Ecological Literacy: the 'missing paradigm' in environmental education (part one)

Amy Cutter-Mackenzie, Richard Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    88 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Environmental educators often maintain that primary school education should endeavour to improve and protect the environment through producing an 'environmentally informed, committed and active citizenry', yet existing research shows that the implementation of environmental education in primary schools is problematic and has had limited success. The reasons for these shortcomings are far from clear, with present research merely speculating about barriers to effective implementation. To this extent, there is a dearth of empirical research about primary school teachers' knowledge of environmental education and the degree to which teachers' knowledge inhibits environmental education practice. As such, this article investigates Australian primary school teachers' knowledge about environmental education, and in so doing utilises a combined-methods approach and the theoretical concept of 'ecological literacy' (eco-literacy) to assess primary school teachers' knowledge (and beliefs) about environmental education. Based upon the findings of this study, we contend that Australian (specifically Queensland) primary school teachers are likely to be functioning at a 'knowledge' level of ecological illiteracy and/or nominal ecological literacy. Furthermore, such primary school teachers tend to dismiss the importance of knowledge, preferring to focus upon attitudes and values in the teaching of environmental education. As shown in existing research, these trends can be placed in wider theoretical debates to do with knowledge and education generally. In any case, such levels of ecological literacy are inadequate if ecologically literate students and thus an ecologically literate citizenry are to be achieved within schools.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)497-524
    Number of pages28
    JournalEnvironmental Education Research
    Volume9
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Fingerprint

    environmental education
    primary school teacher
    literacy
    paradigm
    primary school
    illiteracy
    level of knowledge
    school education
    empirical research
    educator
    trend
    Teaching
    teacher
    school
    Values
    education
    student

    Cite this

    Cutter-Mackenzie, Amy ; Smith, Richard. / Ecological Literacy : the 'missing paradigm' in environmental education (part one). In: Environmental Education Research. 2003 ; Vol. 9, No. 4. pp. 497-524.
    @article{9e3e3ad9a3af45aba7f792f623b34dac,
    title = "Ecological Literacy: the 'missing paradigm' in environmental education (part one)",
    abstract = "Environmental educators often maintain that primary school education should endeavour to improve and protect the environment through producing an 'environmentally informed, committed and active citizenry', yet existing research shows that the implementation of environmental education in primary schools is problematic and has had limited success. The reasons for these shortcomings are far from clear, with present research merely speculating about barriers to effective implementation. To this extent, there is a dearth of empirical research about primary school teachers' knowledge of environmental education and the degree to which teachers' knowledge inhibits environmental education practice. As such, this article investigates Australian primary school teachers' knowledge about environmental education, and in so doing utilises a combined-methods approach and the theoretical concept of 'ecological literacy' (eco-literacy) to assess primary school teachers' knowledge (and beliefs) about environmental education. Based upon the findings of this study, we contend that Australian (specifically Queensland) primary school teachers are likely to be functioning at a 'knowledge' level of ecological illiteracy and/or nominal ecological literacy. Furthermore, such primary school teachers tend to dismiss the importance of knowledge, preferring to focus upon attitudes and values in the teaching of environmental education. As shown in existing research, these trends can be placed in wider theoretical debates to do with knowledge and education generally. In any case, such levels of ecological literacy are inadequate if ecologically literate students and thus an ecologically literate citizenry are to be achieved within schools.",
    author = "Amy Cutter-Mackenzie and Richard Smith",
    note = "Imported on 12 Apr 2017 - DigiTool details were: Journal title (773t) = Environmental Education Research. ISSNs: 1350-4622;",
    year = "2003",
    doi = "10.1080/1350462032000126131",
    language = "English",
    volume = "9",
    pages = "497--524",
    journal = "Environmental Education Research",
    issn = "1350-4622",
    publisher = "Carfax Publishing Ltd.",
    number = "4",

    }

    Ecological Literacy : the 'missing paradigm' in environmental education (part one). / Cutter-Mackenzie, Amy; Smith, Richard.

    In: Environmental Education Research, Vol. 9, No. 4, 2003, p. 497-524.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Ecological Literacy

    T2 - the 'missing paradigm' in environmental education (part one)

    AU - Cutter-Mackenzie, Amy

    AU - Smith, Richard

    N1 - Imported on 12 Apr 2017 - DigiTool details were: Journal title (773t) = Environmental Education Research. ISSNs: 1350-4622;

    PY - 2003

    Y1 - 2003

    N2 - Environmental educators often maintain that primary school education should endeavour to improve and protect the environment through producing an 'environmentally informed, committed and active citizenry', yet existing research shows that the implementation of environmental education in primary schools is problematic and has had limited success. The reasons for these shortcomings are far from clear, with present research merely speculating about barriers to effective implementation. To this extent, there is a dearth of empirical research about primary school teachers' knowledge of environmental education and the degree to which teachers' knowledge inhibits environmental education practice. As such, this article investigates Australian primary school teachers' knowledge about environmental education, and in so doing utilises a combined-methods approach and the theoretical concept of 'ecological literacy' (eco-literacy) to assess primary school teachers' knowledge (and beliefs) about environmental education. Based upon the findings of this study, we contend that Australian (specifically Queensland) primary school teachers are likely to be functioning at a 'knowledge' level of ecological illiteracy and/or nominal ecological literacy. Furthermore, such primary school teachers tend to dismiss the importance of knowledge, preferring to focus upon attitudes and values in the teaching of environmental education. As shown in existing research, these trends can be placed in wider theoretical debates to do with knowledge and education generally. In any case, such levels of ecological literacy are inadequate if ecologically literate students and thus an ecologically literate citizenry are to be achieved within schools.

    AB - Environmental educators often maintain that primary school education should endeavour to improve and protect the environment through producing an 'environmentally informed, committed and active citizenry', yet existing research shows that the implementation of environmental education in primary schools is problematic and has had limited success. The reasons for these shortcomings are far from clear, with present research merely speculating about barriers to effective implementation. To this extent, there is a dearth of empirical research about primary school teachers' knowledge of environmental education and the degree to which teachers' knowledge inhibits environmental education practice. As such, this article investigates Australian primary school teachers' knowledge about environmental education, and in so doing utilises a combined-methods approach and the theoretical concept of 'ecological literacy' (eco-literacy) to assess primary school teachers' knowledge (and beliefs) about environmental education. Based upon the findings of this study, we contend that Australian (specifically Queensland) primary school teachers are likely to be functioning at a 'knowledge' level of ecological illiteracy and/or nominal ecological literacy. Furthermore, such primary school teachers tend to dismiss the importance of knowledge, preferring to focus upon attitudes and values in the teaching of environmental education. As shown in existing research, these trends can be placed in wider theoretical debates to do with knowledge and education generally. In any case, such levels of ecological literacy are inadequate if ecologically literate students and thus an ecologically literate citizenry are to be achieved within schools.

    U2 - 10.1080/1350462032000126131

    DO - 10.1080/1350462032000126131

    M3 - Article

    VL - 9

    SP - 497

    EP - 524

    JO - Environmental Education Research

    JF - Environmental Education Research

    SN - 1350-4622

    IS - 4

    ER -