Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Environmental Education

Program chair: Prof. Amos Dreyfus
Program coordinator: Dr Iris Alkaher
Steering committee: Dr. Ilana Avissar, Dr. Iris Alkaher, Dr. Ayelet Schuster, Dr. Noa Avriel-Avni, Dr. Sharon Checover, Dr. Bela Yavetz

Along with the accelerated rate of change in our environment and the rapid population growth on the planet Earth, environmental issues are constantly gaining public attention. Israel is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, and environmental issues are becoming critical to the daily life of every citizen. An education system that trains citizens of the future to live in the physical and social environment should place due emphasis on environmental issues. Indeed, these subjects are gradually being introduced into the curricula at all levels.

The Environmental Education Program responds to the current need for a broad, comprehensive approach to addressing fundamental environmental issues. The program combines these with studies of different disciplines, such as life sciences and nature, earth sciences, social and behavioral science and education. The overall approach is guided by an educational and social orientation and the aim of contributing to the schools, the community and society.

The Environmental Education Program is founded on three main components

The scientific component:
The program includes courses in natural sciences that are related to environmental issues, in order to broaden and deepen the students’ prior knowledge. The fields included are ecology (theoretical and applied), environmental biology (humans, animals, plant life, microorganisms and health), earth science and chemistry (soil and atmosphere). In all, the emphasis is on the environmental aspect.

The educational component:
The program offers courses on the philosophical, epistemological and ethical aspects of environmental education, as well as the practical aspects of lesson planning, instruction and teaching environmental subjects with the aim of imparting knowledge, shaping attitudes and raising awareness of environmental issues.

The social component:
The program aims to enhance awareness of environmental subjects and encourage involvement. Courses designed specifically to address the social component include Politics and the environment, Public and legal aspects of environmental quality in Israel and Environmental psychology.

The Environmental Education Program offers students opportunities for professional advancement by means of

  • work in the environmental studies programs established in senior high schools, which are in need of suitably trained teachers;
  • coordination of environmental activities, guidance of activities and field trips and responsibility for extracurricular classes in the schools;
  • consultation on the planning and implementation of environmental education activities in informal education frameworks;
  • leadership of student involvement in the community with regard to the environment; and/or
  • activity in public organizations that deal with environmental issues, in general, and environmental education, in particular, such as the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and local authorities.