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School Partnerships


Knowlton Cockett, PL and Dyment, JE and Espinet, M and Huang, Y, School Partnerships, Urban Environmental Education Review, Cornell University Press, A Russ, ME Krasny (ed), USA, pp. 133-143. ISBN 9781501707759 (2017) [Other Book Chapter]

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Urban schools - any public, private, or charter school delivering formal primary or secondary education - are key institutions in shaping vibrant and sustainable cities. Imagining such cities depends on the assumptions and ideologies of those involved in the transformation of urban sites and on moving beyond perceiving urban schools as problematic institutions (Pink and Noblit, 2007). Globally, a steady process of urbanization results from migration from rural and conflict areas. This trend points to the urgent need to develop programs-including envi­ronmental education-that target schools as pivotal in serving diverse, translo­cated, and often marginalized students. Such urban environmental education can also empower those who live in challenging circumstances to work together to improve social-ecological well-being and foster "citizens that are informed and motivated to live more sustainably, be responsible stewards of the environment, and help ensure future generations' quality of life" (Alberta Council for Environmental Education, 2015).

A variety of programs that encourage student engagement in environmental initiatives have supported schools worldwide. Two foremost international initiatives are the Eco-Schools program established in Europe in 1992 and the Green Schools Alliance introduced in the United States in 2007. They provide environmental education programs and environmental management systems for school facilities and grounds, and they award schemes that promote and acknowledge actions for the environment and transitioning toward sustainability. Further, United Nations Agenda 21 acknowledges local jurisdictions as being best positioned to tailor programs to the individual needs of schools and communities.

In this chapter we build on the definition of urban environmental education as "any environmental education that occurs in cities" (Russ and Krasny, 2015, p. 12) by acknowledging the importance of overarching curricular goals set by formal educational institutions. The following sections present "socioecological refrains" adapted from Knowlton Cockett (2013), which incorporate stewardship, pedagogy, interrelationships, and heritage and which highlight the role schools can play in shaping sustainable cities through urban environmental education. These refrains promote a connectedness to place through ( 1) the use of the local environment to stimulate learning, (2) the development of curricula and pedagogies that embrace the development of sustainable cities, and (3) the establishment of links with the community to foster relationships, stewardship, and resiliency. Case studies from Canada, Australia, China, and Spain illustrate these refrains, as well as show how schools are engaged more broadly in green school initiatives.

Item Details

Item Type:Other Book Chapter
Keywords:urban environmental education
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Other education
Research Field:Other education not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other education and training
Objective Field:Other education and training not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Dyment, JE (Associate Professor Janet Dyment)
ID Code:121715
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2017-10-12
Last Modified:2019-09-20

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