Environmental learning and agency in diverse educational and cultural contexts

Stevenson, Bob, and Stirling, Carolyn (2010) Environmental learning and agency in diverse educational and cultural contexts. In: Stevenson, Robert B, and Dillon, Justin, (eds.) Engaging Environmental Education: Learning, Culture and Agency. Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 219-237.

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Abstract

[Extract] Environmental education is concerned with engaging learners in examining the relationship between humans and nature, or stated another way, between society and its social systems, on the one hand, and the biophysical or non-human natural environment and its ecological systems, on the other. And as Scott and Gough (2003) argue: "learning is central to the relationship between society and nature. People learn, organizations learn and, in a sense, the environment learns as nature responds to the results of human learning and activity." (p. 8) These authors further characterize environmental learning as "learning that accrues from an engagement with the environment or environmental ideas" (p. 14). Furthermore, with the emergence over the last 20 years of the language of sustainable development and sustainability in international policy, they argue that sustainable development itself is a learning process through which we need to learn to build our capacity to live more sustainably (Scott & Gough, 2003). Thus, learning is viewed as central to creating a more environmentally sustainable, and, I would add, more socially just, future. In other words, learning is involved in improving both the condition of the planet and the human condition. The previous chapters in this book examine environmental learning in a full range of educational settings in diverse international contexts, including Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. The case studies from these different educational and cultural contexts illuminate the challenges of engaging children and adults in meaningful learning regarding the complexity of environmental issues, as well as document and offer insights into the promising possibilities of such engagement.

Item ID: 15698
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
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ISBN: 978-94-6091-159-0
Date Deposited: 04 May 2011 06:22
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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