Thesis Title

Environmental Education for Sustainability Projects: Inspiring and Facilitating Implementation

Graduation Date

Summer 2010

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form

Print

Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name

Education

Program Director

Madeliene Peters, EdD

Abstract

Our world is faced with a vast array of environmental catastrophes ranging everywhere from climate change, to air and water pollution, to mass extinction of species which all threaten the environment and human existence. As of now, students are not being informed on the sustainability issues, or engaged in the change process at school. Rote memorization occurring in schools does not create critical thinkers that could help make the changes needed for the environment.

The purpose of this study is to present ways in which these topics can be implemented in schools; specifically through local environmental action projects. Previous literature is presented which describes the need for environmental education and education for sustainable development, as well as the background of the movements. An exemplary model project, the STRAW Project, is presented through an interview with the creator of the project and personal observations of the project. The research has shown that when students are taught the skills they need to make a change for the environment and are engaged in environmental project based learning projects, they feel empowered and more ready to make a change. Other benefits and implementation methods are also presented.

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