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ERIC Number: EJ845823
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
ISSN: ISSN-0814-0626
The Role of Social Research in Effective Social Change Programs
McLoughlin, Lynne; Young, Geoff
Australian Journal of Environmental Education, v21 p57-70 2005
Social research is a critical foundation for programs that seek to engage communities in change and in the development of more sustainable societies. Without appropriate research, programs aimed at change are likely to be based on implicit or assumed problem identification and/or inferred community needs and wishes. If we are to achieve community participation in activities that lead to real change, research to find out about those communities is the first step. Over the past ten years the NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) has developed a considerable body of social research, conducted with both the general community and specific community segments, to underpin its environmental education programs. This paper includes a review of some models for integrating social research into education programs, and examines the extent to which social research has impacted on both the environmental education programs and the organisational culture of the DEC. From this are drawn learnings from the perspective of a major State environmental agency, about the integration of social research into any program or organisation seeking to achieve social change towards sustainability. As well as program specific benefits, the ultimate outcome of this process is to assist in producing an organisational culture which values evidence-based decision-making and develops policies and structures that incorporate a social research dimension into both programs and policy. (Contains 1 table, 3 figures and 1 endnote.)
Australian Association for Environmental Education, Inc.. P.O. Box 560, Bellingen, NSW 2454 Australia. Tel: +61-2-6655-1865; Fax: +61-2-6655-1596; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia