The most talented environmental educators we know are in the field, conducting place-based programs, collaborating with communities, and using hands-on strategies to make the critical link between environmental awareness, skills building, and informed action. Rarely do these committed professionals have time to keep up on the latest research, whose beneficial findings may enhance the effectiveness of environmental education (EE) programming.
To bridge the gap between research and practice, NatureBridge is partnering with environmental education researchers at Stanford University to create a semiannual EE Research Bulletin. Our goal is to synthesize and summarize recently reported research that may help NatureBridge and environmental educators in other organizations and agencies improve their practice.
In this first volume, we’ve pulled together recent and relevant journal articles that relate to environmental education, with a particular emphasis on field science, stewardship behavior, and residential settings. We reviewed the most recent issues (published at the end of 2010 or the beginning of 2011, depending on each journal’s publication schedule) of the following journals: The Journal of Environmental Education, Environmental Education Research, Applied Environmental Education and Communications, Australian Journal of Environmental Education, Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, Journal of Experiential Education, International Journal of Science Education, Visitor Studies, Journal of Interpretation Research, and the Journal of Environmental Psychology.
Unfortunately, we were not able to include summaries of articles from the Canadian and Australian EE journals in this issue because of access issues, but abstracts of all the recent articles from these two journals, along with all the other journals we reviewed, are in a spreadsheet that you will be able to access through the NatureBridge website.
In addition to providing a summary of the articles, we’ve also provided even shorter “Bottom Line” summaries to make keeping up with the work faster and easier. And we’ve provided citations for each article profiled so you can read it in full.
For this issue, we’ve grouped the articles by topic. These include articles related to teaching methods; assessment and evaluation; influencing environmental behavior; and more. We may organize future issues differently depending on research trends.
Because we are creating this document for you, we’re eager to hear your feedback. Please let us know if there are additional topics or journals you’d like to see covered or if there’s an alternative format that may be helpful. You can send all suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org with a header “EE Research Bulletin.” We’ll take these into account at the beginning of each cycle and try to adapt accordingly. And for another take on these kinds of articles, you may also want to check out the research blog available from the North American Association for Environmental Education (eelinked.naaee.net/n/eeresearch).
We wish you all the best in your important efforts to integrate high-quality research into inspiring practice!
Nicole M. Ardoin
Executive Vice President, NatureBridge