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Environmental Education and Conservation in southern Ecuador: Constructing an Engaged Political Ecology Approach


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ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND CONSERVATION IN SOUTHERN ECUADOR: CONSTRUCTING AN ENGAGED POLITICAL ECOLOGY APPROACH By KATHRYN A. LYNCH A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FU LFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2001

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Copyright 2001 by Kathryn A. Lynch

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iii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS My most heart felt thanks go to all the people who contributed to this project. In Loja, special thanks go to Fundacin Ecolgica Arcoiris, and specifically to Bolvar Tello, Fausto Lopez, Arturo Jimnez, Elia Gonzales and Angel Hualp a. Their invitation to collaborate provided me a site and a focus, while their logistical support in 1996 and 1997 made it possible to accomplish all that I did. Likewise, the Fundacin Cientifica San Francisco and specifically Lic. Ruth Espinosa deserve special thanks. Her unflagging enthusiasm and dedication to improving environmental education in the region is inspiring, and I am deeply grateful for all her critical input and assistance in the field in 1999. Likewise, I am thankful for the valuable f eedback provided by Dra. Ketty Vivanco at the Universidad Nacional de Loja, regarding my survey instruments and research design. Without the support of parents, teachers, and school directors in the region I would not have been able to conduct this researc h. I am deeply grateful to them for granting me permission to interact with their students, and for the time they took to share their educational experiences as well. Likewise, without the collaboration of the students, I would have no dissertation. The refore, special boisterous and rambunctious thanks go to all of the children who patiently put up with my questions and provided brilliant illustrations of their communities and the Park. At the Ministry of the Environment, I am thankful for all of the as sistance provided by Ing. Santos Caldern, Ing. Luis Medina, Lic. Miguel Angel Rivera, Lic. Itamar Crdova,

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iv Lic. Liz Jumbo, Luis Tambo, and all the park guards. Their collaboration was crucial for understanding local management issues and their environmen tal education strategy. In Zamora, special thanks are due to Ing. For. Bernardo M. Trelles and Sr. Ivan Gordillo of Fundacin Maquipucuna and all the teachers who welcomed my participation in their Seminario Taller de Educacin Ambiental in 1996. It was with their encouragement that I tackled a critical analysis of environmental education. I am also indebted to Egda. Victoria Margarita Nantipa, Zamora Provinical Supervisor of Bilingual Education, for taking me into the field to visit Shuar schools and to Lic. Miguel Chiriapo and Lic. Miguel Chumapi Ayui, President of the Federacin Shuar de Zamora Chinchipe. Thanks also go to Prof. Luis Guillermo Mrquez for all his enthusiasm and assistance. In Vilcabamba, I am grateful to Joy and Curtis of Colinas Ver des, and Rogelio Len, for their time and assistance. I would also like to acknowledge Prof. Jos A. Solorzano G. and the women in Loyola who opened their homes and shared their stories with me. In addition, I want to give special thanks to Rodrigo Tapia and Julio Tapia, who in 1997 shared not only their home with me, but their experiences with conservation and logging as well. These discussions enriched my understanding of conservation issues in the area. Likewise, Elena Bastidas and her family specific ally Dr. Milton Bermeo, Alecia and Pamela deserve special thanks for giving me a home away from home during my fieldwork in 1999. In Quito, I am thankful to Susan Poats for her insights on mapping, and Nicholas for sparking my enthusiasm for working with students. Luis Suarez and Galo Medino of EcoCiencia also deserve special thanks for all their logistical help and critical input into the

