The Leopold Education Project (LEP) is an innovative, interdisciplinary conservation and environmental education curriculum based on the essays in A Sand County Almanac. Originally created by a Wisconsin high school science teacher, LEP uses Leopold's writings as a springboard for engaging students in natural science curriculum. Over the last twenty years, more than 15,000 educators have attended a LEP workshop! More recently, the original curriculum was expanded to include new activities, incorporate new technologies such as GPS, and facilitate teaching in non-formal educational settings, like nature centers and zoos.
Beginning in 2013, the LEP "torch" has been passed on from Pheasants Forever and found a new home with the Aldo Leopold Foundation. We are thrilled to welcome the more than twenty state coordinators and countless LEP educators into our fold and look forward to this program's continued growth!
The LEP was developed mainly for use by teachers, although other educational groups and private citizens can benefit from the materials. One major premise of the LEP is that Leopold's writings are both sound science and excellent literature, and that they can be used as a springboard for meaningful environmental education. Whenever possible, students should experience the essays as part of each lesson, either before, during, or after the main activities. Another major premise underlying the LEP is that educators should provide students direct experiences with the natural and cultural worlds outside the school. One way to accomplish this is to make greater use of the outdoors as a learning laboratory. Whenever possible, the developers recommend first-hand contact with human and non-human nature.
The LEP encourages teachers to adapt lessons to suit not only particular students and settings, but also various teaching and learning philosophies. In order to be effective, the LEP lessons must be viewed as flexible guides to important knowledge about how the world works and how we function on the planet. We encourage creativity and experimentation in using these lessons in a variety of subject matter areas.
The original curriculum and additional resources are available through the Aldo Leopold Foundation website at http://www.aldoleopold.org/programs/lep.shtml. Also, visit the website to find ongoing LEP facilitator and educator workshops held around the country. Or contact the Minnesot State Coordinator, William Faber at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.