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Urban Environmental Education Review$
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Alex Russ

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501705823

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501705823.001.0001

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Critical Environmental Education

Critical Environmental Education

(p.51) 5 Critical Environmental Education
Urban Environmental Education Review

Robert B. Stevenson

Arjen E. J. Wals

Joe E. Heimlich

Ellen Field

, Alex Russ, Marianne E. Krasny
Cornell University Press

This chapter considers an alternative socially critical perspective on environmental education, the emphasis of which is on the influence of cultural norms and structural features of society on people's environmental actions and the need for participatory approaches that engage citizens in creating and determining appropriate actions to realize their own vision of a sustainable urban environment. It describes emerging learning spaces, also known as “ecologies of learning,” that engage young and old urban citizens in participatory collaborative activities such as community gardening, critical place-based education in urban schools, and social media environmental interest networks. After providing a brief history of environmental education, the chapter discusses communicating information about and solving environmental problems. It then examines critical thinking about issues of quality of life and human-nature interrelationships before concluding with an overview of how to develop capacity for integrating environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable development.

Keywords:   environmental education, learning, community gardening, place-based education, urban schools, social media, environmental problems, quality of life, sustainable development

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