Degree Name

Education Specialist (EdS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Donald W. Smitley


I started this project to improve the teaching of conservation and ecology in the Findlay Grade School. I wanted more than a paper project. I wanted a workable program that would improve the education of the students and a program that would promote better understanding of conservation and ecology. I wanted more teaching to be ecology oriented.

The students of the Findlay Grade School needed more information, and a better understanding of how our natural resources affect their lives. The students also needed a purpose for conservation. This purpose could only come through better education in the field of conservation. I felt that the students did not understand that resources can be depleted and that we do not have new resources to take the place of the ones being depleted.

It is the obligation of the school to establish conservation education programs. The law mandating such programs has been in effect since 1968. According to Dr. Lance Bedwell, of the Illinois Office of Education, very few schools in the state are fully meeting this obligation. The law states that in every public school there shall be instruction, study and discussion of current problems and needs in the conservation of natural resources, including but not limited to air pollution, water pollution, the affects of excessive use of pesticides, preservation of wilderness areas, forest management, protection of wilderness areas, and humane care of domestic animals. State law strongly suggest the inclusion of outdoor education in conservation education programs.

This project was started to meet a need of the Findlay Grade School. The amount of conservation and ecology being taught would not have passed any minimum standards of the state. Some classes were receiving no education in the field of conservation and ecology.

This project has been successful only because of the work involved in starting it. The project is started and it is working. It looks almost like an old subject to the school.