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ERIC Number: ED528931
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 188
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-8666-3
Education and Development in Rural Appalachia: An Environmental Education Perspective
Addington, James R.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Ohio University
This study examines education and development in Appalachia using environmental education as the theoretical basis. Despite over 50 years of public attention to the educational and developmental disparities in the Central Appalachian region, these disparities still exist. Thus, the investigation into a new paradigm seems appropriate (Eller, 2008). The overarching research question seeks to explore whether a sustainable Appalachian perspective can serve to anchor an educational and developmental system that meets the needs of the Appalachian people. This study adopted a naturalistic qualitative approach. Naturalistic inquiry studies real-world situations as they unfold naturally; it also lacks predetermined constraints on outcomes and is characterized by openness to whatever emerges (Patton, 1990; Lincoln & Guba, 1985). The main source of data was through interviews of seven participants through purposeful sampling of information rich individuals. The findings of the study show that the development of a sustainable economy in Appalachia could produce a more affluent and environmentally just life for the region's residents and represents a new paradigm. The findings point out that a sustainable economy in Appalachia must include an agricultural component and that food production and food security is tied to regional ideas of place and identity. Environmental education is seen as a foundation of this development. Finally, the development of a sustainable economy must come from the grassroots, and the development of a mechanism to tie together the constructs of economic empowerment, education, environmental, and ecological justice in a coherent and practical way. The study indicates that Environmental Education can be the mechanism that serves that purpose as it contains all those constructs. I would contend that Appalachia is not unique in this, but that all culture is based in place and that environmental education methods are apropos for education and development methods. The broader application of these conclusions is that communities that express themselves largely through indigenous worldviews should confront the world and their developmental priorities using paradigms that align with environmental education. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A