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v research design. Thanks also go to Carlos Fierro y Elba Fiallo of Fundacin Natura and Arch. Jaime Ortiz, all of wh om facilitated my understanding of the PNP management plan. I am also indebted to all those who supported me here in the States. I would like to thank my supervisory committee, Drs. Marianne Schmink, Sandra Russo, Susan Paulson, Martha Monroe and Dr. Ant hony Oliver Smith, for all of their support and guidance. In addition, this work benefited from the input of Dr. Tracy Hoover and Dr. Lauren Chapman, who served on my committee during the early stages. In addition, I would like to thank the Managing Ecos ystems and Resources with a Gender Emphasis (MERGE) Program, the North South Center in Miami, and Dr. Sandra Russo for generously providing funding for field research and the Center for Womens Studies and Gender Research for providing funding for write up I am truly grateful to my mom and dad, who have given me tremendous love and support, and to my brother who has generously provided the computer at which I worked. Likewise, I have been truly blessed by an abundance of love and support from my partner Eric Jones. I am also deeply grateful for the friendship and love of my soul sister Amanda Stronza, which has brought great joy into my life. Likewise, Peter Polshek, Nina Hofer, Lucien and Solomon Polshek get knock down hugs for all the joyful playtim e (including beach time) that kept me balanced during this process. I am also indebted to Lisette Staal and Elena Bastides for their friendship, support, and insightful comments. Finally, I am deeply grateful to Mickey Singer for showing me how to find j oy even in the midst of fear, and for inspiring me to live every moment with my heart open, with reckless abandon.

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vi TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. iii ACROYNMS ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... x ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................ xi CHAPTERS 1 INTRODUCTION ...................................................................................................... ... 1 The Compelling Need for Biodiversity Conservatio n ................................ ........................ 2 Education as a Conservation Strategy ................................ ................................ .............. 4 Research Overview: Objectives and Site ................................ ................................ .......... 8 Dissertation Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 12 Notes ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 16 2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKS ................................ ................................ .............. 18 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 18 The Educational Model of Social Change ................................ ................................ ....... 21 Knowledge ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 22 Attitudes ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 25 Behaviors ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 26 Building an "Engaged Political Ecology" Approach. ................................ ......................... 29 An Overview of Political Ecology ................................ ................................ ............. 30 Applying Political Ecology Insights to Environmental Education ................................ .. 34 An Overview of Engaged Pedagogy ................................ ................................ ......... 36 Paulo Freire ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 41 bell hooks ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 43 Applying Political Ecology Insights to Environmental Education ................................ .. 45 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 46 Notes ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................ 48 3 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS ................................ ................................ .... 51 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 51 Research Design ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 55

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vii Phase One: Preliminary Site Review (May July 1996) ................................ ............... 55 Phase Two: First Field Season (May August 1997) ................................ ................. 56 Phase Three: Final Fie ld Season (October December 1999) ................................ ..... 61 Strengths and Weaknesses of the Design ................................ ................................ .. 63 Research Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 64 Ethnographic Interviews. ................................ ................................ .......................... 65 Focusing on non governmental and governmental organizations ........................... 65 Focusing on educators within non governmental and governmental org anizations .. 66 Focusing on students and teachers (1997). ................................ .......................... 67 Focusing on teachers (1999) ................................ ................................ .............. 69 Focusing on community members, parents, resource users ................................ ... 70 Participant Observation ................................ ................................ ............................ 71 Focus Group Discussions. ................................ ................................ ........................ 72 Survey Questionnaire ................................ ................................ ............................... 74 Individual Drawings ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 77 Group Mapping ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 78 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 80 Notes ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................ 80 4 THE POLITICAL ECOLOGY OF PARQUE NACIONAL PODOCARPUS ................ 82 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 82 Examining the Park Through a Political Ecology Lens ................................ ...................... 83 Ecological Considerations ................................ ................................ ......................... 83 Local Political, Economic and Social Considerations ................................ ................. 86 Nation al and International Considerations ................................ ................................ 92 Management Challenges for Parque Nacional Podocarpus ................................ ........ 98 Gold Mining ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 100 Environmental Educational Efforts Responding to these Challenges .......................... 106 Background: A brief history of education in Ecuador ................................ ......... 107 Governmental effort s : Ministerio del Ambiente (MMA ) ................................ .... 111 Non governmental organization efforts ................................ .............................. 115 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 125 Notes ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 128 5 THE PERSPECTIVES OF CHILDREN, PART I: SURVEY RESPONSES .............. 133 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 133 Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 134 The Schools in the Sample ................................ ................................ ...................... 134 Academic Context ................................ ................................ ................................ 135 Resea rch Findings ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 136 Demographic Data ................................ ................................ ................................ 136 Parque Nacional Podocarpus ................................ ................................ ................. 141 Park biodiversity ................................ ................................ .............................. 150

