Environmental Education, Values and Attitudes of Youth in Lebanese Secondary Schools: A Comparative Analysis
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Economic development has been a cause of environmental degradation for several decades. Legal measures have been taken in many countries to curb the environmental impact, but awareness, particularly among the youth, is vital in safeguarding future generations. Environmental education (EE) has been developed in response to this need and implemented in many parts of the world. In the last few decades this idea has been expanded to include related issues, such as social justice, and is now more widely known as Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Lebanon started incorporating EE into their state school curriculum in the late 1990s, and in 2012 launched the National Environmental Education Policy which set in motion a strategy to incorporate ESD in the curriculum more comprehensively. Lebanon's environment suffers from multiple stresses and there are political and socio-economic faces that making fostering an environmentally friendly culture challenging. This research looked at what the current level of EE has accomplished in the way of educating Lebanese youth on environmental issues, as the current format of EE does not make focusing on environmental issues easy for teachers. This affects youth as the research found their knowledge of environmental issues lacking, and additionally, opportunities for proenvironmental action are few. A Norwegian sample group provided comparison, and interestingly, Lebanese student's NEP scores do not lag far behind. Thus, while Lebanon has a ways to go to improve EE, create an environmentally friendly culture and stem environmental degradation, the comparison shows that local problems keep the interest in improving the environment high.
Master thesis development management- University of Agder, 2015