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ERIC Number: EJ870879
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-1350-4622
Teaching Science or Cultivating Values? Conservation NGOs and Environmental Education in Costa Rica
Blum, Nicole
Environmental Education Research, v15 n6 p715-729 Dec 2009
A key ongoing debate in environmental education practice and its research relates to the content and goals of environmental education programmes. Specifically, there is a long history of debate between advocates of educational perspectives that emphasise the teaching of science concepts and those that seek to more actively link environmental and social issues. In practice, educators and organisations respond to these tensions in a variety of ways, often strongly reflecting the particular social and economic contexts in which they are located. Much of the research in the area, however, has tended to take a narrow focus on either purely theoretical concerns or on individual programmes in schools or protected areas. In contrast, this research used an ethnographic approach to explore debates about the content and aims of educational programmes between diverse educational actors in one community in Costa Rica. The research revealed that environmental education: (i) is an important local site for the active contestation of understandings of the natural world and humans' relationships to it; and (ii) can be part of wider struggles over the control of processes of local development and environmental management. The study further suggests that while theoretical discussion about the relative merits of diverse approaches to environmental teaching and learning is important, if that analysis is not situated within a particular social, economic and political context, it is likely to reveal relatively little about how or why particular perspectives on environmental education may dominate or remain marginal in a specific place. (Contains 8 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Costa Rica