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ERIC Number: ED463167
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Aug
Pages: 44
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Environmental Education Needs and Preferences of an Inner City Community of Color.
Mayeno, Amiko S.
The purpose of this study was to analyze the ways in which the experiences and concerns of a predominantly African American and Hispanic community affect how they view environmental issues. Their views are intended to serve as a guide in the development of an environmental education program that is being developed at one of the local parks. Moreover, this study intends to amplify the voices, perspectives, and concerns of a community that has often been ignored in prevailing environmental education research. Both qualitative and quantitative methods/techniques were employed in the study. The participants came from nine schools in the South East Oakland community. The schools were chosen based on their proximity to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Shoreline Park. Nine students, 9 parents, and 29 teachers participated in the study. The students and parents were interviewed, all 29 teachers completed a survey, and 4 of the teachers were also interviewed. Parent and student participants were mainly African American and Hispanic, reflecting the population of the area. Teacher participants were roughly split between African American, White, and Hispanic racial groups. This study confirmed the findings of other studies that found that African Americans tend to see nature as a sustainer of human life (Caron 1995) and do not tend to make a separation between human and wildlife systems (Meeker 1973). In this needs assessment, African American teachers stressed the importance of focusing on the interdependence of wildlife and humans. Parents in this needs assessment expressed concern about pollution and wildlife alongside other issues that mainly affected the local community such as crime, health, and education. According to teachers, the most significant barrier that keeps schools from accessing environmental education programs is funding, especially for transportation. Teachers said they would participate in environmental education programs five times more frequently than they currently do if transportation and field trip costs were paid for. Another barrier that was identified through the study is that teachers do not know about existing programs and how to access them. The study identified other barriers such as a lack of curriculum, a lack of programming in Spanish, and a lack of time. Other categories emerged from interviews and surveys, including unequal access to environmental education programs, and the importance of developing programs that involve families and in some way benefit the social and/or economic conditions of the local community. (Contains 25 references.) (YDS)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A