Eco-Art Education in North America

By Katherine Lee

Table of Contents                                                                                                     

1.  Introduction

2.  Background

3. Case Studies of Eco-Art Education in North America 

4. The Influence of Eco-Artists on Art Education in North America 

5. Conclusion

6. References

7. About the Author

1.  Introduction

This entry aims to shed light on how eco-art education in North America can support students’ ecological literacy and develop awareness in environmental, social, cultural, political, and economic issues through art making. An analysis of the background of eco-art education, including its definition, history, and a variety of theoretical and pedagogical perspectives, will be provided in detail. Next, case studies from elementary and high school demonstrating eco-art’s positive effects on the development of students’ ecological literacy will be discussed. Lastly, the influence of eco-artists on art education in raising awareness about nature, community, and culture, within the context of students’ lives and their contributions to environmental sustainability, will be examined.

2. Background

Eco-art education, also known as environmental art education or ecological art education, can be defined as an integration between art education and environmental education, ‘as a means of developing awareness of and engagement with concepts such as interdependence, biodiversity, conservation, restoration and sustainability’ (Inwood, 2010, p. 2).  Eco-art education provides an original way of promoting ecological literacy and the fundamentals of environmental education through the established origins of environmental education (endowed in the ‘cognitive, positivist approach of science education’), combined with the artistic, affective, and visual methods of art education (Inwood, 2008, p. 58). 

The effect of humanity’s impact on the climate and its consequences such as global warming, pollution, environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity, and over-population constitute threatening and alarming issues that are difficult for the world to ignore. Eco-art education was born and developed precisely as a response to these environmental issues. Dynamic artists such as Hans Haacke and Brian Jungen have been instrumental to the creation of this movement in the last four decades (Inwood, 2013). Literature on the discussions and exploration of the emerging field of eco-art education in North America as a response to environmental degradation can also be traced back to the last four decades (Blandy and Hoffmann, 1993; Gablik, 1991; Neperud, 1973). The greater part of literature in this field is devoted to theoretical perspectives supporting the need for eco-art education and to pedagogical perspectives outlining methods of teaching this field in the classroom. Inwood (2005, 2010) laments the fact that very few applied studies have been carried out in this field and that explorations of educators’ perspectives on the implementation of eco-art education and the establishment of curricula and development at elementary and secondary school levels are also absent. 

Inwood (2005) states that the most convincing arguments about the need for eco-art education that emerged in the last decade are aligned with changes in the area of art education, ‘calling for a higher degree of social relevance for art education programs’ (p. 43). Several scholars have referenced Gablik’s (1991) work on connective aesthetics as having played an important role in the development of eco-art education. Gablik criticizes modernist art as being autonomous, unassociated, and focusing on individual creativity, which caters to a capitalistic and utilitarian society. Gablik (1991) argues that art should instead be focused on discourse, partnership, and interconnection. By linking art to everyday life, creative methods of targeting society’s social and environmental issues could become a vehicle for making positive social changes and raising awareness through the engagement of the public eye (Gablik, 1991). Blandy and Hoffman (1993), two art educators, concur with Gablik’s perspective and suggest that art should be seen as ‘a means to engage individuals in social and political issues in ways that empower them, create alliances and establish community’ (p. 29). From a pedagogical perspective, Hollis (1997) emphasizes the necessity for ‘an art curriculum that deals with ecological issues which can empower students with the understanding that they, as creative individuals, can have an active voice in protecting their environment and changing current devastating ecological trends’ (p. 21). 

The ideas proposed in the 1980’s and 1990’s that were discussed above have encouraged a discussion on suitable methods.Blandy and Hoffman (1993) suggest a bioregional perspective, where a shared appreciation of local identity is redeveloped by means of critical awareness and consideration of the unification of ecological communities, supporting an understanding of ‘the interdependence and interconnectedness of all things’ (p. 28). Garoian (1998) put forth a pedagogy for eco-art education ‘whose curricular metaphors are based on empathy, compassion and caring for the land’, and which ‘recognizes the community-based experiences of students as a complement to that of the teacher’s curriculum’ (p. 260). He states that art students are able to present a variety of environmental outlooks which symbolize their involvement with human and nonhuman societies.   

