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How to plan and implement an environmental education program for a conservation area Lessons from Australia and Borneo Hilary Macleod Queensland University.

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Presentation on theme: "How to plan and implement an environmental education program for a conservation area Lessons from Australia and Borneo Hilary Macleod Queensland University."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to plan and implement an environmental education program for a conservation area Lessons from Australia and Borneo Hilary Macleod Queensland University of Technology, Australia


3 Building on significant opportunities… cnt.aspx?id=20111007000043&cid=1105

4 Setting Environmental Interpretation Environmental Education Environmental Communication

5 Some Definitions and Differences Environmental Communication? “A process by which [environmental] information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs or behaviour”. (Jurin 2010) –Non formal Environmental Education? “…helping students to acquire the understanding, skills and values that will enable them to participate as active and informed citizens…” (Department of Education, Queensland 1993) –Formal Environmental Interpretation? “An educational activity which aims to reveal meanings and relationships through the use of original objects, by firsthand experience, and by illustrative media, rather than simply to communicate factual information.” (Tilden, 1957) –Informal

6 Environmental Communication delivery of information can be one way Delivering a message and raising awareness does not necessarily result in action or change behaviour Simplified process:

7 Dimensions of Environmental Education Learning how to care for our environment involves: understanding concepts about the environment; developing sensitivities through or in the environment; and fostering values that commit us to acting for the environment. Department of Education, Queensland (1993)

8 Principles of Environmental Education Effective EE is (amongst other things)… HOLISTIC (taking ecological, social and personal aspects into account); LIFELONG (for all of us, at any age); MULTIDISCIPLINARY (delivered through a number of subject areas or contexts); EXPERIENTIAL (uses a variety of teaching methods or experiences to deliver the message). Fien (2004)

9 Environmental Interpretation Environmental interpretation involves translating the technical language of a natural science into terms or ideas that people who aren’t scientists can readily understand. Environmental interpretation is a specialised field, which draws on sound educational principles. It stresses the transfer of ideas and relationships rather than facts and figures. It is about making connections and provoking a response.

10 Interpretation helps us engage the non-captive audience Captive audienceNon-captive audience Formal education (e.g. school, training)Non-formal, voluntary (museum, tourist spot) Time commitmentNo time commitment External rewards important e.g. Get qualifications, certificates External rewards not important Must pay attention? Or….?Can move on, leave, ignore, disengage Will accept academic approach?Expect an informal and non-academic approach

11 Interpretation has four essential qualities The interpretive approach builds on principles of education for sustainability by stressing that effective communication of environmental messages ( TORE MODEL): has a T heme (main point or message – the punch line); is O rganised (minimum audience effort for maximum reward, structured); is R elevant (meaningful, personal); and is E ntertaining (pleasurable, fun, visual, interactive). Ham (2013)

12 Some practical tips… Develop text for exhibits based on a maximum average attention span of 45 seconds and an average reading rate of 300 words per minute (= maximum of 225 words per exhibit). Use language that targets an average reading level (Equivalent to age 12) = maximum of 20 words per sentence). Develop a maximum of four main ideas/ themes. Develop Four conceptual levels within the exhibit/ brochure –Level 1:Theme title (which communicates the principle message) –Level 2: Maximum of five main ideas expressed as brief statements –Level 3: Detail of main ideas (e.g. facts) –Level 4: Suggested ways for audience to follow up (e.g. web address, brochures or flyers) Incorporate artistic design elements (e.g. unity, emphasis, balance and colour). Incorporate interactive processes where possible.

13 Setting = Investa Environmental Interpretation Environmental Education Environmental Communication

14 Eden’s Crossing Case Study (Australia) Context: Eden’s Crossing is a master-planned residential community in Brisbane’s high growth Western corridor. Aims: To educate potential purchasers about the environmental and social sustainability features of Eden’s Crossing; and To educate potential purchasers about the environmental, social and economic benefits of investing in Eden’s Crossing. Phases/ components of program: Phase 1: Potential purchasers’ awareness component Phase 2: Use of research findings for furthering the education program Phase 3: Community component (produce quality interpretive materials and programs for potential purchasers and residents). Phase 4: Formal education component (A well designed education and interpretation program that can fulfil two roles: that of communicating to both non-captive and captive audiences). Main theme (Level 1): By living at Eden’s Crossing you are contributing to a community that balances people and nature.

