Pacific Education Institute (PEI)
Pacific Education Institute’s project, “Solutions Oriented Learning Storylines (SOLS),” is designed to strengthen teachers’ equitable climate science instruction through locally relevant storylines.
All storylines are designed around six guiding principles:
- Centering Indigenous ways of knowing and discussing strategies to learn about and work with local tribes
- Using 3-D NGSS assessment tools to demonstrate student growth
- Gaining strategies and tools for using formative assessment to strengthen inclusive teacher instruction
- Focusing on locally relevant, place-based topics
- Examining and implementing solutions for drawing down greenhouse gases
- Gaining strategies to elevate student voice
The work is designed to have the following outcomes:
- Increased teacher understanding of locally relevant climate science content and research
- Increased teacher comfort around and preparation for implementing culturally responsive practices for diverse student groups (e.g., Indigenous, multilingual learners, English language learners, migrant, rural, students of color)
- Increased teacher confidence using formative assessment and equitable instructional approaches to guide instruction and report student growth
In the 2020-2021 school year, PEI continued providing high-quality climate science professional learning opportunities to teachers virtually. For both English and Bilingual SOLS workshops, teachers indicated increased confidence in teaching NGSS climate science topics as a result of SOLS workshops (see below).
Teachers in English and Bilingual SOLS workshops also reported broadening and deepening their knowledge of instructional practices to make learning experiences more inclusive for Native American students, with 89% (English) and 97% (Bilingual) of participants agreeing or strongly agreeing.
Teacher Professional Learning
SOLS and assessment tools are place-based and locally relevant and designed to help educators demonstrate student growth in NGSS. In each SOLS, students learn about a specific climate science topic and its relationship to the carbon cycle and examine solutions to drawdown greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
The project targets rural and remote schools and districts that serve high populations of Indigenous students. As of the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, PEI has offered two Spanish-language workshops and published four SOLS in Spanish: Fire, Forests, Natural Hazards, and Food Waste. Additional SOLS translations will be published in the coming months.
SOLS workshops are also designed to support teachers with the following:
- Engaging local professionals to provide expertise and career-connected learning opportunities
- Modeling 3-D NGSS and culturally responsive instructional practices
- Including and elevating Indigenous experts, perspectives, and concerns as part of the science education community
- Leveraging work in PEI’s FieldSTEM districts to increase access to climate science education
Solutions Oriented Learning Storylines (SOLS) Materials
PEI SOLS can be found at pacificeducationinstitute.org and at the Washington Open Educational Resource Commons (OER) website.
Partners & Collaborators
Lourdes Flores Skydancer
Department of Natural Resources
ESD 105, 113, 123, and 171
Mount Rainer Institute
Olympia Community Solar
Stevens County Conservation District
Green Bow Farms
Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group
City of Vancouver
Muckleshoot Tribal School
Success Stories from PEI
Solar Solutions: PEI & ESD 123 team up for professional learning on renewable energy
Richland Public Library provided the perfect backdrop for four Central and Eastern Washington educators to explore how solar energy interacts with surfaces and materials here on Earth. When Central Washington FieldSTEM Coordinator Megan Rivard brought out the 1873...
Can compost curb climate change? PEI and ESD 105 teachers dig in to this food waste solution
Teachers standing among the hedgerows of Natural Selection Farms (NSF) compost in various stages of breaking down took a collective deep breath. “Look at the color – it smells amazing!” Compost is one strategy for managing food waste, a major contributor to greenhouse...
Learning About Wetland Ecosystems at Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
What role do wetlands play in building ecosystem resilience? This is what an enthusiastic group of K-12 educators from Capitol Region ESD 113 wondered this past summer as they explored Pacific Education Institute’s (PEI) Coastal Wetlands storyline at the Billy Frank...