Alternative eco-art education pedagogies, specifically critical place-based pedagogies in art education, have stemmed from environmental education. Bowers (2001) argues that the lack of significant environmental education can be seen in American schools due to the preference for standardized and high stakes testing, which have led to a disregard for the importance of the ecological and the local. Place-based education is a reaction to systematic pedagogy that ignores events of ecological importance and local human citizenries (Graham, 2007).  Graham (2007) continues that ‘by connecting learning to real-world experiences, students can construct meaningful connections among cultural, political and social issues’ (p. 377).  

However, Gruenewald (2003) points to a problem in place-based education in which the latter emphasizes ecological and rural conditions but ignores components such as politics, disparity, and socio-cultural divergences which also play a role in environmental deterioration. Bowers (2001) claims that equally as troublesome is the disregard of ecological issues in local communities and cultures, which are vital for the natural world to survive in the scheme of critical theory. As a solution to such issues Graham (2007) proposes a critical pedagogy of place that considers the interconnections of ecological, social, cultural, economic, and political problems and provides opportunities for students to think critically and connect art and learning as a reaction to issues in ecology, nature, place and culture within their own lives and their local communities. Graham finds that art education shaped by critical place-based pedagogy questions the traditional forms of art and its limits capturing students in ‘reflective and transformative learning’ (p. 388). Critical place-based pedagogy can stimulate people’s curiosity about their environment, a consciousness about the cultural and social influences which endanger them and encourage them to make a change (Graham, 2007).   

3. Case Studies of Eco-Art Education in North America

Inwood’s case study, Cultivating Artistic Approaches to Environmental Learning: Exploring Eco-Art Education in Elementary Classrooms (2013)analyses four elementary teachers’ experiments with the design and implementation of curriculum and pedagogy of eco-art education across four different schools in Toronto, Canada. The study was conducted based on the belief that eco-art education could help develop students’ ecological literacy and awareness in environmental issues through cross-curricular learning.  Inwood (2013) reports that the team of teachers acknowledged the powerful ability of eco-art education in reinforcing students’ relationships with their own place. The teachers also agreed that the definition of eco-art education which focused on raising awareness of ‘human’s relationships with and/or impact on the earth’ rather than on the materials and methods used was more effective (Inwood, 2013, p. 137). Inwood (2013) highlighted one teacher’s reasoning about eco-art education: art is all art that conveys a respect for the earth, for our natural environment, the interconnectedness of our eco systems, and the importance of ecological literacy... I think the bottom line for me was always respect. And the kids got that very strong message — respect for self, respect for others, respect for community, respect for the world, respect for everything in it (p.137). 

Another case study was conducted with secondary students in an American high school in Virginia by Taylor, an art educator. In her article, It All Started with the Trash: Taking Steps toward Sustainable Art Education (1997),she highlights her attempts in developing students’ ecological literacy through emphasizing the environmental issue of trash, studying a variety of relevant artist studies and focusing discussion and work on community collaboration and stewardship. In one example, students had to work collaboratively in creating earthworks, products of an art movement which emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, often using natural materials from the earth and being site-specific. Students created earthworks as a reaction to the immense amount of trash humans created that were harming the earth. These were then formulated outside the school in which they participated actively in listening, communal thinking, carefully choosing their medium, and then disclosing their knowledge of the genuine problem - themselves. Taylor (1997) writes that during these episodes, students appeared to be more aware of the materials they utilized, as they made sure to use items that would not harm the earth. As artworks were gradually deteriorating in time, students became more conscious of the environmental issues that existed in the community through relevant artist studies, the carefully chosen eco-friendly materials used and the realization of the amount of trash that was produced in the art room itself day to day. One student claimed ‘I never really thought about that much meaning in art before. It makes it more meaningful, you know?’ (Taylor 1997, p. 18). 

4. The Influence of Eco-Artists on Art Education in North America

Since the 1960s, artists from all realms of the arts in North America have not only been producing art to raise environmental awareness but have also been using art as a means of producing innovative and sustainable answers to environmental challenges in societies (Inwood, 2010). Gablik (1991) argues that the importance of individualism in contemporary aesthetics and the disconnect of art from the living creates a disengaged audience. She highlights the significance of artworks for promoting environmental issues and raising awareness and involvement amongst citizens. Graham (2007) builds on Gablik’s argument and states that the work of eco-artists breaks presumptions about our connection with the natural environment and advocates art as a vehicle for ‘interdisciplinary connections and active involvement in environmental restoration’ (p. 380). He states that introducing students to these kinds of artworks and ideas allows them to integrate crucial issues of society, politics and domination within the local context of their lives through the connection of art education. Anderson (2000) asserts that eco-artists view creating art as a community-based execution, which enhances ecological accountability and advocates community restoration.  

