The environment at risk : ecological crisis and environmental education in our nation's public schools
Author(s)King, Morgan P.
Study and teaching
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AbstractThesis (M.A.)--Humboldt State University, Social Science: Environment and Community, 2003
The current state of the public education system in the United States is not conducive to engendering students with the knowledge, skills and values they require to make informed decisions regarding the effects of human activities on ecological sustainability (Orr 1992; Boyles 1998; Bowers 2001). Ideological, cultural, bureaucratic and economic barriers entrenched in the American public school system prevent most students from receiving the environmental education necessary to initiating action towards ecologically sustainable pathways of living. This thesis has three parts. Part I identifies and explores factors in public schools that undermine formative learning in environmental education and the encouragement of a society that embraces ecological sustainability. Part H is a survey of the challenges perceived by teachers that may prevent the integration of environmental education in the elementary schools of Humboldt County, California. Part III draws conclusions from a synthesis of the theoretical and practical implications from Parts I and II. In 2002 the California Department of Education published strategic initiatives for statewide integration of environmental education into all subject areas (CDE 2002). Once submitted to the Humboldt County Office of Education and made available to teachers, administrators and regional environmental education organizations, the survey in Part II may be useful for improving understanding of the current barriers that must be alleviated before environmental education can be fully integrated into Humboldt County public schools.