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Global Environmental Sustainability Education: Place-Based Approach

Global Environmental Sustainability Education: Place-Based Approach

Achieving an improved environment is one of the global concerns today. Environmental sustainability education involves exploring and understanding environmental issues that include its benefits and the need to care and conserve it. This entails comprehending the activities of engagement with the environment, solving environmental problems and implementing measures required to improve the wellness of the environment. Placed-based approach is one of the pedagogy in education that involves outdoor activities to explore and manage sustain environment. This paper presents my reflection on the possibilities and benefits of place-based approach of environmental sustainability education.

Place-based approach to global environmental sustainability education is a possible education method that I believe would be more effective if implemented globally in battle of environmental challenges as well as promoting environmental issues awareness amongst students. I believe this is possible as the evidence if its possibilities and benefits have already been witnessed and experienced in Australia schools (Tooth & Renshaw, 2009). Similarly, the possibility of this approach is also evident in the United Kingdom (UK) where it is seen as a fundamental whilst implementing government initiatives of promoting the well-being of students. I therefore believe it is possible.

It possesses quite a number of benefits to environmental sustainability education stakeholders; teachers, students, as well as the government. Although it can be argued that traveling to a distant environment to explore a different social and cultural environment should be an experience for a student, I believe starting the exploration with an immediate environment (local approach) gives the learners daily awareness of their immediate surroundings. It is also my belief that local based approach of to environmental sustainability education gives the learner opportunity to identify themselves with their social and cultural community, a better reason to get involved in projects and practices that promote conservation of connection of the environment and their culture. Miles (2013) argues in support to this argument stating that local approach of environmental education connects the student with their community.

I also believe that implementing local approach in environmental sustainability education is a potential tool in assisting environmental outcomes of the Aboriginal learner. Participating in outdoor environmental education activities will allow learners to take part in learning activities without the feelings of confinement and restriction within the classroom context. From arguments by Australian Indigenous Education Action Plan (2010) and Queensland Government Department of Education and the Art (2005), it is my belief that local approach will be one of the effective methods to promote education amongst individuals and improve the wellness of our environment through environmental practical projects.

Place-based education can also encourage student s to become environmental carers. My practically studying their local environment and understanding its connection to wellbeing of people around it, they will be able to identify challenges facing the environment; such as pollution and erosion; and participate in practices such as afforestation, reforestation, cleaning, amongst others; to protect and conserve their immediate environment. This will also influence the community member to practically involve in such activities to protect the environment, as supported by Lloyd & Gray (2014). In conclusion, I would say place-based approach in global environmental education is the effective way to promote understanding of environmental education and conservation. If this method can be employed globally, then I believe global environmental sustainability education would be efficient.

Reference List

Australian Indigenous Education Action Plan (2010). Indigenous Education Action Plan Draft 2010-2014. Retrieved 27 Oct 2016 from

Lloyd, A. & Gray, T. (2014). Place-based outdoor learning and environmental sustainability within Australia Primary School. The Journal of Sustainability Education,

Miles, R. (2013). Experiencing sustainability education through place: A case-study from rural- regional Australia. Journal of Sustainability Education. 5.

Tooth, R. & Renshaw, P. (2009). Reflections on pedagogy and place: a journey into learning for sustainability through environmental narrative and deep attentive reflection Australian Journal for Environmental Education.  Retrieved 27 October, 2016, from