In 2006, I am starting an international R&D program, NatureGate(R), with Eija and Jouko Lehmuskallio. It uses patented digital software for fast identification of plant species. Plants and other organism species are like a gate to ecosystems, and sustainable development (integrating ecologically, economically and socially sustainable development). Flowering plants and other vascular plants are our first step, because people are attracted by them and they are very important also from evolutionary viewpoint.
I have with my R&D group an integrating approach
to Environmental Education (Åhlberg 1993 - 2002, Åhlberg
& Dillon 2003, Åhlberg & Robinson 2003, Åhlberg,
Turja. & Robinson 2003). We believe that Environmental Education
is best promoted by constructing good integrating theories and methods,
and continually testing them both theoretically comparing what other
theories, and empirically in everyday practice. This continual testing
generates continual quality monitoring (assurance) and continual
quality improvement. A recent comparison, benchmarking, has been
made with Sandell, Öhman and Östman's (2003) new book:
I have done with my students Research and Development
projects, which promote mostly 'Education and learning for environment'.
It has been discussed more thoroughly in the view of Education
for Sustainable Development.)
I have been interested in theory and history of Environmental
Education. I am amazed how little most researchers, developers and
teachers know about it. E.g. it is often claimed that Lucas (1972
and 1979) invented the idea of three forms of EE. However already
Donaldson & Donaldson (1958) presented the same division for
outdoor education: About Outdoors/Environment, in Outdoors/Environment
and for Outdoors/Environment. I have developed an integrating approach
to EE, in which all above named three aspects of EE are continually
integrated, tested and improved both in theory and practice, see
e.g. Åhlberg 1998a - 19989c, Pitkänen (2001), Wilska-Pekonen
(2001) and Äänismaa (2002).
I have long term R&D cooperation e.g. with Professor
Patrick Dillon (University of Exeter, UK) since 1998 (Åhlberg
& Dillon 2003).
I have developed three practical and theoretically
sound new quality tools (Improved
Concept Mapping, Improved
Vee Heuristics and ARRA or Analysis of Reasoning,
Rhetorics and Argumentation ) (<LINK>) to promote Environmental
Äänismaa, P. 2002. Ympäristökasvatusta
kehittämässä kotitalousopettajien koulutuksessa.
PhD Dissertation. University of Joensuu. Publications in Education
Åhlberg, M. 1993. Concept maps, Vee diagrams
and Rhetorical Argumentation (RA) Analysis: Three educational theory-based
tools to facilitate meaningful learning. Paper presented at The
Third International Seminar on Misconceptions in Science and Mathematics.
August 1- 5, 1993. Cornell University. Published digitally in the
Proceedings of the Seminar, http://www.mlrg.org/proc3abstracts.html
(Read 26 2. 2003.)
Åhlberg, M. 1998a. Kestävän kehityksen
pedagogiikka ja yleisdidaktiikka. University of Joensuu. Bulletins
of the Faculty of Education. N:o 71.
Åhlberg, M. 1998b. Ecopedagogy and ecodidactics:
Education for Sustainable Development, Good Environment and Good
Life. University of Joensuu. Bulletins of the Faculty of Education.
Åhlberg, M. 1998c. Education for sustainability,
good environment and good life. In Åhlberg, M. & Leal
Filho, W. (Eds.) 1998. Environmental education for sustainability:
good environment, good life. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 25 -
Åhlberg, M. & Dillon, P. 1999. Materials
for Constructivistic Environmental Education, mainly to be used
in pre-service and in-service teacher education: An integrating
approach to environmental learning. In De Paz, M. & Pilo, M.
(Eds.) 1999. European Project for Environmental Education. A Curriculum
for European Schools. Genoa: University of Genoa, Italy, 3 - 33.
[Published also digitally:
(Read 10. 3. 2003).
Åhlberg, M. & Dillon, P. 2003. Integrating
education: For quality of life and a good environment (manuscript).
Åhlberg, M. & Robinson, J. 2003. An exploration
of Education for Sustainability in the field practice schools of
pre-service education students using tools for reflective practice.
Submitted for publication.
Åhlberg, M., Turja, L. & Robinson, J. 2003.
Educational research and development to promote sustainable development
in the city of Helsinki: Helping the accessible Helsinki Programme
2001 - 2011 to achieve its goals. Accepted to be published in International
Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development Vol. 2, N:o 2.
Donaldson, G. & Donaldson, L. 1958. Outdoor education
- a definition. Journal of Health, Physical education and Recreation
29(5), 17 and 63.
Lucas, A. 1972. Environment and Environmental Education:
Conceptual issues and curriculum implications. PhD Dissertation.
The Ohio State University. (Referred in the paper of Disinger, J.
1985. Environmental Education's definitional problem. School Science
and Mathematics 85(11), 29 - 68).
Lucas, A. 1979. Environment and Environmental Education:
Conceptual issues and curriculum implications. Melbourne: Australian
International Press & Publications.
Pitkänen, R. (2001). Lyhytkestoiset tehtävät
luokan ulkopuolisessa ympäristökasvatuksessa. [Short tasks
in outdoor environmental education]. PhD Dissertation. University
of Joensuu. Publications in Education 68.
Sandell, K., Östman, J & Östman, L.
2003. Mijödidaktik. Naturen, skolan och demokratin. Lund: Studentlitteratur.
Wilska-Pekonen, I. 2001. Opettajien ammatillinen
kehittyminen ympäristökasvattajina kokemuksellisen oppimisen
näkökulmasta. [Teachers' professional development as environmental
educators from the viewpoint of experiential education]. PhD Dissertation.
University of Joensuu. Publications in Education 65.