A model for developing and assessing youth-based environmental engagement programmes

TitleA model for developing and assessing youth-based environmental engagement programmes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsRiemer, M, Lynes, J, Hickman, G
JournalEnvironmental Education Research
Pagination552 - 574
Date Published2014/07/04/
ISBN Number1350-4622
Keywordsaction competence, culture of sustainability, engagement, environment, global climate change, non-formal environmental education, youth
AbstractIn this paper, we argue that a fundamental cultural shift is needed to effectively address anthropogenic causes of climate change. Evidence suggests that youth are well positioned to create such transformation. While various studies have contributed empirical evidence to numerous youth-based non-formal environmental engagement programmes, what is missing in the environmental education literature is discussion of a systematic approach to the development and evaluation of these programs. In this paper, we draw on the youth civic engagement literature to propose a framework that can be used as a basis to guide further development of evidence-based practices. Five major components are described as follows: (1) the engagement activity; (2) the engagement process; (3) initiating and sustaining factors; (4) mediators and moderators; and (5) outcomes. This approach to youth engagement can inform both researchers trying to study effective ways of creating change and practitioners developing environmental programmes that aspire towards a culture of sustainability.