The Handbook of Environmental Education

The Handbook of Environmental Education

The Handbook of Environmental Education

The Handbook of Environmental Education


The 1990s have witnessed an astonishing surge in environmental consciousness. Young men and women evince a keen interest in environmental protection and conservation. Formal education reflects this. Joy Palmer and Philip Neal, seasoned teachers at the elementary and secondary school level, display what environmental education is, how it can be best employed, taught, and, above all, disseminated to students at all levels. Heads of schools, policy makers, and activists will discover in this book practical ideas for policy and curricular development and implementation. Palmer and Neal provide a comprehensive and annotated list of organizations and institutions germane to the field of environmental pedagogy and draw case studies from an array of settings that allow teachers to obtain a clearer sense of how environmental teaching can and will work for them.


Environmental education is now well recognized in schools and colleges world wide and firmly established in some of them. Many national and international exchanges of views have taken place. During 1992 each of us was privileged to attend a world conference where environmental education was highlighted. Joy Palmer was at Rio de Janeiro for the Earth Summit in June of that year, attending the Global Forum. Philip Neal represented the National Association for Environmental Education (NAEE) at the World Congress for Environment and Development (Eco-Ed) in Toronto in October, a follow-up to the Earth Summit. Both were able to present papers to international delegates and to listen to other opinions. Although different views on, and approaches to, environmental education are apparent, it is evident that global views have much in common.

Colleagues, both local and overseas, are eager to find out more about environmental education and to develop worthwhile curricula. Surprisingly, few texts exist where an attempt has been made to encompass just what is meant by environmental education in the school system and what needs to be done to implement it in the whole curriculum. It is against this background that this handbook has been written.

We have drawn on our long experience in English schools and colleges and on our involvement with the UK’s NAEE and the Council for Environmental Education. At the same time we have tried to use our contacts with other parts of the UK and overseas to exemplify and further the debate. Any readers outside the English system are asked to transpose the implications of any part of the text which is English orientated to their own situation.

One of the conclusions drawn from global meetings is how similar are the aims, objectives and methods of approaching environmental education in various countries. Only the specifics of organization for learning and opportunity are different. The handbook has tried to cover as much ground as is possible within the limitations of reasonable size. It

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