5.  Conclusion

Eco-art education as an emerging field of environmental education and art education in North America can support students’ ecological literacy and develop awareness in environmental, social, cultural, political and economic issues through art making. The demand for the interconnection between art and science by educators, critics and curators has been the grounds for the development of several theoretical perspectives on eco-art education in North America, along with the influence of eco-artists, dating back a few decades. Gablik’s (1991) work on connective aesthetics played an important role in the development of eco-art education. Pedagogical perspectives which derived from theoretical standpoints on eco-art education then evolved, specifically critical place-based pedagogies. Critical place-based pedagogies in arts education allow students to develop critical thinking skills and connect art and learning as a reaction to issues in ecology, nature, place and culture, within their own lives and communities (Graham, 2007). 

The two case studies at the elementary and high school level in Canada and the US were presented to show that the implementation of eco-art education can help develop students’ ecological literacy and awareness of social, cultural, political, economic and environmental issues. The influence of eco-artists on art education was also examined and proven to have a positive effect on raising students’ awareness of interdisciplinary issues and understanding art as community-based (Anderson, 2000; Gablik, 1991), and as an example of the ‘interdependence and interconnectedness of all things’ (Blandy and Hoffman, 1993). Most of the literature in the field is focused on theoretical and pedagogical perspectives, and further research needs to be done in understanding the perceptions of educators in implementing eco-art education curricula and pedagogy at elementary and secondary school levels (Inwood 2005, 2010).

6.  References

Anderson, H. (2000). A River Runs through It: Art Education and a River Environment. Art Education,53(6), 13-18.

Blandy, D., & Hoffman, E. (1993). Toward an Art Education of Place. Studies in Art Education,35(1), 22-33. doi:10.2307/1320835

Bowers, C. (2001). Educating for Eco-Justice and Community. Athens/London: University of Georgia Press.

Gablik, S. (1991). The Reenchantment of Art. New York, N.Y.: Thames and Hudson.

Garoian, Charles R. (1998). Art Education and the Aesthetics of Land Use in the Age of Ecology. Studies in Art Education,39(3), 244-61.

Graham, M. A. (2007). Art, Ecology and Art Education: Locating Art Education in a Critical Place-Based Pedagogy. Studies in Art Education: A Journal of Issues and Research in Art Education,48(4), 375-391.

Gruenewald, D. (2003). The Best of Both Worlds: A Critical Pedagogy of Place. Educational Researcher,32(4), 3-12.

Hollis, C. L. (1997). On Developing an Art and Ecology Curriculum. Art Education,50(6), 21-24.

Inwood, H. (2005). Investigating Educators' Attitudes Toward Eco-Art Education. Canadian Review of Art Education: Research & Issues32(1).

Inwood, H. (2008). Mapping Eco-Art Education. Canadian Review of Art Education: Research and Issues35, 57-73.

Inwood, H. (2010). Shades of Green: Growing Environmentalism through Art Education. Art Education63(6), 33-38.

Inwood, H. J. (2013). Cultivating Artistic Approaches to Environmental Learning: Exploring Eco-Art Education in Elementary Classrooms. International Electronic Journal of Environmental Education3(2), 129-145.

Neperud, R. (1973). Art Education: Towards an Environmental Aesthetic. Art Education,26(3), 7-10.

Neperud, R. W. (1997). Art, Ecology, and Art Education: Practices and Linkages. Art Education,50(6), 14-20.

Taylor, P. G. (1997). It all Started with the Trash: Taking Steps toward Sustainable Art Education. Art education50(2), 13-18.

