NYU Steinhardt News

NYU and Aruba Partner on Urban Environmental Education

Group photo, faculty from NYU and ArubaFollowing a visit in September by Mrs. Evelyn Wever-Croes, Prime Minister of Aruba, NYU Steinhardt and Instituto Pedagogico Arubano’s have renewed an agreement to continue collaboration on an innovative urban environmental education initiative.

The agreement, signed in March 2019, continues a program of hosting IPA students at NYU in New York and points to possibilities for future collaboration between the two schools including teacher exchange programs, environmental internships for NYU graduate students, and joint research on sustainability issues.

NYU Steinhardt has been hosting groups of pre-service teachers since 2011, offering them a month-long immersion program at NYU as part of their college “perspectiva mundial” (global perspective) requirement.

“NYU Steinhardt gives Aruba’s pre-service elementary school teachers exposure to New York City’s education system, as well as different perspectives on teaching and learning about the environment,” said Clinical Professor Mary Leou, who serves as director of Steinhardt’s Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education.

In 2014, Leou added a focus on sustainability and environmental education to the program in line with Aruba’s expressed goal to become a green economy by 2020. Last year, Instituto Pedagogico Arubano education students took field trips to the SIMS Recycling Education Center and the Edible Schoolyard in Brooklyn, visited Eco-Schools in Greenpoint, as well as the American Museum of Natural History to learn how environmental education is integrated into school curricula.  At NYU’s STEME Teaching Studios, students took part in a sustainability workshop led by Steinhardt faculty members and graduate students. They also attended a session at the United Nations where they learned about global sustainable development goals.

Erich Dietrich, Steinhardt’s associate dean for global affairs, Leou, and Rosa Pietanza, clinical assistant professor of education, took part in the conversation with Prime Minister Wever-Croes; chief-of-staff and innovation strategist, Isella Wernet, and Minister Plenipotentiary Joselin Croes.