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The Four Systems of the Environment

Source R. O'Donoghue, Natal Parks Board, South Africa

The Values Underlying a Sustainable Environment


Source R. O'Donoghue, Natal Parks Board, South Africa

Definitions of Environmental Education


Source: Australian Association for Environmental Education membership form; and Meadows, D. (1990) Harvesting One Hundredfold: Key Concepts and Case Studies in Environmental Education, UNEP, Nairobi, p. 5.

Definition 1 Environmental education is an across-the-curriculum approach to learning which helps individuals and groups to understand the environment with the ultimate aim of developing caring and committed attitudes that will foster the desire and ability to act responsibly in the environment. Environmental education is concerned not only with knowledge, but also with feelings, attitudes, skills and social action. Definition 2

Environmental education is the preparation of people for their lives as members of the biosphere. It is learning to understand, appreciate, work with, and sustain environmental systems in their totality... Environmental education is fundamentally education in problem-solving - but problem-solving from a philosophical basis of holism, sustainability, enhancement, and stewardship... The goal is not just to solve a problem with a narrow focus that makes another problem worse,... (n)ot just to make a correction and restore the status quo, but to make things better.

Three Approaches to Environmental Education


Education about the environment Environmental management

Provides understanding of how natural systems work Provides understanding of the impact of human activities upon them Develops environmental investigation and thinking skills

Education in the environment Environmental interpretation


Gives reality, relevance and practical experience to learning through direct contact with the environment Develops skills for data gathering and analysis Develops aesthetic appreciation Fosters environmental awareness and concern

Education for the environment A sustainable environment


Builds on education in and about the environment Develops concern and responsibility for the environment Develops an environmental ethic Develops the motivation and skills to participate in environmental improvement Promotes a willingness and ability to make lifestyles choices compatible with the wise use of environmental resources

Objectives of Environmental Education


Source: Adapted from UNESCO-UNEP (1978) The Tbilisi Declaration, Connect, III (1), p. 3; and UNESCO and Australian Association for Environmental Education (1993) Final Report of UNESCO Asia-Pacific Region on Overcoming the Barriers to Environmental Education through Teacher Education, Griffith University, 5-9 July, p. 34.

Awareness To help social groups and individuals acquire an awareness and sensitivity to the total environment and issues, questions and problems related to environment and development. Knowledge To help individuals, groups and societies gain a variety of experience in, and acquire a basic understanding of what is required to create and maintain a sustainable environment. Attitudes To help individuals, groups and societies acquire a set of values and feelings of concern for the environment, and motivation for actively participating in environmental improvement and protection. Skills To help individuals, groups and societies acquire the skills for identifying, anticipating, preventing and solving environmental problems. Participation To provide individuals, groups and societies with an opportunity and the motivation to be actively involved at all levels in working toward creating a sustainable environment.

Themes in "Learning for a Sustainable Environment"


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Education for Sustainability A Whole-School Approach to Environmental Education Experiential Learning for the Environment Storytelling for the Environment Indigenous Knowledge for the Environment Values Education for the Environment Enquiry Learning for the Environment Learning Outside the Classroom Community Problem Solving 10. Appropriate Assessment for Environmental Education

How Values Can Be Taught (Horizontal Approach)

How Values Can Be Taught (Vertical Approach)