Environmental Education : Education For Sustainability Essay

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Environmental Education today must be understood as education for sustainability. The flow information and knowledge caused by Environmental Education have the potential to build a new vision of the world capable of guiding actions towards sustainability.
The history of environmental education can be searched back in the 18th century when Jean Jacques Rousseau stressed the importance of an education that focuses on the environment in Emile: or, On Education. There after several decades later, Louis Agassiz, a Swiss-born naturalist, echoed Rousseau’s philosophy as he encouraged students to “Study nature, not books.” The work of these two influential scholars helped lay the foundation for a concrete environmental education program, known as nature study, which took place in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
The nature study movement used fables and moral lessons to help students develop an appreciation of nature and embrace the natural world. Anna Botsford Comstock, the head of the Department of Nature Study at Cornell University, was a prominent figure in the nature study movement and wrote the Handbook for Nature Study in 1911, which used nature to educate children on cultural values. Comstock and the other leaders of the movement, such as Liberty Hyde Bailey, helped Nature Study garner tremendous amounts of support from community leaders, teachers, and scientists and change the science curriculum for children across the United States.
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