Museums are ideal venues for engaging in sustainability education (SE). Collections can allow people to study and interpret connections between the past, present and future. Exhibits can give visitors a chance to reflect on situated problems and how their actions might make them worse or better. Public programs can deepen these connections and engage the community around issues of concern. And volunteer or service-learning opportunities can give people a chance to apply what they have learned. To encourage museums to explore this potential and become more inclusive, this paper reviews the concept of sustainability, articulates an SE philosophy for museums, and provides examples that show how aspects of this philosophy are already being applied. Bioregional and place-based education serves as our framework, supported by the principles and practices of nature as teacher, communities of practice, and civic engagement. We assume that in concert these four components can create relationships and mindsets that lead to a more sustainable future. For each component, the aim is to foster a culture of sustainability through effective teaching and learning strategies.
|Keywords:||Education for Sustainability, Sustainability Education, Education for Sustainable Development, Relevancy and Museums, Participatory Museums, Sustainability and Museums, Ecomuseums|
Museum Education Consultant, Education, Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
Curator of Human Ecology, Research and Collections, Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Regina, SK, Canada
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