Environmental Learning and Knowledge Building
John Parry, University of Sussex, England
Drawing from personal research over the last two years as well as reviews on theories regarding environmental learning (Dillon, 2003 and Rickinson, 2006) this paper will set out to position knowledge building (Scardamalia et al, 2007) within an overarching education framework for a soon to be constructed centre for the study of local environmental change in a town in southern England. .
At a time when public awareness of environmental change, and the need to adapt, is at an all-time high, but knowledge and behaviour change lag far behind, the challenge for such a centre will be how to inspire, motivate and galvanise people into changing their habits more rapidly. Notionally, this will be achieved through a mix of hands-on experience and the use, or mediation, of information technology both inside and outside a building that will lie at the entrance of a Local Nature Reserve. But how best to do this and what theories can be brought to bear on such an enterprise?
One ingredient will be the encouragement of community knowledge
building and this paper will explore the theoretical context and
accompanying structures and information technology approaches that
underpin such a notion. Drawing on ideas of first hand learning
(Rogoff, 2003); informal learning (Brody and Tomkiewicz, 2002) and
design experiments (Cobb et al, 2003), the paper will attempt to: