Start the week with Vol 1 of Environmental Education, and an extract from the first contribution
James Swan ends his (1969) essay for Phi Delta Kappan on ‘the challenge of environmental education’ with:
“Environmental education has been offered as a challenge because it is a new and developing educational concept. As yet little research has been devoted to exploring the multitude of ways of involving citizens in environmental problem solving, and even less research has dealt with developing measures to assess environmental attitudes accurately. I hope, however, that educators across the country will realize the need for developing a better informed, more effective citizenry willing to meet the challenge of our degraded environment.“
While research is in much better shape to address these shortcomings, Swan started his essay detailing problems in the USA in those times – concerns that, perhaps unsurprisingly, continue to resonate to this day: “No other society in history has been so materially rich and so environmentally degraded” … “a “policy by crisis” pattern” … “many of our environmental problems are actually problems of human behavior rather than problems of technology” … just some of the nuggets from the first page.
Swan’s penultimate paragraph argues environmental education is relevant to the needs and interests – and lives – of citizens as much as students. If you’ve read the article and would like to share your thoughts on it and such themes, either here or on the journal’s blog, please do so – standard netiquette rules apply.
PS Over the coming year, we will be tweeting and sharing extracts from various entries in the Major Works collection for Routledge on environmental education via @eerjournal / Environmental Education Research.
We encourage you to order a copy for your library should you be interested in using this reference collection for research, reference or teaching needs – further details on the flyer and link: http://ow.ly/d/5O8k