Environmental Education Research Bulletins
To help bridge the gap between research and practice, NatureBridge partners with Dr. Nicole Ardoin at Stanford University and her team of researchers to create semiannual Environmental Education Research Bulletins
. The goal is to synthesize and summarize recently reported research that may help environmental educators, organizations and agencies critically reflect upon and improve their practice.
The Research Bulletin is designed to inform NatureBridge educators about recent relevant research, so the emphasis is on field science, stewardship behavior, and residential settings, among other topics. Other environmental educators might also find this bulletin useful, though, again, it does not cover all aspects of environmental education.
EE Research Bulletin - Summer 2011
EE Research Bulletin - Summer 2012
EE Research Bulletin - Winter 2012
EE Research Bulletin - Winter 2013
Restoration-based education (RBE) can create "learning landscapes to enhance biodiversity and engage learners in significant ways where they live." This book chapter provides examples of school greening, civic ecology, and community greening programs. Through integrating these examples with the academic and practical literature on RBE, the author concludes that by involving people of all ages in restoring native habitats, environmental educators may support both individual (e.g., contribute to sense of place, community participation, and pro-environmental behavior) and ecological (e.g., biodiversity, and ecosystem health) outcomes.
SOURCE: McCann, E. 2011. Restoration-based education: teach the children well. Pages 315-334 in D. Egan, E. E. Hjerpe, and J. Abrams, editors. Human dimensions of ecological restoration: integrating science, nature, and culture. Island Press, Washington, D.C.
Outdoor Adventure Education (OAE) are programs designed to enhance leadership and personal growth through challenging experiences in nature, including rock climbing, sailing, and kayaking. Participants in OAE often report that they were transformed by their experiences, but little is known about how such transformations occur. D'Amato and Krasny interviewed 23 former OAE participants to explore how their significant experiences enhanced their personal growth and to a lesser degree their pro-environmental behaviors. By interpreting the data through the lens of transformative learning theory, these researchers found that participants attribute the most meaningful experiences to "living in pristine nature, experiencing a different lifestyle, being part of the course community, and dealing with the intensity and challenges of the course." Interview results also suggest that OAE courses "might integrate personal growth with instrumental learning to better foster environmental behaviors post-course."
SOURCE: D'Amato, L. G., and M. E. Krasny. 2011. Outdoor adventure education: applying transformative learning theory to understanding instrumental learning and personal growth in environmental education. Journal of environmental education 42:237-253.
Researchers in the UK explored the pedagogical benefits of podcasting in geography and environmental science subjects among university undergraduate students. Twenty-four students in the "Biography and Conservation" course watched six 15-20-min video podcasts online or downloaded to mobile devices. Podcasts were used to inform students about the structure and dynamics of, and conservation theory and practice in deserts and tropical rain forest, with which students had limited or no direct experience. Using questionnaires, focus groups and course essay assessments, researchers found: "Students agreed that the podcasts were effective in supporting learning and teaching on the course, largely by offering a flexible and visual learning experience. The podcasts were also perceived as a useful resource for revision and assessment, providing visual images that stimulated factual recall and highlighted knowledge gaps. There were no significant differences, however, in examination essay grades comparing cohorts prior to and post adoption of podcasts."
SOURCE: Hill, J. L., and A. Nelson. 2011. New technology, new pedagogy? Employing video podcasts in learning and teaching about exotic ecosystems. Environmental education research 17:393-408.
The program distributed at the 8th Annual Research Symposium in Raleigh NC.
8th Annual Research Symposium program