Exploring culturally responsive teaching and environmental education

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Virginia Tech


This thesis investigates culturally responsive teaching in the context of environmental education (EE) and is composed of an introduction (Chapter 1), one study intended for eventual publication (Chapter 2), and a personal reflection (Chapter 3). The introduction provides a brief overview of EE and explains why the topics of study included in this thesis are important to address. For Chapter 2, I conducted interviews to understand how environmental educators characterize culturally responsive EE, how they practice it, and what they identify are the key catalysts and challenges to providing culturally responsive EE. The results of this study indicate the importance of a multifaceted approach that incorporates EE content, educator practices, organizational practices, and a critically reflexive mindset. In Chapter 3, my personal reflection considers themes that were woven throughout the work, time, and thought spent on this project and as a master's student at Virginia Tech. This work is meant to provide ideas and guidance for EE practitioners as they seek out approaches for increasing relevance in EE programs, uplift equitable practices in the EE field, and progress along their journeys to awareness and action.



Environmental education, culturally responsive, relevance, equity, inclusion