Ethan Lowenstein, Director
311A Porter, Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
The SEMIS Coalition facilitates school-community partnerships to develop students as citizen-stewards of healthy ecological-social systems.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition is made up of teachers, schools, community partners, and teacher educators working together to address serious ecological and social problems in Southeast Michigan.
Members of the SEMIS Coalition collaborate to develop EcoJustice, Place-Based curricula that focus on developing students as citizen-stewards of the Great Lakes basin, the Southeast Michigan region and their local communities. A major focus of SEMIS is to help educators and students analyze and address the root cultural causes of the social and ecological crises we face.
The SEMIS model is based on research that shows that comprehensive and sustained professional development is necessary for educators to transform their thinking and practice. SEMIS provides summer institutes, 4 day-long seminars during the year for teachers, community partners, and school leaders as well as school-based classroom coaching and professional learning community facilitation.
SEMIS is funded by the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative and housed at Eastern Michigan University in the Institute for the Study of Children Families and Communities and the Department of Teacher Education.
ECOJUSTICE & PLACE BASED EDUCATION
Members of the SEMIS Coalition collaborate to develop EcoJustice, Place-Based curricula which focus on developing students as citizen-stewards of the Great Lakes basin, the Southeast Michigan region and their local communities. SEMIS Provides ongoing professional development for Teachers and Community Partners as they engage in deep cultural-ecological analysis as project-based learning and interdisciplinary curriculum development.
The work of SEMIS is based on an EcoJustice framework that recognizes that social and environmental justice are not separate; they share the same cultural roots.
The EcoJustice Education framework has two primary strands:
- Cultural/Ecological Analysis: Students conducting a deep analysis of the cultural foundations of social and environmental problems, exploring how they share the same cultural roots.
- Community-Based Education: Students engaged in identifying community assets and problems, exploring beliefs, behaviors, traditions, knowledge and skills that lead to a smaller ecological footprint and toward more sustainable communities.
SEMIS Students, Teachers and Community Partners explore issues of social and environmental justice through learning focused on:
- Critical Analysis & Inquiry
- Collaborative Problem-Solving
- Action, Advocacy, & Empowerment