In addition, programs that actively engage participants in restoration and inquiry reflect social equity, participatory, and environmental principles central to global initiatives in environmental education and sustainability. Such projects also reflect current theories of learning including those focusing on the ways children construct understanding of phenomena they encounter in everyday life (constructivism) and those that describe learning as an outcome of interaction with the socio-cultural and bio-physical environment (social learning).
While recognizing the importance of school-based learning, our case examples illustrate the myriad of out-of-school learning arenas connected to projects in which civil society groups, government, and volunteers collaboratively engage in environmental stewardship, such as pond restoration to create dragonfly habitat in Japanese cities, indigenous species restoration at the Edith Stephens Wetland Park in Cape Flats, South Africa, and urban community gardening in vacant lots and other degraded spaces in the USA. More formal restoration projects, such as the daylighting of the Cheonggye-cheon River in Seoul, South Korea, as well as botanic gardens that feature biological and cultural diversity, also integrate nature-based, cultural, historical, and science inquiry learning opportunities.
Given that many urban environmental education projects are local in scope, partnerships with global initiatives such as the UN Education for Sustainable Development and the Convention for Biological Diversity Communication, Education and Public Awareness, and with NGOs, governments, and business, are needed to leverage these learning arenas to effect broader regional, national, and even global systemic change.
General news | 2017-12-12
See video from eminar with Professor Rashid Sumaila, one of the world’s most innovative researchers on the future of the oceans
Research news | 2017-11-30
The PECS-II conference showcased place-based research and how it can help us work towards global sustainability in the Anthropocene
Research news | 2017-11-28
How urban greening and civic ecology projects can improve human well-being and restore crucial ecosystem services
Research news | 2017-11-27
What plantain farmers in Costa Rica can teach us about the inconsistent links between access to ecosystem services and well-being
Research news | 2017-11-23
Centre science director well established among world’s most top-cited and influential scientists
Research news | 2017-11-21
Large-scale changes in Arctic marine food web can be expected within 50 years, some good, but in the long run several critical