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A New Approach To Teaching Environmental Literacy: A Text For Teachers

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Conference

2000 Annual Conference

Location

St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000

ISSN

2153-5965

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

5.41.1 - 5.41.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/8587

Download Count

75

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Paper Authors

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Sharon A. Jones

author page

Indira Nair

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3225

A New Approach to Teaching Environmental Literacy: A Text for Teachers Indira Nair, Sharon A. Jones Carnegie Mellon University/Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Abstract Environmental issues affect, and are affected by all of our activities to varying degrees. Citizens should have a working understanding of the fundamental principles involved for environmentally responsible decision making in our technological society. The interconnected nature of environmental problems, the interactions between social and individual decision making, their effect on the development of solutions for environmental problems, and the technical nature of many of these issues require that a coherent environmental literacy course include the social, economic, organizational, ethical and scientific dimensions. An active project-based approach to teaching such a course enables students to address the many issues in environmental decision making. Over the last decade we have developed such a course based on a systems approach that integrates disciplines while relying on pedagogy that involves active, participatory learning. This participatory learning is achieved in large part through the use of decision-making exercises. We assembled this curriculum so that teachers can adapt it for their courses. In other words, we developed a text for teachers. We feel such a text is necessary for an interdisciplinary field such as the environment since no one teacher can be expected to know all the topics. As such our text includes the necessary content and pedagogical techniques that constitutes environmental literacy. This paper describes the general features of the text material.

1.0 Introduction Environmental issues affect, and are affected by all of our activities to varying degrees. The need to have a working knowledge of environmental issues is not confined to environmentalists, environmental scientists, and/or environmental engineers. In fact, environmental professionals are primarily involved in trying “to fix” environmental problems. However, the general populace – citizens, corporations, institutions, and governments- are the primary shapers of the environment. Therefore, citizens should have a working understanding of the fundamental principles involved for environmentally responsible decision making in our technological society. The interconnected nature of environmental problems, the interactions between social and individual decision making and their effect on environmental problems, and the technical nature of many of these issues require that a coherent environmental literacy course include the

Jones, S. A., & Nair, I. (2000, June), A New Approach To Teaching Environmental Literacy: A Text For Teachers Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. https://peer.asee.org/8587

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