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Environmental Education

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What is Environmental Education?

James Neill
Last updated:
26 Oct 2006

What is Environmental Education?

Environmental education generally refers to curriculum and programs which aim to teach people about the natural world and particularly about ways in which ecosystems work.

Environmental education programs often aim to change people's perceptions about the value of the natural world and to teach how to change environmental behaviors, such as getting people to recycle or how to build eco-friendly dwellings.

In Western-style environmental education, the focus is mostly on understanding ways in which humans and human systems impact on the environment and non-human natural systems.  However, it is also important to teach and understand the impact of natural systems on humans and human society.  For example, why do natural places seem to have a calming, even healing, effect on modern human beings?


Articles with environmental education definitions

Ahlberg, M. Environmental Education.

Disinger, J. (1985). Environmental education's definitional problem. School Science and Mathematics, 85(11), 29-68.

EEATP.  Environmental education: Can it be defined? [pdf]

Lucas, A. (1972). Environment and environmental education: Conceptual issues and curriculum implications. Unpublished doctoral Dissertation. The Ohio State University.

Lucas, A. (1979). Environment and environmental education: Conceptual issues and curriculum implications. Melbourne: Australian International Press & Publications.

Thesaurus of environmental education terms. [pdf]

Sources of definitions for environmental education

Synonyms of environmental education.