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viii Water resources ................................ ................................ ............................... 161 Human relationships with the Park ................................ ................................ .... 165 Legal aspects ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 168 Personal experiences with the Park ................................ ................................ ... 171 Management issues ................................ ................................ .......................... 172 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 177 Equity Issues : Universal Access to Education ................................ .......................... 178 Quality Issues: Content ................................ ................................ ........................... 179 Quality Issues: Methods ................................ ................................ ......................... 181 Pedagogical Philosophy and the Conceptualization of the Child ................................ 181 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 183 Notes ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 184 6 THE PERSPECTIVES OF CHILDREN, PART II: VISUAL REPRESENTATIONS OF THE PARK ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 187 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 187 Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 188 The Advantages and Disadvantages of Mapping ................................ ..................... 188 Interpreting and Understanding Children's Maps ................................ ..................... 193 Research Findings ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 195 Topography ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 195 Water ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 200 Biological Diversity ................................ ................................ ................................ 205 Human Relationships with the Park ................................ ................................ ......... 209 Gend er Relations ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 214 Elements of Political Ecology ................................ ................................ .................. 218 Group Mapping ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 221 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 221 Notes ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 225 7 THE PERSPECTIVES OF EDUCATORS ................................ ................................ 226 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 226 Research Findings ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 227 The National Curricular Reform ................................ ................................ .............. 227 Ejes transversals ................................ ................................ ............................ 231 Benefits of the Reform ................................ ................................ ...................... 2 33 Problems with the Reform ................................ ................................ ................ 234 Environmental Education ................................ ................................ ........................ 240 Defining environmental education ................................ ................................ ...... 241 Objectives of environmental education ................................ .............................. 243 Content and themes ................................ ................................ .......................... 244 The infusion of environmental education ................................ ............................ 246 Environmental education and the natural sciences ................................ .............. 2 55

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ix Environmental education materials ................................ ................................ ..... 258 Parque Nacional Podocarpus ................................ ................................ ................. 261 Teacher Training ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 265 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 267 Barriers to Promoting EE ................................ ................................ ........................ 267 An Engaged Political Ecology Approach ................................ ................................ 268 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 270 Notes ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 271 8 CONCLUSIONS ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 272 Research Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 272 Strengthe ning Environmental Education Efforts ................................ .............................. 275 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 284 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 287 APPENDICES A LETTERS OF INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT ................................ .............................. 291 Fundacin Ecolgica Arcoiris ................................ ................................ .................... 292 Instituto Ecuatoriano Forestal y de Areas Naturales y Vida Silvestre ........................... 293 Fundacin Maquipucuna ................................ ................................ ........................... 2 94 Estacin Cientfica San Francisco ................................ ................................ .............. 295 Direccin Provincial de Educacin y Cultura de Zamora Chinchipe ............................. 296 B SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION ................................ 297 LITERATURE CITED ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 298 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................. 319

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x ACRONYMS CI Conservation International CORDAVI Corporacin de Defensa de la Vida CONASEP Confederacin Nacional de Servidores Pblicos EE Environmental Education FAI Fundacin Ecolgica Arcoiris FCV Fundacin Colinas Verdes FM Fundacin Maquipucu na FN Fundacin Natura FCSF Fundacin Cientifica San Francisco GLOBE Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment IMF International Monetary Fund INCRAE Instituto Nacional de Colonizacin de la Region Amazonica INEFAN Instituto Ecuatorian o Forestal de Areas Naturales y Vida Silvestre INEMIN Instituto Ecuatoriano de Minera MAG Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadera MEC Ministerio de Educacin y Cultura MERGE Managing Ecosystems and Resources with a Gender Emphasis MMA Ministerio del Amb iente NGO Non governmental organization PAZ Proyecto de Conservacin Participativa de los Recursos Naturales del Bosque Humedo Tropical del PNP y su Zona de Amortiguamiento PMSC Proyecto Minera sin Contaminacin PNP Parque Nacional Podocarpus TNC The Nature Conservancy USAID United States Agency for International Development WWF World Wildlife Fund UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

