Approaches to Environment Education

Topics: Environment, Environmentalism, Natural environment Pages: 5 (1577 words) Published: August 2, 2013


TOPIC: Approaches to Environmental Education

Environmental Education has been described as education for the environment, education about the environment and education through the environment. It is the process of recognizing values and clarifying concepts in order to develop skills and attitudes necessary to understand and appreciate the inter-relatedness among man, his culture, and his biophysical surroundings. Environmental education also includes practice in decision-making and self-formulation of a code of behavior about issues concerning environmental quality (IUCN, 1970). Environmental education is a relatively young, dynamic and immensely complex field to study and interpret. So it’s teaching and learning is a complex issue. In order to bring about the aims of environmental environmental educators have been keeping in step with environmental consciousness of international society and making plenty of explorations on how to carry on environmental education.

After Industrialization the interference of man to his environment intensified due to high energy demand, which is supplemented by fossil fuels like coal and petroleum. Many of the changes areharmfulto the environment and other living creatures while only a small number of changes are beneficial to the environment. Once any changes in the environment ismade it cannot be undone. Hence mankind needs to take proper care and make sure that a change does not adversely affect the environment which in turn will have serious adverse effect on human beings.Many government agencies, educational institutions, andcommunity and industry groups are putting a great deal of effort intodeveloping and implementing environmental education programs to create awareness among mankind around the globe, the importance of environmental education in dealing with today’senvironmental challenges.

The different approaches that these various agencies has come up with to tackle environmental issues are:-

1. An Integrated Approach to Environmental Education: “Environmental problems can be best addressed not just by an elite cadre of technicians and engineers, but by people grounded in an integrated knowledge of technology, science, business, economics, ethics, and politics.”said James J. Winebrake and Steven P. Frysinger. Historically, our educational system has not been designed to meet the demand for an environmental problem-solver who can integrate knowledge of science and technology within a social context. But today’s environmental problems require integrated problem-solvers who are also communicators and savvy information technologists. This approach is guided by the principles of inquiry-based learning and is specifically designed to engage students in studying science, business, and technology by combining scientific theory with hands-on experience. Contemporary environmental problems cannot be solved exclusively by an elite group of environmental scientists or engineers, but must be addressed by people who appreciate the multidisciplinary nature of these problems and know how to work to solve them. Students must learn to blend information from many topical areas, analyze this information, and develop solutions ideal for the social and economic settings in which they will be used. This approach will help to develop environmentally educated professional generalist, skilled at managing the different environmental problems that we will have to address in the coming decades.

2. The Discussion Group Approach:This approach gave importance to the development of personal experiencewhich is largely gained with the help of language andmust be translated into language if it is to be conveyed to others; tobe shared, experience must be communicated. A discussion group is a specificmeans of pooling experience through language. It is the functionof every adult discussion group to aid the...
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