ERIC Number: ED414112
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Outdoor Education and Environmental Responsibility. ERIC Digest.
Yerkes, Rita; Haras, Kathy
Outdoor education programs provide opportunities for students to become environmentally conscious citizens. However, awareness of environmental issues is not enough to preserve our world of limited natural resources. Students must also recognize their environmental responsibilities and change their behaviors accordingly. This digest reviews the literature on developing environmental responsibility. Various studies have shown that environmental instruction in schools and resident camp programs has positive effects on the environmental awareness and attitudes of children and adolescents. However, the link between outdoor education and development of positive environmental attitudes and responsibility was found to be weak and in need of further research. This led outdoor educators to look to related fields for techniques that have successfully created positive behavioral changes in students. Ethical behavioral change in students has not been promoted by lectures, excessive moralizing, or externally derived codes of ethics or conduct. As a result, outdoor educators have focused on environmental action activities that develop responsible behavior. Elements of successful activities and programs include outdoor experience and involvement, autonomous student behavior and problem solving, development of environmental action skills, focus on specific issues, small-group discussion, reflection, mentoring, long-term follow-up, and connection to the local community. (Contains 13 references.) (SV)
Descriptors: Attitude Change, Behavior Change, Camping, Consciousness Raising, Elementary Secondary Education, Environmental Education, Ethics, Outdoor Education, Student Attitudes, Student Responsibility
ERIC/CRESS, P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325 (free).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV.