Photo: A.Tedeholm/Azote


Revamping environmental education

Researchers call for more sophisticated and creative learning methods

Previous studies have shown how students experience and respond to environmental education. Together with Mark Rickinson and Nick Hopwood, centre researcher Cecilia Lundholm showed how careful analysis of students' environmental learning experiences can provide powerful pointers for future practice, policy and research.

Go with the change
In a special issue of "Environmental Education Research", Cecilia Lundholm, senior research fellow Ryan Plummer and Marianne Krasny from Cornell University, discuss strategies on how education methods in sustainable development can better grasp the complexities of social-ecological systems.

The special issue entitled "Resilience in social-ecological systems: the roles of learning and education", encourages educational institutions to embrace education that works across disciplinary boundaries. It also considers the many different contexts for learning and the continuing importance of environmental education in today's society.
 
"Resilience thinking challenges the relationship of learning and environmental education in natural resources management," says Lundholm.
 
Consistent with managing for change
The special issue contains various examples of how environmental education strategies consistent with managing for change include social learning, reflexivity, and attention to multiple forms of knowledge and governance. It also highlights the dual feedback from both social and ecological components of a system.

"Several of the authors in this issue make the case that such approaches to learning and environmental education foster resilience not only at the level of the individual, but also at the level of social-ecological system," she says.

Centre reseachers Emily Boyd and Lisen Scultz also contribute to the special issue with discussions on how environmental education and learning are important for institutional change and transformation.  

References

Citation

Krasny, M., Lundholm, C., & Plummer, P. (2010). Environmental Education, Resilience, and Learning: Reflection and Moving Forward. End editorial. Special issue ‘Resilience in Social-Ecological Systems: the Role of Learning and Education´. Environmental Education Research 16 (5-6) 475-491.

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