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Trading Zones in Environmental Education

Creating Transdisciplinary Dialogue

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Edited By Marianne E. Krasny and Justin Dillon

Environmental educators often adhere to a relatively narrow theoretical paradigm focusing on changing attitudes and knowledge, which are assumed to foster pro-environmental behaviors, which, in turn, leads to better environmental quality. This book takes a different approach to trying to understand how environmental education might influence people, their communities, and the environment. The authors view changing environmental behaviors as a «wicked» problem, that is, a problem that does not readily lend itself to solutions using existing disciplinary approaches. The book as a whole opens up new avenues for pursuing environmental education research and practice and thus expands the conversation around environmental education, behaviors, and quality. Through developing transdisciplinary research questions and conceptual paradigms, this book also suggests new practices beyond those currently used in environmental education, natural resources management, and other environmental fields.
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Chapter 11. Mobility, Power, and Scale in Place-Based Environmental Education: Richard C. Stedman and Nicole M. Ardoin

Introduction

Extract

Chapter 11

Mobility, Power, and Scale in Place-Based Environmental Education

Richard C. Stedman and Nicole M. Ardoin

Sense of place and environmental education are increasingly being brought into orbit with each other, often under the auspices of place-based education. Programs that seek to conjoin the two rest on, but less frequently question, assumptions related to notions of what is meant by the local, especially in the context of the hypermobility that characterizes the late modern age. This chapter illuminates those assumptions through situating the dynamic field of place-based education within the larger sense-of-place literature and articulating a vision of place-based education that is reflexive and poised to respond to some of these key assumptions. We examine the local-to-global continuum as it relates to people’s place connections, and how these connections may be expressed in a highly mobile population. As such, we consider place within the context of the localized and globalized nature of environmental issues and citizenship. We therefore interrogate the potential for transferability of place connections and the processes through which a sense of place develops. We conclude with a statement of research needs and nascent approaches that, if engaged, could help inform a more reflexive and theoretically based implementation of place-based education at ← 231 | 232 → a range of scales, taking into account the challenges and opportunities posed by mobility and the emergence of global environmental problems.

Our experience in interrogating these issues, areas, and core questions—and coalescing them through...

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