Sustaining Garden Stewardship: Environmental Education in Rural Youth Development Programs Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Mayer, Anthony
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Curriculum in Environment and Ecology
  • To help youth create a viable society and cope with future ecological crises, this qualitative research further develops a practice that I call garden ecopedagogy. I rely on the literature of transformational learning, emerging adulthood, eco-psychology and a post-modern appraisal of environmental education to explore community-based garden education. Using a grounded theory approach, I conducted ten, semi-structured, in-depth interviews with Resourceful Communities—a coalition of grassroots rural development organizations—to answer these questions: How do participants’ worldviews and educational paradigms impact garden education? And, how can these findings inform the design of a garden ecopedagogy curricula? My analysis pointed to an effective experiential teaching strategy which merged instructivist and constructivist theories of learning. I also found that affirming rural priorities and perspectives of nature is vital to environmental education. The youth-directed garden-education programs can help bridge class divides and transform individuals to become assertive, compassionate, and effective adults.
Date of publication
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  • In Copyright
  • White, Peter
  • Sherk, Julia
  • Dickinson, Elizabeth
  • Master of Science
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2017

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