‘I saw a magical garden with flowers that people could not damage!’: children’s visions of nature and of learning about nature in and out of school

‘I saw a magical garden with flowers that people could not damage!’: children’s visions of nature and of learning about nature in and out of school

  • New EER Article Alert

Clementina Rios & Isabel Menezes

Pages: 1-12 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2017.1325450

Abstract

This paper involves groups of children (aged 5–10) in discussing what nature is in their urban communities and how they learn about it. Children attend four urban and semi-urban Portuguese schools with different environmental pedagogies: Waldorf, forest school and eco-school. Previous studies of children’s conceptions of nature have mainly addressed environmental understanding as an individual dimension, even if acknowledging the situated nature of children’s knowledge and experience. In this study we draw on previous research, using focus groups as participatory methods that allow children to interact with their peers while expressing their visions and feelings about a topic. Group discussions show that children have a strong emotional connection with nature that generates a strongly protective disposition. Daily experiences in schools, families, and local communities but also the media reinforce this concern, and make children aware of a series of environmental problems, for which they either refer to existing rules or imagine creative solutions. On the whole, this research shows that children have a say in these matters and should therefore be involved in environmental debates and action – but also that a political ecology perspective seems to be absent from their school learning experiences.

Keywords: Children, citizenship, nature, environmental education, pedagogies

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13504622.2017.1325450

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The impact of on-site educational outreach on recreational users’ perceptions of aquatic invasive species and their management

The impact of on-site educational outreach on recreational users’ perceptions of aquatic invasive species and their management

  • article in current issue

Ryan L. Sharp, Lisa B. Cleckner & Sarah DePillo

Pages: 1200-1210 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2016.1174983

Abstract

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) present a great challenge to ecosystems around the globe, and controlling AIS becomes increasingly difficult when the potential vectors are related to recreational activities. An approach combining education and outreach efforts to control AIS may be the best course of action. A survey was designed to measure public perceptions, knowledge of, and attitudes towards AIS, as well as public support for various management actions. Surveys were administered during the summer of 2013 at two boat launches where one launch had active outreach the previous summer and one that did not. A total of 400 surveys were completed with a response rate of 89%. There was support for most proposed management options, and respondents understood the urgency of managing AIS. There was a difference between the launches in how people responded, highlighting that educational programming may need to be tailored for specific recreational uses and recreational settings.

Keywords: Recreation, aquatic invasive species, education, management

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13504622.2016.1174983

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Start the week with a video abstract

“Music as a tool for environmental education and advocacy: artistic perspectives from musicians of the Playlist for the Planet”

We are delighted that Jennifer and her co-authors have prepared a video abstract to go with their study, which you can view here and are welcome to share.

You can find out more about the study by following the link at the foot of this message, requesting a copy of the eprint or contacting the authors via jlpublic@dal.ca

To find out more about video abstracts in Environmental Education Research, see https://eerjournal.wordpress.com/?s=video

Music as a tool for environmental education and advocacy: artistic perspectives from musicians of the Playlist for the Planet
– New EER Article
Jennifer L. Publicover, Tarah S. Wright, Steven Baur & Peter N. Duinker

Abstract
Environmental education is a key tool in humanity’s efforts to address environmental issues. The arts can help provide some of the affective components of environmental education – emotions, values, and motivations driving pro-environmental behavior. As one of the arts, music can captivate, entertain, and create a sense of community. Using non-probabilistic purposive sampling, we interviewed a cohort of environmentally aware musicians with the goal of understanding their mental constructions around the role of music in environmental education and advocacy. A constant comparative coding method was used to code the interviews. The analysis revealed four artistic and five quality dimensions that the participants considered when sharing their pro-environmental values through their music. The four artistic dimensions emerged as continua representing ranges of choice regarding how a musician might create and deliver an environment-related song. The five quality dimensions emerged as recommendations for effectiveness of messaging through art that is perceived as authentic.
Keywords: Music, environmental education, ecomusicology, environmental communication, environmental advocacy
http://www.tandfonline.com/…/…/10.1080/13504622.2017.1365356
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– find out more at the link

Neoliberal and disciplinary environmentality and ‘sustainable seafood’ consumption: storying environmentally responsible action

Neoliberal and disciplinary environmentality and ‘sustainable seafood’ consumption: storying environmentally responsible action

  • article in current issue

Teresa Lloro-Bidart

Pages: 1182-1199 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2015.1105198

