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Supporting a Better Appreciation of Socio-Cultural Pre-Conceptions in Environmental Education
  • Simon Schneider
Simon Schneider
University of Potsdam

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Over the last decades, environmental education – including the education about natural hazards - was focused solely on perspectives from the Earth sciences, on economic demands and societal challenges. Some scholars see the working programme for climate research of the EU as an example, which seems to be “characterized by its exclusion of human (cultural, ethical and spiritual) dimensions and is simply interested in monitoring and technical and socioeconomic engineering of solution policy” (Bergmann, 2010). Only recently cultural studies and theology have been introduced into relevant research, but a deeper understanding of “how human environmental attitudes get shaped and what causes those attitudes to change through time” (Kareiva; 2008) is still missing. While scientists agree, that there “… is also ample evidence that distinct cultural and religious values of individuals and whole societies influence their perception and tolerance of risk as well as their capacity to cope with environmental hazard” (Gerten, 2010), education and communication research have not yet focused on how these risks and hazards are transported into the public in respect to various socio-political environments. Within this presentation, we want to discuss ways to gain a better understanding of how cultural preconceptions influence science education and science communication.