An Evaluation of Societal Implications of Environmental Education through the Integration of Indigenous and Westernized Practices in the Piedmont Region of North Carolina
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Indigenous knowledge is valuable within localized cultures, but it has been historically under-represented in Westernized programs and systems. The knowledge from indigenous cultures offers many valuable practices that could be integrated into Westernized environmental education as generations search to improve sustainable and regenerative practices. This qualitative study examines existing environmental education organizations across North Carolina, along with two indigenous cultures native to the Piedmont region of North Carolina, in order to make recommendations for an environmental education framework integrating the methods of indigenous knowledge. Through thematic analysis of survey responses and interviews, best practices for developing an integrated program and the benefits these types of programs bring to a community are identified. To effectively develop a program connecting indigenous knowledge and Westernized environmental education, the curriculum should be focused locally using delivery methods such as story-telling, role-playing and symbolism. But public education cannot change children’s connection to their environment alone. The parents and the elders of our families and communities are an integral part of reconnecting children to nature.
Children’s connection to nature
Intergenerational transfer of knowledge
CitationMcDuffie, Eric (2014). An Evaluation of Societal Implications of Environmental Education through the Integration of Indigenous and Westernized Practices in the Piedmont Region of North Carolina. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/8484.
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Rights for Collection: Nicholas School of the Environment