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Conservation Teaching and Learning Studios

As a part of our Network of Conservation Educators and Practitioners (NCEP) program, the CBC organizes Conservation Teaching and Learning Studios to promote opportunities for professional development. Using an action-oriented, participatory approach to conservation education, the studios bring together teams of conservation educators to exchange teaching strategies, train in evidence-based pedagogical approaches, and practice new techniques.

Upcoming Studios:

Retooling your Classroom: Active and Evidence-based Teaching for Conservation Educators

This year, instead of hosting at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC, we are pleased to offer our 7th-annual Studio in an online format. Through interactive online meetings and assignments over the course of 4 weeks, we are offering an opportunity to learn about effective tools and approaches from facilitators and peers, discuss challenges, and practice applying these techniques in your own lessons or curricula in both in-person and online scenarios. Expected Studio size: < 30 participants; weekly dedication: ~ 3 hours.

Studio timeline: 1 synchronous session a week on Wednesdays (1.5 hours), and associated small assignments, over 4 weeks in July 2020. Specific times will be determined based on participant availability.

Application deadline: Friday, June 12th, 2020 at 5pm EDT.

How to apply: Educators of undergraduate or adult students are encouraged to apply online. The application is a brief form including questions about your teaching experience and interest in our Studio. Participants will be selected based on their interest in the event, their teaching or research focus, and possibly their career stage to ensure a balanced Studio event.

Studio Application »  

Additional considerations: We are waiving the $150 Studio registration fee in light of the new online format. However, if participants are able and interested, we appreciate donations of any amount to the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation to help support programs like this one. Donations will not influence admission decisions. Donate here.

Questions? Please contact NCEP at [email protected]

Recent Studios:

Effective Teaching By Design

Participants at the NCEP Conservation Teaching and Learning Studio at the American Museum of Natural History
NCEP studio at the American Museum of Natural History, June 2019. © Nadav Gazit

In June 2019, 18 educators and practitioners from the US and abroad convened at AMNH to work on integrating scientific and active teaching techniques into their own teaching practice, from designing a class session to planning an entire course. Individually and in groups, participants also evaluated how these techniques align with course objectives, goals, and intended outcomes, and considered multiple assessment strategies. Participants were able to learn from their peers and actively train on how small changes in teaching and course design that can have big results in student learning.

Walking the Walk: Implementing Active Teaching and Learning in the Classroom

NCEP Studio 2018 group photo
NCEP studio at the American Museum of Natural History, June 2018.

The evidence is clear: for over three decades, research has shown that active teaching enhances students’ development of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need to be effective scientists and professionals. For the 2018 Conservation Teaching and Learning Studio, 22 educators from the US, South America, and Southeast Asia gathered to train in and share strategies for integrating evidence-based active teaching techniques in the classroom, discuss and work through challenges to teaching actively, and practice applying these techniques in their own lessons and curricula.

Evidence, Evidence, Evidence! Developing and Assessing Critical Thinking in your Students

Group photo of the 2017 NCEP Studio
NCEP studio at the American Museum of Natural History, June 2017. © Nadav Gazit

Scientific literacy and the ability to evaluate competing claims based on the available evidence is a critical skill in all students, regardless of major. In June 2017, 16 university educators convened at AMNH to train in scientific and evidence-based teaching practices that promote the development of critical thinking skills, as well as aligning assessment techniques to desired student learning outcomes. Studio participants learned about effective tools and approaches from peers and investigators leading NSF-funded research on education, and practiced applying these techniques working in teams and on topics relevant to their own teaching.  

Developing and Assessing Student Skills in Conservation Teaching
Group photo NCEP Studio 2016
NCEP studio at the American Museum of Natural History, June 2016. © Nadav Gazit

Twenty-four educators from the United States, Latin America, and Southeast Asia gathered at AMNH in June 2016 to practice designing assessment approaches that develop and evaluate student professional skills, learn how to apply a variety of active and scientific teaching techniques in their own classrooms, and connect to a community of practice to exchange experiences and lessons learned in evidence-based teaching.

Teaching Tools and Techniques 

NCEP studio participants, July 2015 AMNH
NCEP studio at the American Museum of Natural History, July 2015. © Nadav Gazit

Held at AMNH in July 2015, this studio convened 13 conservation educators and practitioners from 3 countries (USA, Canada, and Jamaica) to develop case study-based exercises. Participants were introduced to and practiced applying active teaching tools and techniques in the context of their own conservation teaching topics. The studio also focused on providing professional development on evidence-based approaches to teaching science, with an emphasis on civic engagement and developing critical thinking skills in students. 

Assessing Student Learning of Socio-Economic Systems 

Participants at the NCEP studio in Annapolis, June 2015.
NCEP studio at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center in Annapolis, June 2015. © Nadav Gazit

This studio convened 18 conservation educators and researchers from 13 institutions at the NSF-funded National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center in Annapolis, MD, in June 2015. Participants shared insights, created new connections, and identified key questions for further work based on their own experiences, knowledge, and research in systems thinking. 

Learn more about the Network of Conservation Educators and Practitioners (NCEP).