Science teachers continue to walk precarious ground when introducing their students to politically hot topics like global warming or evolution, but environmental education can be a key doorway to teaching students to think critically, test hypotheses and consider multiple scientific, social, and practical aspects of solving problems. To address this, the American Educational Research Association has released an international compendium of research on ways to teach environmental education.
The International Handbook of Research on Environmental Education was released this morning, according to a statement by Felice J. Levine, AERA executive director, because "the world is fast realizing how essential it is to expand education and enhance literacy about the environment. This cross-disciplinary volume identifies the scholarship that can and should undergird debate of environmental issues such as climate change, conservation, and sustainability."
The book, which includes research by scholars from 15 countries, was edited by Robert B. Stevenson of the James Cook University in Australia, Michael Brody of Montana State University, Justin Dillon of King's College London, U.K., and Arjen Wals of Wageningen University in The Netherlands. The scholars look at the history of environmental education, ethics in environmental issues, and ways to assess student learning in current environmental issues. The book also discusses how students can conduct their own research and how teachers can address gaps in the curriculum.