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For LSF’s most recent publication on pedagogical approaches check out Connecting the Dots–Key Strategies that Transform Learning for for Environmental Education, Citizenship and Sustainability

Pedagogical Approach


Open-Ended Instruction

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible: students are not simply steered toward one “right” answer.

Interdisciplinary Learning

The resource provides opportunities for learning in a number of traditional 'subject' areas (e.g. Language Arts, Science, Math, Art, etc.).

Discovery Learning

Learning activities are constructed so that students discover and build knowledge for themselves and develop largely on their own an understanding of concepts, principles and relationships. They often do this by wrestling with questions, and/or solving problems by exploring their environment, and/or physically manipulating objects an/or performing experiments.

  • Satisfactory = Students are provided with intriguing questions, materials to use & some direction on how to find answers. The learning involves unique experience & provides some opportunity for an 'ah-hah' event.
  • Good = Students are provided with intriguing questions, materials to use, & make their own decisions on how to find answers. The learning involves unique experience & provides definite opportunity for an 'ah-hah' event.
  • Very Good = Students choose what questions to investigate as well as the materials/strategies to use to answer them.

Values Clarification

Students are given opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

  • Poor = Students are not explicitely given an opportunity to clarify their own values.
  • Satisfactory = Students are given a formal opportunity to clarify their own values. The range of perspectives in the resource is limited; therefore, students do not have and appropriate amount of information to clarify their own values.

Differentiated Instruction

Activities address a range of learning styles/different intelligences and teach to both cognitive and affective domains.

Experiential Learning

Direct, authentic experiences are used.

  • Satisfactory = simulation
  • Good = authentic experience;
  • Very Good = authentic experience related to the primary goal of the lesson

Co-operative Learning

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory = students work in groups;
  • Good = cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good = cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed

Assessment & Evaluation of Student Learning

Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.

Peer Teaching

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory = incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.;
  • Good or Very Good = an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students’ teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting’)

Case Studies

Relevant case studies are used. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events in real situations that can be used to examine concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control

Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.