Young People and Ecology

The negative effects of climate change, global economic restructuring, and increased urbanization impact young people disproportionally (Bartlett, 2008; Katz, 1994). It is ever more important to support young people’s meaningful participation in community life and sustainable development (Abebe & Kjørholt, 2012; Hart, 1997; Hayward, 2012; Hung, 2009; Jacobs, 2011; LaGreca & Bratspies, 2013; United Nations, 1992; Warwick et al, 2012; Weisenfeld et al., 2002), as well as opportunities to experience the social and psychological benefits of nature (Kahn & Kellert, 2002).

Young people need not travel the world to engage with complex global ecological systems. In fact, the most relevant pedagogical models of environmental education make use of everyday settings in young people’s lives, including urban settings (Hart & Perez, 1981; Krasny et al., 2013; Ward & Fyson, 1973). The charge for future research and practice, then, is to strengthen and develop new models for young people to engage with ecological issues—social, environmental, and economic—in ways that are responsive to a changing and uncertain world (Hart, Fisher & Kimiagar, in press). …

To read more on this topic and see the recommended reading list for this topic by Bijan Kimiagar, click here.

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