Professionalization and Environmental Education: Is Public Passion Too Risky for Business?

Marilyn Mac Donald

Abstract


Over the last ten years, the movement to professionalize environmental education has been gaining support from both the supply and the demand sides of the "green" market. Yet the modern ideal of the professional–the autonomous and dedicated expert with ten or more years of university-based training in a discipline derived from the natural and applied sciences–is an ambiguous blend of public-spirited altruism and elitist self-interest. Given the present exemplars of professions (e.g., medicine, law, science), can we professionalize and still retain such goals of environmental education as universal ecological knowledgeability, biosphere-sustaining decision-making, and effective moral maturation?

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