Critical environmental education

Stevenson, Robert B., Wals, Arjen E.J., Heimlich, Joe E., and Field, Ellen (2017) Critical environmental education. In: Russ, Alex, and Krasny, Marianne E., (eds.) Urban Environmental Education. Cornell University Press, New York, NY, USA, pp. 51-58.

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This chapter first outlines the historical development of environmental education, from developing awareness and understanding of the natural environment and its management, through communicating information about and solving environmental problems, to critical thinking about issues of quality of life and human-nature interrelationships, and finally developing capacity for integrating environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable development. These theoretical positions are reflected in different approaches to urban environmental issues. Traditional approaches taken by city councils assume that providing information to urban citizens through public service announcements, educational brochures, and websites will increase environmental knowledge and thereby result in the adoption of pro-environmental attitudes and, in turn, changes in individual behaviors (Zint and Wolske, 2014). An alternative socially critical perspective on environmental education, which is the focus of this chapter, emphasizes the influence of cultural norms and structural features of society on people's environmental actions and the need for participatory approaches that engage citizens in creating and determining appropriate actions to realize their own vision of a sustainable urban environment. Emerging learning spaces, or so-called "ecologies of learning," are described that engage urban citizens, young and old, in participatory collaborative activities such as community gardening, critical place-based education in urban schools, and social media environmental interest networks.

Item ID: 49113
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-5017-0775-9
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2017 23:53
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390113 Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy @ 20%
39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390499 Specialist studies in education not elsewhere classified @ 60%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410403 Environmental education and extension @ 20%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9305 Education and Training Systems > 930599 Education and Training Systems not elsewhere classified @ 30%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960703 Environmental Education and Awareness @ 20%
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