 7. About the Author

 Katherine Lee

MEd, The University of Hong Kong 



Enhancing Education for Sustainable Development at Hong Kong Wetland Park

By Anonymous

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Education for Sustainable Development

3. Hong Kong Wetland Park

4. Challenges to Promoting ESD in HKWP

5. Recommendations for Teachers and HKWP

6. Concluding Remarks

7. References

8. Key Terms and Definitions

9. About the Author

1. Introduction

The Hong Kong Wetland Park (HKWP) displays biodiversity of the local wetland ecosystem to raise public awareness about wetland conservation and environment protection. The government considers HKWP as a facility for ecotourism, conservation, and education. The Park has a significant influence on environmental education, delivering over 700 guided tours to about 170,000 students just in 2014-2015 alone (HKWP, 2016a). This aim of this entry is to review some of the HKWP’s facilities from the angle of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) using Vare and Scott’s (2007) framework about teaching knowledge (ESD1) and skills (ESD2) in ESD.  The entry then argues that teachers’ adaptation of existing educational resources and HKWP’s advancement are crucial to harness the Park’s ESD potential to encourage social awareness, lifelong learning, and personal responsibility.

2. Education for Sustainable Development

The UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.7 indicates that countries should ‘ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development’ (United Nations (UN), 2016a). Education is ‘indispensable to changing people’s attitudes so that they have the capacity to assess and address their sustainable development concerns’ (UN, 1993, Chapter 36). On this front, HKWP provides informal environmental education through engaging visitors in activities, with the following educational objectives (HKWP, 2016f):

  • to demonstrate the diversity of Hong Kong's wetland ecosystem and highlight the need to conserve it; and
  • to provide opportunities for education and public awareness.

In the formal education context, the Education Bureau (EDB) suggests schools develop ESD in three aspects: “awareness”, “action” and “attitudes” (EDB, 2010, p.2). “Awareness” concerns learners’ knowledge and skills of the environment. “Action” refers to the educational processes where learners make contact with nature. “Attitudes” involve the ‘values and judgement that affect behaviour’ (Curriculum Development Council (CDC), 1999, p.4). Site visit is a popular informal educational activity which complements formal learning about the three aspects (Guevara, 2009; CDC, 1999), and HKWP can thus supplement formal education with its habitats and educational resources (Guevara, 2009). Although not stated, HKWP's objectives and EDB's notion both contribute to SDGs 13 and 15, which aim for an improved awareness about and subsequent conservation actions for climate change, natural habitats, biodiversity as well as land and water ecosystems (UN, 2016b, 2016c). HKWP’s contribution to formal education and SDGs could be enhanced through implementing ESD with a more holistic view that does not only recognise “prescribed knowledge” (Sterling, 2004, p. 70) but also treasures what each learner ‘bring[s] to the learning experience’ (p. 70) such as rethinking and challenging existing social structures, educational values and public policies. 

Similarly, Vare and Scott (2007) observed that policymakers and government departments tend to focus on expert knowledge and prescribed actions instead of the need to promote learning as an outcome itself to achieve sustainability. To redress the balance, they suggest an ESD framework with two complementary approaches, ESD1 and ESD2. ESD1 promotes behavourial and cognitive changes informed by expert knowledge among the non-expert public for clearly defined sustainable issues (Vare & Scott, 2007). It considers learning as a means to acquire necessary knowledge and abilities to achieve sustainable development – learning for sustainable development (Vare & Scott, 2007). ESD2 promotes critical thinking about expert knowledge, and examining the ideas and contradictions relating to sustainable development (Vare & Scott, 2007). It considers learning an outcome in order to cope with the perpetually changing society and environment – learning as sustainable development (Vare & Scott, 2007). ESD1 and ESD2 are complementary to each other not only for promoting normative actions but also critically analysing and negotiating such actions. ESD1 combined with ESD2 could promotes open-end and lifelong learning in addition to prescribed knowledge and practical skills (Hopkins & McKeown, 2002).

3. Hong Kong Wetland Park

HKWP comprises a 10 ,00m2 visitor centre and a 60-hectare Wetland Reserve (the floor plan of Visitor Centre is at Figure 1 and the map of Wetland Reserve at Figure 2), and provides a diversity of educational programmes for different target groups.

