Sharing Environmental Education Stories:A Critical Incident in a Canadian Community

Denis Mahony


In this article I present environmental education as a sharing of contested stories about the human-nature relationship. I suggest that the most vigorous story telling occurs in non-formal and informal education, and the contestation reflects polarised environmental ideologies. By way of introduction, and in keeping with my experiential epistemology, I summarise my own environmental education story. For the major part of the paper I try to do the same for a Canadian urban community, using the listening, observing and reflective strategies of an ethnographic evaluation research methodology. I identify five major themes, or discourses, relating to the way the Peterborough community is addressing its human-nature relationship. In terms of the evaluation part of my methodology, I make two observations: one concerned with who will be the "keeper" of Peterborough’s environmental values, and the other about how "green" these values will be.

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Copyright © Canadian Journal of Environmental Education (CJEE) ISSN 1205-5352