Earth Ethics Institute
Miami Dade College
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SENCER and Working with Community Partners


Friday, March 21, 2014, InterAmerican Campus, Room 401,  1:30 -4:30 pm
 #  819671 
Awarding 6 hours of Professional Development
(In the approval process - 3 hours Face-to-Face, 3 hours post-workshop)

Workshop Description

Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER) is a nation-wide program sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Center for Science & Civic Engagement that offers a framework for integrating civic engagement and other progressive pedagogies into the college classroom.  This workshop will examine the SENCER ideals and how they may be applied in the STEM classroom and beyond, including classes participating in Earth Ethics Institute’s efforts in creating a sustainability curriculum enhancement learning network.  Active and experiential learning strategies will be discussed, with an emphasis on sustainability and civic engagement.  SENCER’s Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG) assessment tool will be examined.  A teleconference with national SENCER leadership will take place.  Finally, local community partners will be on hand to engage faculty in the development of civic engagement/service-learning opportunities addressing courses objectives through exploration of key components of sustainability. 


Apply active/experiential teaching techniques in the classroom

Describe and apply concepts related to sustainability and Earth Literacy

Demonstrate the efficacy of integrating civic engagement into the college classroom

Explain how civic engagement may be used in sustainability education

Apply the SENCER approach and ideals and use the SENCER resources  

Utilize the SENCER SALG assessment tool

Facilitate the creation of a EEI/SENCER community of practice at MDC

Forge relationships with community partners offering service-learning civic engagement opportunities

Create a lesson plan/model syllabus that incorporates civic engagement and the SENCER approach as applied to environmental sustainability 

Evaluation will include completion of workshop and development of a discipline-specific lesson plan that incorporates the SENCER guidelines and ideals as applied to sustainability. The lesson plan is due to the Earth Ethics Institute within three weeks of the workshop and will be posted to the EEI website.

Facilitated by Marlene Morales and/or  Mike Matthews

Mike Matthews is interested in how human society and culture interface with the natural world.  He holds an M.S. in environmental science from Florida International University and his thesis entitled “Assessing Effectiveness of Pedagogical Techniques Used in Environmental Education: Content Acquisition and Attitude Shifts in an Experiment with Pine Rocklands in the Ecology of South Florida Laboratory;”  looked at the efficacy of experiential (hands-on) teaching techniques as used in environmental education.  Other areas of study include environmental ethics, ecology, environmental policy and sustainable development.  He has taught as a visiting instructor on the faculty of Florida Gulf Coast University’s Marine and Ecological Sciences Department, as both adjunct faculty and teaching assistant for Florida International University’s Department of Earth and Environment.

Marlene Morales is faculty in the MDC School of Education. She earned an Ed.S. in Education Leadership, from Nova Southeastern University, in 2002. Morales earned an M.S. in Science Education from Florida State University in 2001. Morales is involved in a professional development project that prepares teachers to integrate technology into the curriculum in innovative ways that enhance student learning and support higher levels of achievement in math and science. In addition she is involved with Project TRIPS (Teaching Reforms through Informal Programs of Study) which strives to provide rich and stimulating opportunities outside of the traditional classroom setting to pre-service special education teachers by building relationships/partnerships with Informal Learning Institutions (ILIs) in Miami such as museums, science center, and community organizations.

Matthews and Morales attended the SENCER Summer Institute in August 2013.

Hosted by Earth Ethics Institute and MDC College Training and Development. To register:


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Earth Ethics Institute • An Earth Literacy Resource Center Serving MDC Administrators, Faculty, Staff,  and Students, as well as the South Florida Community
Miami Dade College • 300 N.E. 2nd Avenue, Room 1201, Miami, FL 33132-2204 • t: 305-237-3796 • f: 305-237-7724