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xi Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND CONSERVATION IN SOUTHERN ECUADOR: CONSTRUCTING AN E N GAGED POLITICAL ECOLOGY APPROACH By Kathryn A. Lynch December 2001 Chair: Marianne Schmink Major Department: Anthropology In this study I explored the role of environmental education in promoting conservation, looking specifically at a case study of environmental education in the buffer zone of Parque Nacional Podocarpus (PNP), in southern Ecuador. Political ecology and engaged pedagogical theory provided the theoretical framework for the analysis and defined the objectives of the study, which includ ed: 1) analyzing how environmental education was used as a conservation strategy in the buffer zone of PNP; 2) exploring the social, economic, and political realities facing the participants in these environmental education programs; 3) identifying student s' and teachers' knowledge and attitudes regarding local conservation issues that were discussed in local environmental education programs; and 4) investigating

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xi i and analyzing the pedagogical practices used in regular classrooms and in environmental educati on programs. These objectives reflect the overarching purpose of this research, which was to contribute to the development of new approaches to environmental education that would engage students more successfully in environmental activism and provide know ledge and analytical skills that will be more useful in students' struggle for meaningful livelihoods. Field visits were conducted over a period of four years in the communities surrounding the Park, where I worked with children, parents, teachers, schoo l administrators, and those promoting environmental education from within conservation organizations and government ministries. Ethnographic interviews, focus group discussions, surveys, participant observation, and individual and group mapping activities all contributed to addressing the objectives of the study. From these experiences emerged an understanding that while environmental education is having a positive impact in the region, it could be strengthened. By bringing political ecology and engaged pedagogy together, I argue for the adoption of an engaged political ecology approach, which would address social, economic and political inequalities and provide students with the skills needed to confront these social and environmental challenges. In th is manner, environmental education could be transformed into a powerful strategy to address underlying power structures and worldviews that encourage, permit and/or ignore environmental destruction and social inequality.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The biological consequences of tropical deforestation are grave and the political and economic forces shaping land use patterns in the Amazon are extremely complicated. 1 As De Young (1993: 485) notes, "Never before have so ma ny behaviors needed to change in so short a time." Yet, discerning the relationship between individual behavior and global political and economic forces is a daunting challenge and leaves those promoting conservation with the difficult task of determining how to change environmentally unsound behaviors. One of the most popular strategies that has emerged is environmental education (EE). Conservation organizations and governmental entities alike have embraced environmental education as an integral part of their agendas. Yet, there is often a lack of critical analysis regarding how EE programs are contributing to conservation goals. Due to the undisputed need for improved education in most tropical areas, environmental education proposals are rarely quest ioned or critically evaluated. However, without a careful examination of the mechanisms by which environmental education might promote the goal of protecting biodiversity, these programs may fail to contribute meaningfully to conservation efforts. There fore, this dissertation explores the role of environmental education in promoting conservation, looking specifically at EE in the buffer zone of Parque Nacional Podocarpus (PNP), in southern Ecuador. I draw on field visits over a period of four years in t he communities surrounding the Park, where I worked with children, parents,

