There continues to be growing concern about the state of the environment, yet we are often confused by the complexities of economic, ethical, political, and social issues related to it. Daily, there are references in the news media to environmental issues such as global climate change, ozone depletion, dwindling resources, famine, disease, loss of biodiversity, pollution, and continuing job losses in many BC communities. The problems we face both as individuals and within our broader society are now so pervasive and ingrained within our cultural ways of being that we can no longer look to education about science and technology alone to solve these problems. Resultantly, environmental learning can and should include a sustained critique on dominant societal and industrial practices that often contribute to widespread and localized environmental problems.
We must also turn to ourselves as individuals, as researchers and as educational professionals to make change and develop a new ethic - aresponsible attitude toward caring for the earth. Working to integrate environmental learning within all subject areas promotes this change in attitude by providing students with opportunities to experience and investigate the relationships linking individuals, societies, and natural surroundings. Education ‘about’, ‘in’ and ‘for’ the environment provides students with opportunities to learn about the functioning of natural systems, to identify their beliefs and opinions, consider a range of views, and ultimately make informed and responsible choices for themselves, their families and communities. This book series aims to look at environmental learning and the associated educational research related to these practices from a broad and international perspective.