Unfolding Being-with-Environment through Creative Problem Solving in Environmental Education

By Pierre-Yves Barbier, Diane Pruneau and Monique Langis.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper presents a phenomenological-hermeneutical analysis of research findings gathered in an Environmental Education Research Project focused on documenting the appplication of a Creative Problem Solving Approach to Environmental Education. This Research Project took place among a Third Grade Class from Blanche Bourgeois School, Cocagne, New-Brunswick. The students explored, from January to June 2007, a sedimentation problem related to the Cocagne River through eleven (11) pedagogical sessions. The primary Research objectives were to document and describe:1- How students understood the sedimentation problem as to its actors, causes, impacts and connections. 2- How students arrived at solutions when helped by creative heuristics. 3- How they would commit themselves to bring about solutions. After the first analysis focused on Research findings related to these objectives, we proceeded to a second analysis (phenomenological-hermeneutical). With this second analysis, we argue that such a Creative Problem Solving Approach provides a window to observe how, in such a context, a vision of Being-with-Environment unfolds through the expression of Tacit knowing. We then draw the pedagogical implications for this particular aspect of environmental education concerned by the transformation of students’ protective relation to nature and environment.

Keywords: Environmental Education, Creative Problem Solving, Phenomenology, Hermeneutics

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp.499-510. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.351MB).

Dr. Pierre-Yves Barbier

Associate Professor, Département d'enseignement secondaire et des ressources humaines, Faculté des sciences de l'éducation, Université de Moncton, Moncton, New-Brunswick, Canada

My Research and Teaching interests lie with Qualitative Research Methodology and its Epistemological foundations. I have also been involved in a number of Environmental Research Projects focused on Creative Problem Solving. This led to exploring Learning models, particularly those models focused on the Experience of Understanding. My background is in Philosophy and Alternative Education.

Dr. Diane Pruneau

Professor in Environmental Education, Primary Education and Educational Psychology Department, Faculty of Education, Université de Moncton, Moncton, New-Brunswick, Canada

Dr Diane Pruneau -- Bach Education, Master & Ph D. Environmental Education -- Currently professor at the Université de Moncton (Canada), she is the Director of the Littoral et vie research group, that conducts various research projects in environmental education. The Group’s research programs have dealt with the understanding of the link people have with their environment, liveable cities education, climate change education, and the identification and development of sustainability competences in citizens.

Monique Langis

Research Assistant, Faculty of Education, Université de Moncton, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Monique Langis completed a Ba Bed (Elementary Education) and a Master’s degree in Environmental studies. She is currently working as a researcher in the Littoral et vie Research Group at Université de Moncton. Her research interests are education of environmental behaviour change and communication strategies in climate change education.

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