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2 teachers, school administrators, and those promoting EE from within conservation organizations and government ministries. From these experiences emerged an analysis of how environ mental education is currently used as a conservation strategy, and how it might be transformed into a powerful tool that addresses underlying power structures and worldviews that encourage, permit and/or ignore environmental destruction. The Compelling Need for Biodiversity Conservation Scientists estimate that over 50% of the Earth's species are harbored in tropical rain forest ecosystems, although they cover only 7% of the Earth's land surface (Wilson 1988: 8). However, with many areas still unexplor ed and uncatalogued by scientists, the total number of species that live in these ecosystems remains largely unknown. This legendary biological diversity tends to defy scientific efforts to quantify it. For example, the whole of the British Isles has a c omparable amount of ant species, to that of a single tree in Tambopata, Peru (Wilson, 1987). 2 Understanding the complexity of the interrelationships among this multitude of species is a Herculean task: nutrient and energy cycling; soil structure and fer tility; watershed management; fire regimes; succession; migration patterns; food webs; pollination and seed dispersal mechanisms; hosts, parasites and symbiosis; etc. The elaborate and intricate entanglement of elements is exquisite. As Barbara Kingsolve r eloquently writes, Every space is filled with life. . Vines strangling their own kin in the everlasting wrestle for sunlight. The breathing of monkeys. A glide of snake belly on branch. A single file army of ants biting a mammoth tree into uniform grains and hauling it down to the dark for their ravenous queen. And, in reply, a choir of seedlings arching their necks out of rotted tree stumps, sucking life out of death. This forest eats itself and lives forever. [Kingsolver, 1998: 5]

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3 Add to this t he dimension of time and all the corresponding issues of seasonality, weather patterns and other long term cycles. Next add the dimension of scale and all the global issues such as carbon dioxide sinks and marine fisheries. With all of this, the more clo sely we look, the more complexity and interdependence are revealed. As John Muir (1911: 110) noted, "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." Despite a growing awareness of the complexity of ecolo gical systems, the rate of biodiversity destruction is stunning. 3 Globally, species are now disappearing at 100 times the average rate of extinction known to have occurred in historic times (Leakey 1995; Myers 1992). In addition, the destruction of ecosy stems often leads to the failure of critical ecosystem functions, such as the maintenance of air, water, and soil quality (Gash et al., 1996; Sharma 1992; Myers 1992; Blaikie and Brookfield, 1987; Ehrlich and Ehrlich, 1981). Accompanying the loss of biolo gical diversity and ecosystem functions, tropical deforestation also has serious social consequences. As Anderson writes, The tragedy of deforestation in Amazonia as well as elsewhere in the tropics is that its costs, in both economic, social, cultural, and aesthetic terms, far out weigh its benefits . deforestation usually leaves behind landscapes that are economically as well as ecologically impoverished. [Anderson, 1990: xi] The Amazon, containing the largest percentage of tropical forests left in tact in the world, has justifiably become the focus of many conservation efforts. The variety of threats to Amazonian forests, such as timber and mineral extraction, cattle ranching, and colonization have been well documented (e.g., Guppy, 1984; Myers, 19 86; Schmink and Wood, 1992; Hecht and Cockburn, 1989). Likewise, a variety of research has sought to determine the rates of deforestation and land cover change due to these activities (e.g., Fearnside et al., 1990; Wood and Skole 1998), as well as to addr ess the dynamics and

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4 consequences of deforestation (e.g., Anderson 1990, Barraclough and Ghimire 1990; 2000; Moran, 1996; Place, 2001). 4 A significant amount of energy has also gone into identifying alternatives to deforestation, such as the creation of e xtractive reserves or developing land use systems based on indigenous knowledge. 5 Complementing these efforts has been a growing emphasis on environmental education to promote conservation. Education as a Conservation Strategy Given the biological diver sity of tropical ecosystems and the multiple threats to these systems, conservationists face the difficult task of determining what strategy to pursue to protect the natural riches of the tropics and promote their sustainable use and social justice. Educa tion is often invoked as an integral part of the solution. Around the globe, environmental education has become a popular strategy for promoting the conservation of biological diversity. For example, international conservation organizations such as Conse rvation International (CI) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have provided support for local educational efforts around the globe. CI has been involved with educational programs to protect sea turtles in Colombia, the Eco escuela in the Mayan Biosphere, and e ducational activities in Brazil to promote the creation of private reserves (CI, 1993). Likewise, the Peace Corps is striving to make environmental education an integral part of their programs. 6 Even within academia, researchers have recognized the need to move beyond pure research and participate in educating the public about conservation issues (Feinsinger, 1987). At the national level, governmental organizations are incorporating environmental education into their mandates. Ecuador, the focus of thi s study, is no exception. Environmental education is being integrated throughout the curricula as an

