STC Programs: Environmental Education: Starting a Local Program
Before starting an Environmental Education Program (EEP), it is necessary to know the cultural, environmental and socioeconomic context of the region where the program will be located in order to adapt the program to the reality of the local communities.
It is also necessary to assess the environmental needs that must be addressed, taking into account the work capacity and the scope of the project. Likewise, in order to act consistently and efficiently on the selected topics, it is important to assume a critical and tolerant thinking, thus, avoiding the appearance of possible cultural and social oppositions during the process.
By conducting activities in which the community is involved and creating awareness of the relationship between humans and their environment, an EEP works to improve the quality of life and the environmental quality of the program location.
The scope of an EEP includes cognitive, affective, active and conative dimensions. These dimensions act synergistically and will depend on the geographic, social, economic, cultural or educational environment in which the EEP will occur.
- Cognitive: degree of information and knowledge about issues related to the environment. We talk about ideas.
- Affective: perception of the environment; beliefs and feelings in environmental matters. We talk about emotions.
- Active: performance of environmentally responsible practices and behaviors, both individual and collective, even in risky and compromising situations. We talk about behaviors
- Conative: willingness to adopt pro-environmental criteria in behavior, expressing interest or willingness to participate in activities and make improvements. We talk about attitudes.
Basic steps and questions to help design an EEP:
- What environmental problems the EEP to be designed to address?
- Who will be the target audience?
- Why is an EEP necessary?
- What are the EEP objectives?
- What information or actions should the EEP provide or encourage?
- How is the EEP going to be implemented?
- When will the EEP occur?
- How much time will be needed to develop the EEP?
- What resources (time and money) will be required to develop and conduct the EEP?
- How will the EEP be promoted to the local community?
- Have the EEP objectives been achieved?
- If not, how can the EEP be improved?
- If they have, are there still things that can be improved or added to make the EEP better?