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History of Environmental Education and Environmental Policies - Essay Example

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The Industrial Revolution dramatically increased man's environmental footprint and man has responded by becoming more aware, sensitive, and knowledgeable about the world in which he lives. The concept that the environment is an integral part of our lives goes back 250 years to the dawn of the scientific age of innovation…
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History of Environmental Education and Environmental Policies
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Download file to see previous pages Today, an Environmental Education includes not only the technical impact that technology has presented, but also the responsibility that industry and individuals have in their approach to maintaining a sustainable geography that is productive as well as healthy.
Modern attitudes towards an Environmental Education have been the result of an evolution in thinking towards the environment that has spanned the last two and a half centuries. Environmental Education traces its roots back to 1762 and the publication of Emile, a novel on educational philosophy that argued that education should focus on the environment (McRea). Wilbur Jackman's 1891 publication of Nature Study for the Common School initiated the Nature Study Movement that was pioneered by the American Nature Study Society headed by the naturalist Liberty Hyde Bailey (McRea). A greater environmental awareness was fostered in the United States by the Romantic Nature Movement and the Progressive Education Movement led by John Dewey (Haskin). In essence, "Environmental education did not spring forth fully formed from any one discipline, but rather as a product of a co-evolutionary process within science, public awareness of environmental issues, and educational ideas" (Haskin). The Dust Bowl of the 1930s was accompanied by an even greater awareness of our environment and the need for conservation and sustainability.
The movement towards toda...
Movement was spearheaded by Aldo Leopold, a Wisconsin educator that advocated an "an approach to science that merged environmental thinking, science and life practice" (Haskin). This thinking led to the first college degree in conservation at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 1946 and the coining of the phrase 'environmental education' by Thomas Pritchard, Deputy Directory of the Nature Conservancy, at a meeting of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in Paris in 1948 (McRea). The next decade would see a greater public awareness of nature and the natural surroundings and a call for increased sensitivity and responsibility in our actions that affect our world's environment. These attitudes were brought into greater focus by the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, a critical review of the devastating effects that man and technology can have on the environment (Haskin). The modern environmental movement had been born and the first Earth Day in 1970 can be considered the birth of the modern national policies on Environmental Education, as well as environmental law and policy.
Since the 1970s, environmental education has been addressed in the US and around the world based on a few basic principles. 1977 marked the world's first intergovernmental conference on environmental education held at Tbilisi, in the former Soviet republic of Georgia (Archie and McRea). The conference set forth five broad objectives for environmental education that the EPA agreed to and continues to support. These five principles are (1) Awareness and sensitivity to the environment and environmental challenges; (2) Knowledge and understanding of the environment and environmental challenges; (3) Attitudes of concern for the environment and motivation to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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