More Than a 'Bag of Tricks:' Using Creative Methodologies in Environmental Adult and Community Education

By Guevara, J. Roberto | Adult Learning, Spring-Summer 2002 | Go to article overview

More Than a 'Bag of Tricks:' Using Creative Methodologies in Environmental Adult and Community Education


Guevara, J. Roberto, Adult Learning


"That's only good for kids!"

"That was a lot of fun. When do we start studying?"

"The activity gives a warm and fuzzy feeling, but are they learning?"

The above comments are just a few examples of the reactions I have heard when I use creative and participatory activities in environmental workshops and training programs. Have you heard similar reactions when you conduct creative activities? Or do you yourself react this way when presented with creative activities?

Reactions, such as those mentioned above, were the motivation for wanting to explore with other environmental educators the tensions that often accompany the use of creative activities in environmental adult and community education programs. Together with Shirley Follen of the Learning for Environmental action Programme (LEAP), Canada and Meena Ragunathan of the Centre for Environment Education, Ahmedadbad, India, we conducted a workshop during the International Conference on Environmental Education of the Australian Association for Environmental Education (AAEE) held in Sydney, Australia in 1999.

We used a creative activity adapted from the 'Tree of My Life' (Guevara, 1995, p. 104) and the 'Tree of Expectations, Forest of What we Have Learned' (Clover, Follen, & Hall, 2000, p. 63) to facilitate introductions and initiate discussion. The participants were given paper cutouts. Four represented different parts of a tree namely, the roots, trunk, leaves, and flowers. The fifth cutout was in the shape of an axe. On each of the cutouts the participants were asked to write brief responses to the following questions:

Roots: What has influenced you most in teaching of environmental adult education?

Trunk: Write your nickname.

Leaves: Write the title or brief description of a favorite creative activity you have used.

Flowers: What are some of the outcomes of using creative learning activities?

Axe: What are some of the constraints of using creative learning activities?

After a few minutes we asked the participants to sit in a circle with a huge outline of a tree in the middle. We took turns sharing our responses and attaching the paper cutouts on to the tree. I have used these responses as my way of recollecting and reflecting on the discussion in preparing this article. I have used my experiences as a community educator with the Center for Environmental Concerns--Philippines to illustrate some of the ideas discussed. Through this article I therefore hope to begin to explore the contents of this "bag of tricks" and hopefully, lighten the load by identifying a pocketful of principles involved in the use of creative methodologies in environmental adult and community education.

Descriptions, Definitions, and Boundaries

First, it is important to make a distinction between methods and methodology as it will be referred to and further argued and developed in this article. Method specifically refers to how the learning will be facilitated, the particular technique or activity that will be conducted. On the other hand, methodology is a more encompassing term that refers to the educational rationale or philosophy that explains why these methods were selected or used.

For example, creative methods that were identified by the participants on the leaf cutouts included drawing or art, nature activities, adult games, energizers, and story telling. According to the participants, their rationale for using these creative methods, identified from the flower cutouts were to attract attention, encourage active participation, provide space for reflection, motivate greater cooperation, stimulate discussion and debate and, of course, to inspire.

Second, it is necessary to clarify that CEC's experience in environmental adult education was focused on community settings in the Philippines. The Center's mission, taken from their 1989-1997 Vision, Mission, and Goals statement, is to enhance "environmental consciousness and improve the socio-economic capabilities of the local communities through grassroots environmental education for people empowerment. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

More Than a 'Bag of Tricks:' Using Creative Methodologies in Environmental Adult and Community Education
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.