Figure 1  Floor plan of Visitor Centre (HKWP, 2016c)

Figure 1 Floor plan of Visitor Centre (HKWP, 2016c)

Figure 2  Map of Wetland Reserve (HKWP, 2016d)

Figure 2 Map of Wetland Reserve (HKWP, 2016d)

The Wetland Reserve mainly includes habitats for waterbirds, such as mangroves, waterstreams and fishponds, with numerous walking paths and educational signage for visitors' access. The Visitor Centre includes themed exhibition galleries. Examples of HKWP’s educational facilities are (HKWP, 2016b, 2016h):

  • Wetlands at Work - the living fields display the origins of common agricultural products in daily life;
  • Stream Walk - it demonstrates a re-created stream habitat with an upland stream, middle reaches and an open water, with signs, specimen and replicas which introduce the local wildlife;
  • Mangrove Boardwalk - visitors can walk on floating boards to take a close look at the plants and animals inhabiting the mangroves, with introductory signs nearby;
  • Human Culture Gallery - visitors could play interactive games on-screen, watch videos and view exhibition displays to discover how wetland and natural resources are depicted and used in different cultures; and
  • Wetland Challenge Gallery - visitors could join a make-believe television centre that explores issues on wetland conservation along an imaginary river, discovering environmental threats due to human activities in the role of a reporter.

HKWP also provides educational programmes targeting students, teachers, and the general public. According to HKWP’s (2016e) website, visitors could “learn about the knowledge on wetlands in a vivid way, and appreciate the beauty of different wetland wildlife” (para. 1) through the activities and teaching resources also available online. On-site programmes include public lectures, guided visits, park ranger training, and teachers’ workshops while out-reach programmes include educational talks and lending educational display panels to schools (HKWP, 2016e). The types of programmes and their objectives are summarised in Table 1 (HKWP, 2016e).

Screenshot (419).png
Screenshot (420).png
Table 1  Educational Programmes at HKWP

Table 1 Educational Programmes at HKWP

4. Challenges to Promoting ESD in HKWP

To borrow from the Audit Commission’s (2011) words, HKWP might have conflicting practices ‘as a conservation, education and tourism facility’ (p.11), where the facilities may not be consistent with the knowledge and notions it promotes in terms of ESD1. One example is the vending machines advertising and selling bottled drinks while the exhibitions in the Visitor Centre emphasise the harm caused by relying on such products. Furthermore, most electronic displays and spotlights in the exhibitions function and use power even when there are no visitors viewing them, in contradiction to the Wetland Challenge Gallery focus on wetland conservation and reducing electricity use. Learners could be confused by the hidden assumptions demonstrated through such conflicting practices.

Furthermore, most exhibitions and educational programmes follow a limited, ESD1 approach, which presents scientific knowledge and technical solutions and actions to be pursued by individuals (Sterling, 2004; Vare & Scott, 2007). For example, the “Too Much from the Wild” section in Wetland Challenge Gallery displays various household products that exploit wetland resources and asks learners to change their daily behaviours (HKWP, 2016g). Such an arrangement might ignore other important human factors, however, such as ‘quality of life’ or ‘social need’ concerns (Robottom, 1983, p. 29). After all, sustainability cannot be achieved only through environment protection, as it is intertwined with other domains such as social justice, cultural diversity, and economic viability (UNESCO, 2014). Besides, while personal choices might make a difference to the existing environmental problems, they should not be reduced to only personal responsibility (Maniates, 2001). Exhibitions and programmes with ESD2 elements would enable learners to critically reflect on the knowledge and recommendations HKWP promotes and ‘make sound choices in the face of the inherent complexity and uncertainty of the future’ (Vare & Scott, 2007, p. 194).

Most educational programmes and Park facilities engage learners through observation and listening - learners are expected to consume knowledge about the environment. However, learners also need to go beyond the roles of bystanders and receivers of environmental knowledge to develop respect for and reflection on human life’s influence and interaction with nature (Fien, 1993). After all, they should not have the “out of sight, out of mind” attitude towards the environment after leaving HKWP. Fundamentally, a more engaging experience could harness the “action” and “attitudes” aspects suggested by EDB (2010) and serve as a foreground for reflecting on environment-related issues such as politics and economy (Gruenewald, 2003). In this connection, new initatives with ESD2 elements should enable learners ‘to continue learning after they leave school’ (Hopkins & McKeown, 2002, p.19), motivating a kind of lifelong learning that ‘involves issues that affect all, both young and old, … throughout life’ (Trorey, Cullingford, & Cooper, 1999, p. 195).

