Craig Johnson

Education Consultant

For 35 years Craig has been a leader in innovative, progressive education.  He has worked with students and teachers at all levels of education, and his professional experiences run the educational gamut, from environmental educator to secondary classroom teacher, building administrator, district program coordinator, college instructor, educational non-profit program director, and developer and facilitator of professional development programs for teachers. Common to all of Craig’s professional experience have been contributions to innovative inquiry and project-based education, continuous improvement initiatives for schools, and building the capacity for growth and change in educational settings.

 

In his current Senior Environmental Studies faculty position, Craig leads an interdisciplinary team of teachers in delivering an integrated curriculum to high school seniors at the School of Environmental Studies (SES) in Apple Valley, MN.  SES is a nationally and internationally recognized “School of Choice”, which delivers an integrated, thematic, experiential curriculum to its students.  In this role Craig has helped develop and implement a curricular program that emphasizes student directed inquiry and project-based learning in authentic community contexts.  In addition to the foundation of an inquiry based curriculum which utilizes SES, its grounds, and the local community, Craig has developed national and international field study opportunities around the world, from the Canadian Arctic to the Middle East, and from Eastern Europe to the wilderness of Alaska.

 

Prior to joining the SES faculty, Craig spent 9 years in statewide and district level administrative positions focusing on professional development program design, administration, and delivery. In these roles he designed school, district, and statewide programs aimed at building both district level capacity and individual teachers’ abilities to use student driven inquiry in outdoor environments to create powerful contexts for learning.  Toward this end he coordinated the implementation of a district K-12 environmental education plan for the Northfield Public Schools, developed a statewide teacher professional development program for the School Nature Area Project (SNAP) of St. Olaf College, and administered and managed the implementation of the “Environment as an Integrating Context” (EIC) program in Minnesota.

 

Formative experiences as a middle school and high school science teacher provided the foundation for Craig’s long held conviction that learners actively construct their own understandings. He believes that this is most effectively accomplished when a learner has ownership in the educational process, is able to engage the content in authentic contexts and physical spaces that support curricular needs, and is guided by educators skilled in facilitating student directed learning.