What are BEPs?

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What is a best education practice?

…a program or practice that has been clearly defined, refined through repeated delivery and supported by a substantial body of research. 

Anthony Fedler, Defining Best Practices in Boating, Fishing, and Stewardship Education, July 2001


The goal of the Water Outreach Education Website is to facilitate access to education techniques that water and other natural resource professionals can be confident are the best practices for educating specific audiences. To find out whether an education technique is a best practice, we apply the technique and study the outcome using research methodologies. A best practice is one that is shown to be equally effective in multiple cases with like audiences.

To the extent that research-based information is available, advice on this Web site provides best practices. Where research-based information is not available, we provide case studies and the best available information, or good practices. Good practices are widely established practices, applied by experienced educators, but which may not have been subjected to researched comparisons.

The Best Education Practices navigation menu leads you to:

Essential BEPs, where we integrate research recommendations and group them according to typical educator challenges.

The BEP Decision Tree, to help you use Best Education Practices when you aren’t sure where to begin.

BEP Research provides more information, including key recommendations from each discipline, available by Knowledge Areas. Knowledge Area topics are listed below.

Other navigation menu options:

Check out the Use BEPs and Educator Resources navigation menus for strategies and resources that apply Best Education Practices.

Knowledge Areas described on the website:

  • Adult Education Principles
  • Citizen Participation/Community Involvement Principles
  • Civic Empowerment Principles
  • Communication Principles
  • Community Development Principles
  • Development Theory
  • Education Planning
  • Environmental Education Principles
  • Evaluation Principles
  • Leadership Development Principles
  • Learning Style
  • Learning Theory
  • Non-Economic Social Science Applications
  • Organizational Development and Management Principles
  • Program Planning Principles
  • Social Marketing Principles
  • Technology Transfer/Diffusion of Innovation Theory
  • Youth Education Principles

Limnos Research on Lake MendotaJohn Magnuson (right center) demonstrates a water sample measurement device to students in his Limnology class lab while aboard the Limnos research boat on Lake Mendota, Wisconsin.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Miller, UW-Madison University Communications.