In this important intervention, change-agent Marianne E. Krasny challenges the knowledge-attitudes-behaviour pathway that underpins much of environmental education practice; i.e., the assumption that environmental knowledge and attitudes lead to environmental behaviours. Krasny shows that certain types of knowledge are more likely than others to influence behaviours and that generally it is more effective to work with existing attitudes than to try to change them. The chapters expand the purview of potential outcomes of environmental education beyond knowledge and attitudes to include nature connectedness, sense of place, efficacy, identity, norms, social capital, youth assets, and individual wellbeing.
Advancing Environmental Education Practice also shows how, by constructing theories of change for their environmental education programs, environmental educators can target specific intermediate outcomes likely to lead to environmental behaviours and collective action, and plan activities to achieve those intermediate outcomes. In some cases, directly engaging program participants in the desired behaviour or collective action can lead to changes in efficacy, sense of place, and other intermediate outcomes, which in turn foster future environmental actions. Finally, Advancing Environmental Education Practice shares twenty-four surveys that assess changes in environmental behaviours and intermediate outcomes, and provides guidelines for qualitative evaluations.
Thanks to generous funding from the Cornell Department of Natural Resources, the ebook editions of Advancing Environmental Education Practice are available as Open Access volumes from Cornell Open (cornellopen.org) and other Open Access repositories.
Marianne E. Krasny is a professor of Natural Resources and Director of the Civic Ecology Lab at Cornell University. Her recent publications include Civic Ecology, Urban Environmental Education Review, Communicating Climate Change, and Grassroots to Global.
"I believe Advancing Environmental Education Practices makes a significant contribution to the field and can be a useful resource for EE practitioners to gain understanding of psychological theories and related applications to their work."
– Cathlyn Stylinski, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Appalachian Laboratory
"I'm really glad someone is writing this book, as I think it will be useful for practitioners looking to evaluate their programs or just understand (or construct!) a theory of change for their organizations."
– Kathryn Stevenson, North Carolina State University