5. Recommendations for Teachers and HKWP

First, HKWP could organise regular inventory and exchange sessions such as meetings between learners and the Park management for discussion on the Park’s facilities and programmes which are related to the ESD1 knowledge and values. Learners could have the opportunities ‘to think critically and feel empowered to take responsibility’ (Vare & Scott, 2007, p. 194) through reviewing the elements of ESD1 in HKWP.  Furthermore, they could develop social and political literacy through discussing the practical limitations with the staff and even lobbying for recommendations, which are crucial elements for ESD2 (Trorey et al., 1999). HKWP could also encourage reflection on ‘what the sustainability lobby and government are telling [learners] to do’ (Vare & Scott, 2007, p. 196).

Second, to engage learners in long-term environment protection, HKWP could enhance its educational programmes with civic ecology practices requiring commitment of participants, advocacy, and social interaction, treating learning as an active process (Hogan, 2002; Boullion & Gomez, 2001). HKWP could allow more visitors to participate in the farming and maintenance work, for example, so that visitors taking the role of farmers and park rangers could reflect on the dilemmas in sustainable living and try innovative solutions (Beltram, Gerjevic, & Kebe, 2009; Vare & Scott, 2007), such as selecting pesticides and removing invasive species (Krasny, Lundholm, Shava, Lee, & Kobori, 2013). Aligned with social learning, structured educational activities where experienced staff and novice learners interact in a community of practice could provide scaffolding for learners to grow from ‘an observer … to a full or skilled participant’ (Krasny et al., 2013, p. 642). Such skilled participants then could make informed choices and innovations through recognising personal responsibility and necessary risks (Elliot, 1998).

HKWP and schools could more generally cooperate to enhance a volunteer programme to promote lifelong and life-wide responsibilities at different levels. ‘[ESD] brings together all the learning that a person does throughout life, in both formal and informal settings’ (Clarke, 2012, p. 34) and ‘volunteering and community involvement are … necessary’ (Trorey et al., 1999, p. 202). While participants receive professional training at HKWP, schools could provide such ESD2 experiences as debating and organising recycling and other ecological campaigns and activities in neighbourhoods, considering that ‘school grounds are … an excellent starting point’ (Trorey et al., 1999, 208) for nurturing lifelong commitment to environmental protection and recognition of citizenship.

6. Concluding Remarks

This entry serves to elaborate some possible pathways for enhancing both ESD1 and ESD2 through the HKWP. These recommendations may meet with some practical and technical barriers, however, as HKWP may need a culture of change in its established practices and staff literacy about ESD (Gough & Scott, 2001). Teachers of a particular subject may also be challenged by new initiatives which require collaboration across various subjects (Gough & Scott, 2001). While there is no universal solution for all, as Trorey et al. (1999) put it, the success of ESD lies ‘in the nature of personal commitment, and belief in its importance’ (p. 209). To this end, both teachers and HKWP may need to keep reflecting and innovating to ensure ESD is well in place in formal, informal, and lifelong learning.

7. References

Audit Commission. (2011). Report No. 57 of the Director of Audit: Management of the Hong Kong Wetland Park. Retrieved December 23, 2016, from

Beltram, G., Gerjevic, V. D., & Kebe L. (2009). Young People Acting for the Wise Use of Karst Wetlands in Slovenia. In P. B. Corcoran & P. M. Osano (Eds.), Young People, Education, and Sustainable Development: Exploring Principles, Perspectives, and Praxis (pp. 309-314). Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publishers.

Boullion, L. M., & Gomez, L. M. (2001). Connecting School and Community with Science Learning: Real World Problems and School-Community Partnerships as Contextual Scaffolds. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 38, 878-898.

Clarke, P. (2012). Education for Sustainability: Becoming Naturally Smart. London: Routledge.

Education Bureau (EDB). (2010). Education for Sustainable Development in Hong Kong Schools (EPSC Paper 08/10). Hong Kong: EDB.

Elliott, J. (1998). The Curriculum Experiment: Meeting the Challenge of Social Change. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Fien, J. (1993). Education for the Environment: Critical Curriculum Theorising and Environmental Education. Geelonng: Deakin University.

Gough, S. R., & Scott, W. A. H. (2001). Curriculum Development and Sustainable Development: Practices, Institutions and Literacies. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 33(2), 137-152. Doi: 10.1080/00131850120040528

Gruenewald, D. (2003). The Best of Both Worlds: A Critical Pedagogy of Place. Educational Researcher, 32(4), 3-12.

