What is Environmental Education (EE)?
Environmental education is a process that helps people learn more about the natural systems we all depend on, and understand what we must do to interact responsibly with our environment and safeguard natural resources for future generations. Watch the NAAEE video below to learn mor
Environmental education is good education; EE uses learner-centered instruction, emphasizes critical thinking skills, and is interdisciplinary. Experts at Stanford University systematically analyzed 119 peer-reviewed studies published over a 20-year period that measured the impacts of environmental education for K-12 students. Studies in the review demonstrated that environmental education has led to a number of positive impacts, from improving academic performance, to enhancing critical thinking skills, to developing personal growth and life-building skills including confidence, autonomy, and leadership. In addition, a number of the studies showed that environmental education increased civic engagement and positive environmental behaviors.
The Roots of EE
The Belgrade Charter, (UNESCO, 1976) was developed by a United Nations working group in 1975 and provides a widely accepted goal statement for environmental education. Two years later, in 1977, the world’s rst intergovernmental conference on environmental education adopted the Tbilisi Declaration (UNESCO, 1978). Built on the Belgrade Charter, the declaration established three broad objectives for environmental education. These objectives provide the foundation for much of what has been done in the eld since that time:
The Key Pillars of Environmental
NAAEE Sustainability Diagram
What EE Is
Quality environmental education concentrates on the educational process. It is non-biased and science-based. Environmental educators may consider themselves environmental advocates in their personal lives. However, in their role as environmental educator they must remain neutral; there is no room for personal beliefs to take center stage. It is important for environmental educators to remember which role they are in when working with an audience.
What EE is Not
EE Is not environmental information or advocacy: