PSU Professor Earns Environmental Education Award

December 22nd, 2006 by Adam

It’s said that the best teachers help young people learn how to think, not what to think. That’s why a prestigious environmental education organization has named Plymouth State University professor, Dr. Katy Fralick, New Hampshire’s “Outstanding Project Learning Tree’s Educator of the Year.”

Fralick is a 20 year veteran educator at PSU, and prior to that, she spent 23 years as a public school teacher at the elementary, middle and junior and high school levels. Fralick’s expertise is teaching reading, children’s literature, and instructional methods using the natural sciences to enrich student understanding of the natural world.

“I have been committed to environmental education throughout my career,” says Fralick.
“Even with challenges and changes in curriculum practices, I have held the belief that children must experience the world and be active in finding answers for themselves. I am committed to keeping an environmental focus, where appropriate, in all aspects of my teaching. Making connections and keeping science in the forefront is important,” added Fralick.

The Project Learning Tree (PLT) curriculum delivers an award-winning series of activities for students in pre-Kindergarten to grade12. At the elementary level, PLT offers interdisciplinary activities on such topics as forests, wildlife, water, community planning, recycling, and energy. At the high school level, PLT offers issue-specific modules in the topics of forest issues, forest ecology, municipal solid waste and environmental and public health risk assessment. New Hampshire Project Learning Tree also offers professional development to teachers, a fact that Fralick enthusiastically implements in her PSU classes.

According to PSU Education Department chair Dr. Patricia Cantor, all of Fralick’s students are involved with PLT.

“Katy has made it a priority to train her students in Project Learning Tree,” says Cantor. “Her students are primarily undergraduate Childhood Studies majors who are preparing to be elementary teachers. They spend one day a week in a classroom, observing the teaching of science and social studies, practicing their teaching skills, and developing lesson plans to use with students.”

As the outstanding educator for New Hampshire, Fralick has also been nominated to PLT’s national recognition program.

For more information, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu

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