Guevara, J. (2009). Embedding Formal Education within the Contexts of Non-formal Education for Lifelong Learning and Sustainable Development. In P. F. Geinare (Ed.), Recent Trends in Life Long Education (pp. 101-110). New York: Nova Science Publishers.

CDC. (1999). The Guidelines on Environmental Education in Schools. Hong Kong: Education Department.

Hong Kong Wetland Park (HKWP). (2016a). Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department Report (2014-2015): Nature Conservation. Retrieved December 23, 2016, from

Hong Kong Wetland Park (HKWP). (2016b). Exhibitions. Retrieved December 23, 2016, from

Hong Kong Wetland Park (HKWP). (2016c) Map of Visitor Centre. Retrieved December 23, 2016, from

Hong Kong Wetland Park (HKWP). (2016d). Map of Wetland Reserve. Retrieved December 23, 2016, from

Hong Kong Wetland Park (HKWP). (2016e). Learning at Wetland. Retrieved December 23, 2016, from

Hong Kong Wetland Park (HKWP). (2016f). Mission and Objective. Retrieved December 23, 2016, from

Hong Kong Wetland Park (HKWP). (2016g). Wetland Challenge. Retrieved December 23, 2016, from

Hong Kong Wetland Park (HKWP). (2016h). Wetland Reserve. Retrieved December 23, 2016, from

Hogan, K. (2002). A Sociocultural Analysis of School and Community Setting as Sites for Developing Environmental Practitioners. Environmental Education Research, 8, 413-437.

Hopkins, C., & Mckeown, R. (1999). Education for Sustainable Development: An International Perspective. In D. Tilbury, R. B. Stevenson, J. Fien & D. Schreuder (Eds.), Education and Sustainability: Responding to a Global Challenge (pp 13-24). Gland: International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

Krasny, M. E., Lundholm, C., Shava, S., Lee, E., & Kobori, H. (2013) Urban Landscapes as Learning Arenas for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Management. In T. Elmqvist, M. Fragkias, J. Goodness, B. Güneralp, P. J. Marcotullio, R. I. McDonald, S. Parnell, M. Schewenius, M. Sendstad, K. C. Seto & C. Wilkinson (Eds.), Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities (pp 629-664). Dordrecht: Springer.

Maniates, M. F. (2001). Individualization: Plant a Tree, Buy a Bike, Save the World? Global Environmental Politics, 1(3), 31-52.

Robottom, I. (1983). Science: A Limited whole for Environmental Education? The Australian Science Teachers’ Journal, 29(1), 27-31.

Sterling, S. (2004). The Learning of Ecology, or the Ecology of Learning? In W. Scott & S. Gough (eds.), Key Issues in Sustainable Development and Learning: A Critical Review. London: RoutledgeFalmer.

Trorey, G., Cullingford, C., & Cooper, B. (1999) Lifelong Learning for a Sustainable Future. In P. Oliver (Ed.), Lifelong and Continuing Education: What is a Learning Society (pp 195-214). Brookfield: Ashgate/Arena.

UNESCO. (2014). Roadmap for Implementing the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development. Retrieved December 23, 2016, from

United Nations (UN). (1993). Agenda 21: The United Nations Programme of Action from Rio. New York: United Nations.

United Nations (UN). (2016a). Goal 4: Ensure Inclusive and Quality Education for All and Promote Lifelong Learning. Retrieved December 23, 2016, from

United Nations (UN). (2016b). Goal 13: Take Urgent Action to Combat Climate Change and its Impacts. Retrieved December 23, 2016, from

United Nations (UN). (2016c). Goal 15: Sustainably Manage Forests, Combat Desertification, Halt and Reverse Land Degradation, Halt Biodiversity Loss. Retrieved December 23, 2016, from

Vare, P., & Scott, W. (2007). Learning for Change: Exploring Relationship between Education and Sustainable Development. Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, 1(2), 191-198.

8. Key Terms and Definition

ESD1/ESD2: A complementary set of approaches to ESD which stresses the importance of both knowledge and skills for sustainable development.

Wetland: A land area seasonally or permanently saturated with fresh or saltwater, forming a distinctive ecosystem with high biodiversity.

Civic Ecology: A field of study that focuses on the relationship about public participation and its effects in environmental protection.

About the Author


MEd, The University of Hong Kong