Place-based education for environmental behavior: a ‘funds of knowledge’ and social capital approach

Place-based education for environmental behavior: a ‘funds of knowledge’ and social capital approach

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Austin R. Cruz, Samantha T. Selby & William H. Durham

Pages: 1-21 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2017.1311842


In this paper we suggest that a new theoretical framework is needed within environmental education in the discussion of rural, underserved communities in Latin America. We argue that a community-resources approach, comprised of funds of knowledge and social capital, should be incorporated into contemporary research on place- and community-based education and environmental behavior. The model we present builds upon previous research in the areas of education, anthropology, social capital, and environmental education. These perspectives are discussed in accordance with their relevance to high school students in one of the most bio-diverse regions of Central America: the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica. In this context, we suggest that promoting environmental behavior is both contextualized by and dependent upon social and community interactions, or ‘mediations,’ after Lev S. Vygotsky. We believe that the framework presented here may contribute to increased socio-economic, academic, and environmental benefits for underserved, Latin American communities.

Keywords: Place-based educationcommunity-based educationfunds of knowledgesocial capitalenvironmental behavior



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