Develop a land-use and development curriculum for K - 12 students
Today's students will become tomorrow's decision makers. Improving their understanding of land-use issues will enable them to better understand the choices before them when they become adults. To foster this understanding, the State should help develop a curriculum on land-use and development issues for K-12 students.
Land-use and development also can be integrated into broader school curricula, including environmental science, geography, government and social studies, so students understand the patterns of growth and development in the United States and, more specifically, in their own State.
Integrating land-use and development into the K-12 curriculum is generally a three-step process. First, an assessment and examination of the current K-12 standards is required. State curriculum standards will likely have at least minimal references to the migration of populations, settlement patterns, urban development and suburbanization. The assessment will help determine whether or not the current standards provide enough of a foundation for the implementation of a land-use and development curriculum.
Once the assessment is completed, the Department of Education can take the second step of determining what additions need to be made to strengthen the curriculum standards to ensure that land-use and development trends and policies will be taught. The final step will be to adequately fund the production of materials and training for K-12 teachers charged with teaching the expanded or new element of the curriculum.
- Connecticut's Social Studies Curriculum Framework
In Connecticut, the social studies standards include: "Standard 11, Human Systems: Students will interpret spatial patterns of human migrations, economic activities, and political units in Connecticut, the nation and the world." This standard requires that students understand development patterns, changes in transportation technology, and the influences on urban, suburban and rural development.
— Connecticut's Social Studies Curriculum
- Maryland's Teacher's Smart Growth Resource Guide
The state of Maryland developed a Teacher's Resource Guide on smart growth to assist social studies and science teachers integrate growth and development issues into their regular curriculum. The resource guide is available online and includes 20 lesson plans on topics ranging from demographics, and watershed planning to school siting and neighborhood design.
— Maryland's Teacher's Smart Growth Resource Guide