Abstract

This article invokes a neoliberal and disciplinary governmentality lens in a political ecology of education framework to analyze educational programming at Long Beach, California’s Aquarium of the Pacific. I begin by briefly describing governmentality as Foucault and neo-Foucauldian scholars have theorized the concept, followed by a discussion of the emergence of green governmentality and environmentality in political ecology. Next, I invoke a political ecology of education framework informed by neoliberal and disciplinary environmentality to analyze institutional and teaching practice at the Aquarium. In this analysis, I demonstrate how the institution’s funding structure, placement within the entertainment markets of the southern California area, and commitment to ocean conservation education all influence how the Aquarium conceptualizes itself and its work. I focus on the case of the Blue Cavern Show and the Seafood for the Future program, which work in tandem to define a problem (declining fish stocks; possible seafood shortages) and then structure a neoliberal solution through the market (sustainable seafood consumption). I conclude by discussing the implications of this research for environmental education, which include unpacking how neoliberalism impacts teaching practice, especially as it relates to notions of framing environmentally responsible action.

Keywords: informal education, neoliberalism, political ecology, zoos

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13504622.2015.1105198

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Thinking with broken glass: making pedagogical spaces of enchantment in the city

Thinking with broken glass: making pedagogical spaces of enchantment in the city

  • New EER Article Alert

Noora Pyyry

Pages: 1-11 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2017.1325448

Abstract

In this paper, I explore thinking that happens in children’s meaningful engagement with the city. To open up my argument, I discuss two events during which children are caught up in intra -active play with things and spaces. I argue that this mode of being joyfully engaged with one’s surroundings is key to what Jane Bennett (2001) calls enchantment. This experience can be described as a sudden moment of wonder-at-the-world: it is an inspiring event, of being moved by something. It is a disruption that can open up new reflection. Because enchantment is highly affectual, it deepens one’s engagement with the world: it fosters dwelling with. By this, I refer to making a home for oneself in the world, with the world. I approach this engagement and thinking with an acknowledgement of the capacity of the material and non-human world to provoke effects in human bodies: things and spaces thus take part in meaningful everyday encounters that make dwelling with possible. This more-than-human understanding allows for alternative ways of conceptualizing learning. Clean-cut categorizations such as ‘learner’, ‘urban’, ‘nature’, and so on become problematic, and learning is re-conceptualized as an ongoing, non-linear and rhizomatic event in which knowing and being are always tied together. While playing, children are open to the unexpected: they are dwelling with the city and take part in creating new pedagogical spaces of enchantment.

Keywords: Dwelling, enchantment, learning, non-representational theory, play, urban space

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13504622.2017.1325448

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Urban park design + love for nature: Interventions for visitor experiences and social networking

Urban park design + love for nature: Interventions for visitor experiences and social networking

  • article in current issue

Eli Typhina

Pages: 1169-1181 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2016.1214863

Abstract

Affect or emotion for nature can prime environmentally friendly attitudes and behaviors, but for one’s love of nature to grow she must physically experience and communicate about nature with others. This study aimed to identify urban park designs that could increase affect for nature in park visitors by stimulating their desire to communicate about and experience nature. Participants included 33 visitors at four urban parks in a mid-sized US city who were interviewed on location. Social network theory (SNT) served as the methodological framework for interpreting why, how, and with whom visitors’ communicated their nature experiences, as well as the design elements that led to increased love for nature. Analysis of the interviews confirmed findings from similar studies, while contributing new insight to how visitors’ use mobile technology to communicate about nature and build bonds with their social network. The conclusion offers ways for scholars and practitioners to improve urban park design so as to increase visitors’ affect, communication about, and action for nature.

Keywords: Pro-environmental behavior, urban park design, social network theory, affect, communication

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13504622.2016.1214863

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Young primary students making sense of text and illustrations about how refuse can become soil

Young primary students making sense of text and illustrations about how refuse can become soil

  • article in current issue

Lisbeth Åberg-Bengtsson, Dennis Beach & Agneta Ljung-Djärf

Pages: 1150-1168 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2015.1118750

Abstract

Explanatory pictures and models are frequently used in teaching and learning situations. However, it seems to be simply assumed that they are always beneficial. In this article results from an investigation with 16 Swedish pupils aged 7–9 year are presented based on an analysis that has examined how well this assumption holds up. Concepts from multi-modal theory have been used to investigate how young learners deal with illustrations and text from an early reader booklet about composting domestic refuse. The analysis suggests that expectations that illustrations facilitate the meaning-making of young pupils may be exaggerated. Although the booklet claimed to provide interactive support between image and text most of the examples show pupils ignoring pictures or misinterpreting vital information about composting in both the verbal and non-verbal material. The illustrations did not compensate for the most crucial deficiencies in the written text.

Keywords: environmental education, illustrations as support to text, making of meaning composting refuse, young primary students

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13504622.2015.1118750

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