Environmental Education as a pathway out of poverty | NAAEE

The hub for environmental education professional development

Environmental Education as a pathway out of poverty

Hello all, I am looking for any research that suggests or correlates EE as a factor in helping lift people out of poverty. I would like to be able to point to EE as a way to help students who are underrepresented improve their socioeconomic status. Anyone know of any research in this area? I would like to write a proposal for an AmeriCorps VISTA program to help with environmental service learning in schools statewide.

Hi Billy. I am not sure for research on high school, but there are connections with outdoor experiences and STEM retention in college. There are several reports (NSF, CEOSE, and more) that stress the importance of underrepresented undergraduates in STEM majors and in the workforce, including first-generation college students. Often it is research experiences or outdoor experiences early on or in college that are significant to the retention of these students. Here are some references I could quickly get to. I would be happy to chat more if it is helpful. One of the projects I am on is diving into participation in undergraduate field experiences.

Hi Billy, I will keep an eye out for relevant literature. In the meantime, you bring up a topic I've been thinking about for quite some time now. My inquiries are mostly within the domain of environmental justice and social vulnerability in areas prone to natural hazards. The impacts of Hurricane Harvey in Houston and SW Louisiana are one example. Trauma-informed education has been a hot topic in K-12. I wonder if an argument exists for EE as a pedagogy for trauma, particularly "environmental" trauma such as those instances associated with natural hazards? I think a strong link could be made to poverty and EE via trauma-informed education. Alas, I have not found any supporting literature in this area. I do think it is worthy of an investigation.