School and local environmental knowledge. What are the links? A case study among indigenous adolescents in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Isabel Ruiz-Mallén, Laura Barraza, Barbara Bodenhorn, Victoria Reyes-García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding environmental learning is the first step to constructing successful environmental education programs. Little research has addressed the relation between the environmental knowledge learned inside and outside schools. Environmental educators and ethnobiologists have worked independently, without assessing how school and local environmental knowledge relate to each other. This research examines school and local environmental knowledge acquisition of 95 Mexican indigenous adolescents. Multivariate regression analysis was used to assess (1) school and local environmental knowledge overlap and (2) the association between individual environmental knowledge and socio-demographic characteristics. Data show that school and local environmental knowledge are not associated in a statistically significant way. A possible explanation for the finding is that the two forms of knowledge are complementary because they exist in parallel. Adolescents' school and local environmental knowledge is associated with their level of schooling, but not with parental occupation in community forestry. The use of traditional pedagogical practices at school and the loss of traditional culture at home might hamper indigenous adolescents' environmental learning. © 2009 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-96
JournalInternational Research in Geographical and Environmental Education
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

Keywords

  • Environmental education
  • Environmental knowledge
  • Ethnobiology
  • Indigenous adolescents
  • Mexico

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