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Environmental learning in adolescents from a Mexican community involved in forestry
journal contributionposted on 2007-01-01, 00:00 authored by I Ruiz-Mallén, Laura Barraza
Education can generate knowledge and foster a change in attitude provided that people feel individually and collectively responsible for the state of the environment. San Juan Nuevo Parangaricutiro is an internationally recognised indigenous community located in western Mexico that manages its forest sustainably through a community-based forest enterprise. However, recent research has shown that both children and young people from the community show little interest in participating in forest activities or working in forest enterprise and have a poor standard of environmental knowledge. Our research project assessed the environmental learning process of 32 high-school pupils in three settings: at school at home and in a forest enterprise. The opinions of teachers and adults of teaching subjects which focus on communal forest management were collected using various methods (questionnaires, observation and interviews) and analysed. The results show that school and home alike are important places for learning. However, environmental issues were not much addressed in the schoolroom or in conversations between parents and children. Furthermore, no connection between the activities of the forest enterprise and the school curriculum was found.