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5 interdisciplinary theme at all grade levels, by mandate of the national Curricular Reform, under the direction of the Ministry of Education and Culture (M EC). In addition to these governmental actions, conservation organizations are visible actors in the environmental education arena. Recognizing the opportunity provided by the new Curricular Reform, national and grassroots conservation organizations hav e mobilized to help teachers and schools meet this new requirement. EcoCiencia, a national conservation organization in Ecuador, promotes environmental education as a key conservation strategy. Es obvia la crisis ambiental: la vivimos contidianamente y afecta la calidad de nuestras vidas. Sin embargo, los problemas son complejos de afrontar. De ah que la educacin ambiental es esencial para comprender y paticipar en la solucin de estos problemas. La educacin es la base para posibilitar un cambio en las mentes, corazones y acciones de cada individuo y en la sociedad como un todo. [EcoCiencia, 1994: 4] The environmental crisis is obvious: we live with it daily and it affects the quality of our lives. However, addressing these problems is complicated. That's why environmental education is essential for understanding and participating in the solutions to these problems. Through education it is possible to change the thinking, hearts and actions of every individual and throughout our society. At the local level, grassroots organizations like Fundacin Arcoiris, in southern Ecuador, have identified education as one of their main strategies for reaching their goal of promoting the conservation of local biological diversity. They have brought students t o Parque Nacional Podocarpus, so that they might learn about its biological diversity first hand. As EcoCiencia noted, La crisis ambiental plantea la necesidad de una educacin que colabore con el establecimiento de relaciones ms armoniosas entre la gen te y su entorno. . Solo a travs de la educacin y visita a stas reas valoraremos el hecho de que, a pesar de ser uno de los pases ms pequeos de nuestro continente, el Ecuador posee una de las mayores diversidades de especies animales y vegetales del mundo. [1994: 13] The environmental crisis presents the need for an environmental education that establishes more harmonious relationships between humans and their environment.

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6 . Only through education and visits to these areas can we value the fact that, in spite of being one of the smallest countries of our continent, Ecuador possesses one of the richest diversity of animal and plant species in the world. Social research conducted in this area has supported and encouraged these efforts. For e xample, a socio economic analysis of buffer zone communities of Parque Nacional Podocarpus recommended the implementation of environmental education campaigns, at all grade levels, as well as teacher training programs about environmental education and the development of educational materials (Espinosa et al., 1992: 106). In addition, in 1994, the Ecuadorian Institute of Forestry, Natural Areas and Wildlife (INEFAN) received $7.2 million from the World Bank through the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to de velop a master plan for the protection of biodiversity in Ecuador. One of the primary foci of this project was education and training in the buffer zones of protected areas (Surez et al., 2001: 232). 7 Although this project funding has ended, and INEFAN was absorbed by the new Ministry of the Environment (Ministerio del Ambiente) in January 1999, environmental education continues to be recognized as a national priority. These few examples illustrate how environmental education has become a major componen t of conservation strategies at various scales. Yet, those promoting conservation must confront a daunting variety of challenges. Orr (1992: 141 146) notes that the current paradigm, which "emphasizes human dominance over the natural world, consumption, e conomic growth, and science and technology, and is organized around nation states and corporations" presents a significant challenge to promoting conservation through education. Questioning the consequences of this paradigm and changing how we conceptuali ze our relationship with the natural world, as well as how we envision social relationships, is thus at the very core of environmental education. When actively pursued, many refer to this as education for sustainability.