15 Level 2 Themes [Imagine yourself…] Level 3 (detail) …investing in sustainable future. Eden’s Crossing is a key part of the vision for a sustainable South-East Queensland. It is an example of responsible urban and sustainable development. Community title means that you will have a say in the future of your community. Your investment will help contribute to the preservation of the unique features of Eden’s Crossing. …embracing green living. The developers have used unique design to help preserve the natural environment. For example, Eden’s Crossing: Uses reticulated recycled water, Follows the shape of the natural landscape, and Has building covenants that guarantee sustainable housing. At the same time cutting edge technologies provide for contemporary living in a bushland setting. …belonging to the village in the bush. The developers have created an ‘old world’ feeling of community and extended family values with: Areas where children can play safely. ‘Corner shops’ where you can chat with your neighbours A range of community activities such as festivals and celebrations, and Walkways and cycle paths that allow you to escape into the bush At the same time you are connected to the excellent facilities of the surrounding area. …as part of the chain that connects the past to the future. The Eden’s Crossing development is steeped in history. It takes its name from the original pioneer grazing property. It is the site of 50 – 60 million year old fossil beds, and Has evidence of uninterrupted use of the land by Aboriginal people. You will have peace of mind knowing that your investment is helping to preserve this history for future generations.

16 Setting = RIC Environmental Interpretation Environmental Education Environmental Communication

17 Rainforest Interpretation Centre (RIC) Case Study (Borneo) Context: The Rainforest Interpretation Centre (RIC) is a conservation education facility located at the edge of the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve in Sandakan, Sabah (Borneo) Aims: to make people more aware of the rainforest, its importance and the consequences of its destruction to change people's attitude and behaviour towards the rainforest and the environment as a whole. Components: an environmental education component for visiting primary and secondary school groups. an environmental education component for in-service and pre-service teachers and teacher educators. a public awareness and environmental interpretation component which caters for the general public and tourists. Environmental Education Resource Collection. Administration and Training.

18 Public Awareness Component The aim of this component is to produce quality interpretive materials and programs for the public. Specific objectives are: to produce an illustrated Rainforest Trail Guide to continually evaluate and up-date the RIC exhibition to produce brochures and Information sheets on selected topics of forest conservation and management to publicise the RIC and Environmental Education programs to celebrate special events e.g. World Environment Day, World Forestry Day to produce a PR/ information kit on sustainable forest management and the RIC


20 Rainforest Interpretation Centre

21 School Education Component The aim of this component is to plan and conduct programs for environmental education for primary and secondary students using the RIC facilities. Specific objectives are: to develop sample programs (4 programs - lower primary; upper primary; lower secondary; upper secondary) to develop suitable activities for use in the RIC and on the Rainforest Trail to respond to requests for visits from schools to evaluate the programs and activities

22 Teacher Education Component The aim of this component is to train teachers to implement environmental education and enable them to plan and conduct their own environmental education programs at the Rainforest Interpretation Centre. Specific objectives are: to develop a training manual (RIC Teachers’ Guide to Environmental Education) to conduct regular half-day introductory Environmental Education workshops to conduct a week long residential workshop on Environmental Education and sustainable forest management

23 Environmental Education Resource Collection The aim of this component is to establish a resource base for the sustainability of the environmental education program. Specific objectives are: to subscribe to relevant journals and magazines to maintain a network of Environmental Education contact and resource people to establish and maintain an Environmental Education library

24 Administration and Training The aim of this component is to establish procedures for the running of the program: Specific objectives are: to establish booking procedures and forms to establish an Environmental Education Committee (involving local teachers) to keep records of school visits and evaluation to conduct a training program for local counterparts in environmental education and environmental interpretation

25 References Department of Education, Queensland. 1993. P – 12 Environmental Education Curriculum Guide. Fien, J. 2004. Education for sustainability in Gilbert, R. (ed.) Studying Society and Environment: A Guide for Teachers. Thomson Social Science Press: Southbank, Vic. Ham, S. H. 2013. Interpretation: Making a Difference on Purpose. Fulcrum Publishing: Golden, Colorado. Jurin, R. R., Roush, D. & Danter, J. 2010. Environmental Communication: Skills and Principles for Natural Resource Managers, Scientists and Engineers. Springer: Dordrecht. Tilden, F. 1957. Interpreting our Heritage. University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.

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