Educators' beliefs and understandings about environmental education: A resource for curriculum decision-making.
AuthorNelson, Thomas Gunnaar.
Committee ChairRichardson, Virginia
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractPresent behaviors toward the natural world are in conflict with the ecological balance necessary to maintain the health and well being of the Earth. Emphasis in environmental education curriculum and instruction is considered an important aspect in the educational process. The purpose of this study was to examine the beliefs and understandings of a selected number of educators as to the nature of the field of environmental education. The data from this study were drawn from interviews with fifteen educators who identified themselves as environmental educators. Interview techniques were guided by the framework established by Patton (1990). The results of this study have suggested that educators' beliefs and understandings about environmental education have strongly influenced curriculum and instructional decisions. These beliefs and understandings, were in part, the result of meaningful personal experiences associated with interests particular to the environment as well as from professional interactions with colleagues. The respondents were in agreement as to the inclusion of ecological principles as a basis for framing the content in environmental education. However, all of the respondents suggested that environmental education is an interdisciplinary enterprise and must include knowledge rooted in all of the subject areas. Therefore, environmental education should be perceived not as something to be added to the curriculum but rather a way of addressing the established curriculum within a meaningful context.
Degree ProgramTeaching and Teacher Education