• Introduction

    Environmental education refers to organized efforts to teach how natural environments function, how they interact and are influenced by human activity, and particularly, how human beings can manage their behaviour and physical environment to live in a more sustainable and less damaging way. Whilst often used to imply education within a school system, it can include all efforts to educate the public and other audiences, including print materials, websites, media campaigns, etc. The term environmental education is often used interchangeably with conservation education although the latter is more grounded in its philosophy of teaching how to conserve the natural world.

    Whilst learning is normally associated with formal schooling it can also take place through incidental and non-formal channels. Incidental education is learning that occurs automatically through the process of living everyday life, or as a result of what an individual absorbs from the environment in which they live or grow up. It is random, unintentional and unstructured. Non-formal education is learning that happens within society and is organised to supplement incidental (formal) education. It is voluntary, structured, and offers the learner the choice of what to learn and whether to be involved. Informal learning opportunities e.g., nature clubs, are particularly important in developing countries were often formal environmental curriculum is lacking.

  • How does environmental education help ape conservation?

  • Are there also negative aspects of environmental education?

  • How is it implemented / applied in practice?

Compiled and edited 2011 by Kay H. Farmer
Reviewed by Hjalmar Kuehl, Josephine Head and Neba Funwi-Gabga

  • References