SANDRA JOHNSON PH.D. is an educational consultant who specializes in curriculum writing and alignment with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). In addition, she is a professional development specialist for teachers in science. She has co-written Rangelands: A Conservation Guide for Welder Wildlife Foundation, a private nonprofit education and research foundation. The Rangelands Curriculum provides K-6th grade teachers information, resources, and lessons that help make conservation meaningful to students. The teacher guide includes 27 student centered hands-on, real world science and social studies lessons including investigations of soil, water, plants wildlife, ecology, ecosystem services and stewardship. The interdisciplinary curriculum looks at conservation from the perspective of ranching, providing activities that tie to Texas’ land and people. The lessons use a variety of teaching methods to meet the needs of all students and activate higher order thinking and synthesis in creative products and presentation. Lessons include field activities that can be done on the school grounds or in the larger environment, games, computer and Internet lessons, science investigations and inquiry, and utilize community resources. All core TEKS including science, social studies, language arts and math are documented with each activity. One hundred and sixty teachers have been trained on this curriculum in five Education Service Centers in the state reaching approximately 3,500 students per year, with six more Education Service Centers scheduled for this summer. The goal is to provide the curriculum guide and training to teachers in all twenty Education Service Centers by 2015. This would put conservation education in classrooms across Texas.
Dr. Johnson has also written the Kritters 4 Kids curriculum guides for The Coastal Bend Habitat Conservation Program, which sponsors the Coastal Bend Wildlife Photo Contest. These guides include both the Kritter 4 Kids for Elementary Schools and Kritters 4 Kids for Middle Schools and are used in conjunction with the Wildlife in Focus photo books, which bring native wildlife photographs into science classrooms. These teacher guides provide localized lessons on ecosystems, backyard wildlife, adaptations, food chains, stewardship, human impact, biodiversity, and conservation. These guides are currently in 180 classrooms in the Coastal Bend area reaching approximately 4,000 students per year.
Silver Burdett published activities and a children’s book written by Dr. Johnson for their Shoe Box Science series, She has been a Master Teacher for the National Teacher Training Institute and was a featured presenter in The Equitable Classroom, a nationally broadcast PBS program on education in America.
Dr. Johnson also developed the original TEKS alignment for Project Wild and Project Aquatic Wild for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. This alignment makes it possible for teachers to use the Project Wild and Aquatic Wild materials and utilize the state mandated curriculum guidelines. She has also published articles in professional journals and local parent magazines and presented training at numerous professional conferences.
Dr. Johnson is a former teacher with experience with kindergarten, elementary, secondary and gifted and talented students. She served as Science Consultant for Region XIII Education Service Center serving 59 school districts training teacher in kindergarten, elementary, and secondary classrooms. In addition, she has taught at both the University of Texas in Austin and Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
Dr. Johnson specializes in writing conservation curriculum for non-profit organizations with the purpose of making today’s students more aware of their place in the environment and how they can make a difference in the world around them.