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THE HISTORY OF THE NATURE-STUDY MOVEMENT AND ITS ROLE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
This dissertation attempts to trace the history of those aspects of American pedagogical theory that relate directly to the development of the environmental education movement. Environmental education has been described in the professional literature as a new approach to education about the environment. The most characteristic components of environmental education, as suggested by the literature are: interdisciplinary education, learner-centered education, experience-based learning, a rational approach to problem-solving, interdependence, ecology, the relationship between humans and the environment, human welfare and quality of life. Careful analysis of the literature suggests that these components are not new. Most of them were originally developed as the primary components of the theories of the early European educational reformers. Other components developed as the basis of the nature-study movement, the progressive education movement, the conservation education movement, and resource use education. The nature-study movement, reaching its peak between 1890 and 1920, was the first major American educational reform movement to fully attempt general educational reform through combining educational reform theory with the study of the environment. The nature-study movement provides a link between the early reformers and later reform movements in education. The importance of the role of the nature-study movement in the history of American educational reform has been overlooked by educational historians. Nature-study not only deserves a major place in the history of educational reform, but as an interdisciplinary, science-based, social and educational reform movement, it should be recognized as a prototype of environmental education. Contemporary education provides us with many challenges. It is valuable to develop a thorough understanding of the evolutionary links between the educational theories of the past and present efforts in environmental education. Such understanding might provide a better perspective with which to establish more effective goals, objectives, and methods for environmental education.
MINTON, TYREE GOODWIN, "THE HISTORY OF THE NATURE-STUDY MOVEMENT AND ITS ROLE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION" (1980). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI8019480.