IDEAS

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