Youth Participation in Local Environmental Action: An Avenue for Science and Civic Learning?
This chapter considers environmental action as an avenue for developing young people’s capabilities for democratic participation as scientifically literate citizens. From the literature, we describe parallels between civic education conceptualised as civic engagement and science education approached as inquiry-based learning. We suggest six guiding principles for youth participation in local environmental action: youth as contributors, genuine participation, deliberate action, inquiry, critical reflection, and positive youth development. We illustrate these principles by applying them to local and national environmental programmes in the USA. The engagement of individual youth and the depth of their learning may vary widely even when programmes incorporate the guiding principles. We suggest future research directions around youth experiences, guiding principles, educator practices, participant characteristics, educational setting, impacts on adults and community, and culture. Such research will enhance understanding of environmental action and its contribution to science and civic learning.
Keywords environmental action, youth, participation, science education, civic engagement
KeywordsDoyle Sonal Banner
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Battistoni, R. (2002) Civic Engagement Across the Curriculum: A Resource Book for Service-learning Faculty in All Disciplines. Campus Compact. Providence, RI: Brown University.Google Scholar
- Boyte, H.C., Kari, N.N., Lewis, J., Skelton, N., and O’Donoghue, J. (1999) Creating the Commonwealth. Dayton, OH: Kettering Foundation.Google Scholar
- de Winter, M. (1997) Children and Fellow Citizens: Participation and Commitment. Oxford: Radcliffe Medical Press.Google Scholar
- Dewey, J. (1916) Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education. Toronto, ON: Collier-Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Dryzek, J.S. (1997) The Politics of the Earth: Environmental Discourses. Cambridge: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Eames-Sheavly, M.L. (1999) Children and the Environmental Aspects of Community Development. Project report. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University.Google Scholar
- Eccles, J. and Gootman, J.A. (eds) (2002) Community Programs to Promote Youth Development. Committee on Community-level Programs for Youth, Board on Children, Youth, and Families, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
- Fien, J. (1993) Education for the Environment: Critical Curriculum Theorising and Environmental Education. Geelong, Victoria: Deakin University Press.Google Scholar
- Fischer, F. (2000) Citizens, Experts, and the Environment: The Politics of Local Knowledge. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
- Freire, P. (1973) Education for Critical Consciousness. New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
- Gibson, C. 2001. From Inspiration to Participation: A Review of Perspectives on Youth Civic Engagement. Berkeley, CA: The Grantmaker Forum on Community and National Service.Google Scholar
- Hart, R.A. (1997) Children’s Participation: The Theory and Practice of Involving Young Citizens in Community Development and Environmental Care. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
- Kirlin, M. (2003) The Role of Civic Skills in Fostering Civic Engagement. College Park, MD: CIRCLE (Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement), University of Maryland School of Public Affairs.Google Scholar
- Lederman, N.G. (1998) The state of science education: subject matter without context. Electronic Journal of Science Education, 3, 2. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. http://unr.edu/homepage/jcannon/ejse/lederman.html.
- Melchior, A. and Bailis, L.N. (2003) 2001–2002 Earth Force Evaluation: Programme Implementation and Impacts. Waltham, MA: Center for Youth and Communities, Heller Graduate School, Brandeis University.Google Scholar
- NAAEE (North American Association for Environmental Education) (2004) Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines for Learning (K-12). Washington, DC: NAAEE. http://naaee.org/pages/npeee/learner_guidelines.html.
- NRC (National Research Council) (1996) National Science Education Standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
- Newmann, F.M. (1975) Education for Citizen Action: Challenge for Secondary Curriculum. Berkeley, CA: McCutchan Publishing.Google Scholar
- P/PV (Public/Private Ventures) (2000) Youth Development: Issues, Challenges and Directions. Philadelphia, PA: P/PV.Google Scholar
- Ross, L. and Coleman, M. (2000) Urban youth as community planners and leaders: exploring their potential with Urban Community Action Planning for Teenagers (UCAPT). PLA Notes, 38: 25–28.Google Scholar
- Schnack, K. (1994) Some further comments on the action competence debate. In: Jensen B.B. and Schnack K. (eds), Action and Action Competence as Key Concepts in Critical Pedagogy. Didaktiske studier, Studies in Educational Theory and Curriculum, Volume 12, Copenhagen: Royal Danish School of Educational Studies, pp. 185–190.Google Scholar
- Skelton, N., Boyte, H.C., and Leonard, L.S. (2002) Youth Civic Engagement: Reflections on an Emerging Public Idea. Minneapolis, MN: Center for Democracy and Citizenship, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota.Google Scholar
- Simovska, V. (2000) Exploring student participation within health education and health promoting schools. In: Jensen, B.B., Schnack, K., and Simovska V. (eds), Critical Environmental and Health Education: Research Issues and Challenges. Research Centre for Environmental and Health Education, The Danish University of Education, pp. 29–43.Google Scholar
- Svedbom, J. (1994) Science knowledge–an important part of action competence. In: Jensen B.B. and Schnack K. (eds), Action and Action Competence as Key Concepts in Critical Pedagogy. Didaktiske studier, Studies in Educational Theory and Curriculum, Volume 12, Copenhagen: Royal Danish School of Educational Studies, pp. 59–72.Google Scholar
- Tompkins, L.J. (2005) A case for community-based education: students form partnerships to tackle local environmental issues. The Science Teacher, 72, 4: 34–36.Google Scholar
- Torney-Purta, J., Lehmann, R., Oswald, H., and Schulz, W. (2001) Executive Summary: Citizenship and Education in Twenty-eight Countries: Civic Knowledge and Engagement at Age Fourteen. Amsterdam: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA).Google Scholar
- Youngman, F. (2000) The Political Economy of Adult Education and Development. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
- Zeldin, S. et al. (2000) Youth in Decision-Making: A Study on the Impacts of Youth on Adults and Organizations. National 4-H Council. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin.Google Scholar