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Environmental Education

Environmental education is the study of how natural environments interact with each other and with human-made systems. Like any broad concept, environmental education is not a homogeneous entity, and its focus has shifted through its history depending how environment has been defined. This entry provides an overview of the intersection of environmental education, environmentalism, place-based education, and critical perspectives.

Roots of Mainstream Environmental Education

Environmental education has its early roots in nature studies (the study of the natural world) and field studies (study of history, geography, and biology in the field) in the early to mid-1900s. These perspectives on studying the environment largely included learning in the natural sciences and romanticized notions of the environment as personal experience with nature. As early environmentalists such as Henry David ...

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