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Conservation Education — Theory and Practice

Conservation education is the process of influencing people’s attitudes, emotions, knowledge, and behaviors about wildlife and wild places. This is done through the efforts of skilled educators and interpreters, who use a variety of techniques, methods, and assessments to reconnect people with the natural world. The Theory and Practice section of this website provides the tools to start, expand, or refresh any conservation education program.

Conservation Means Behavior
by P. Wesley Schultz California State University, Department of Psychology, from Conservation Biology, Volume 25, No. 6, 2011

Conservation biologists can play a central role in promoting
changes in human behavior.

Conservation and Education: Inextricably Intertwined
by James Danoff-Burg, Director, Conservation Education Division
San Diego Zoo Global, from the San Diego Zoo Global, Conservation Update, Winter, 2011

What makes a successful conservation project? How does human economic well-being relate to conservation success? These are questions San Diego Zoo Global considers with all of their conservation projects. Read more...

National Wildlife Federation's Back to School, Back Outside!
How Outdoor Education and Outdoor School Time Creates High Performance Students

by Kevin J. Coyle
National Wildlife Federation summarized a collection of studies on how time spent outside improves children's lifelong learning skills, prospects for career success and school test scores.


Fledglings: Creating Knowledgeable and Responsible Future Avian Caretakers
Nicholas Bishop and Shane Hancock

The Parrot Society of Australia has developed a child-focused magazine, Fledglings. This magazine aims to share these stunning and charismatic animals while also educating and engaging children in the career of avian keeping.

Developing a Conservation Education Program
by Kathy Lehnhardt
Curator of Education, Disney's Animal Kingdom
A tool for new or experienced educators who wish to refresh their program development process.

Conservation Education in (AZA) Zoos and Aquariums
by Bruce L. Carr, Ph.D.
Director, Conservation Education, AZA
Image courtesy of the Louisville Zoo

Zoo education is an important pillar of modern zoos’ mission statements. From humble beginnings to an integral part of the field of conservation, the history of zoo education is traced as its purpose and role takes shape. This article discusses the important role of education in conservation work.

Trends in (AZA) Conservation Education – A Primer
By Jackie Ogden, PHD, Chris Gentile, and Barbara Revard
AZA Communique, August 2005

This article is from the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) Communique. It discusses current and long-term conservation education trends in the U.S.

Education Theory

12 Learning Theories

This site examines 12 different theories on how people learn including Constructivism, Behaviorism, Piaget's Developmental Theory, Neuroscience, Brain-Based Learning, Learning Styles, Multiple Intelligences, Right Brain/Left Brain Thinking, Communities of Practice, Control Theory, Observational Learning, and Vygotsky and Social Cognition.

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