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7 In addition, educational systems in Latin America face huge political and economic obstacles (see Organizacin de los Estados Americanos, 1992; Merino, 1984; Velsquez Cevallos, 1980; Arizpe, 1993; Herz, 1990). Research has poignantly illustrated how the political and economic constraint s facing education in Latin America have translated into subsequent poor educational performance of students (e.g., Harbison and Hanushek, 1992). This is the overarching context in which environmental education must operate. Additionally, natural resour ce issues often revolve around the negotiation of conflicts between multiple stakeholders at multiple levels. This often entails multi scale variables, from local livelihood strategies to forces of global capitalism. Environmental education aimed at chan ging human relationships with the natural world, must address this complexity and recognize that information may be necessary but not sufficient to change behaviors. In addition, De Young points out that we are faced with the challenge of changing a wide variety of resource costly behaviors, and making these changes stick. He writes, "For many reasons the techniques commonly used to promote conservation behavior are more reliable at modulating short term behavior than at achieving durable change" (De Youn g 1993: 485). Although environmental education is popular, opportunities exist to increase and improve EE experiences. For example, in Ecuador specifically, Fierro, Medina and Castillo (1993) indicated that only 19 of the 95 private reserves in Ecuador (o utside the National Protected Areas system) were oriented toward conservation, research, environmental education, ecotourism or sustainable management. Fewer demonstrated effectiveness in promoting conservation (Josse and Cano, 2001: 168). Furthermore, t he authors noted a scarcity of educational projects in the national Agricultural Extension Centers and how this was a missed opportunity for promoting conservation values (Josse and Cano, 2001: 178).

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8 To summarize, there is a compelling need to promote con servation, and environmental education programs are a popular strategy for doing so. In Ecuador, even in the midst of severe economic crisis, environmental education remained prominent in national discourse. Attention has been brought to how educational efforts need to be improved and expanded to meet the challenges of biodiversity conservation. Therefore, there is a clear need to better understand the linkages between education and behavior, and the potential for environmental education to promote conse rvation. My research questions and objectives emerge directly from this context. Research Overview: Objectives and Site In this study I explored the role of environmental education in promoting conservation, looking specifically at a case study of envir onmental education in the buffer zone of Parque Nacional Podocarpus (PNP), in southern Ecuador. Political ecology and engaged pedagogical theory provided the theoretical framework for this analysis and defined the general objectives of the study, which in cluded 1) analyzing how environmental education is currently used as a conservation strategy in the buffer zone of PNP; 2) exploring the social, economic, and political realities facing the participants in these environmental education programs; 3) identif ying students' and teachers' knowledge and attitudes regarding conservation issues that are discussed in local environmental education programs; and 4) investigating and analyzing the pedagogical practices used in regular classrooms and in environmental ed ucation programs. These objectives reflect the overarching purpose of this research, which was to contribute to the development of new approaches to environmental education that would engage students more successfully in

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9 environmental activism and provide knowledge and analytical skills that will be more useful in students' struggles for meaningful livelihoods. In order to address these objectives, I worked directly with those providing environmental education in the communities surrounding the Park, as well as with those receiving environmental education. The communities surrounding the Park provided an ideal location for this investigation for several reasons. First, the need to protect the biological diversity of the Park had garnered local, national and international attention. Second, numerous groups in the region were attempting to promote conservation using environmental education. Third, various educators and conservationists in the region were actively seeking input and recommendations on how t o improve their educational programs. To provide some background, Parque Nacional Podocarpus was established in 1982, and protects 146,280 hectares of tropical forest, cloud forest and highland pramo (alpine tundra) habitat in the Provinces of Loja and Zamora Chinchipe. It protects the last large tracts of undisturbed forest in southern Ecuador, and provides refuge for large mammals such as jaguar and spectacled bear. Ornithological research has found this area to be one of the world's richest areas fo r avifauna, and botanical research has found it to be impressive, particularly in orchids. The Park's name comes from the only conifer genus native to Ecuador, the Podocarpus which is found in this region. See Figure 1.1 for a map of Ecuador and Figure 1.2 for a map of the research site.

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31. 15% islands 30. ecuislands 29.Secondary roads 28. Primary roads 27. Railroad .58 pt 26. Railroad 2.4 pt 25. Railroad breaks 24. rivers 18. International boundaries 19. 4002 intern. bound. 1st ord 20 4003 internal boundary 1st ord 21. Pan-Am white 17. Breaks15. Country namesPERUCOLOMBIAPERU SanJuar Pata Mira Napo Curaray Pastaza Corrientes Santiago Maran Cenepa Catamayo Morona Esmeraldas Daule Azogues CanaldeJambel Cononaco Tigre Zamora Putumayo SanMiguelLOJAEL OROAZUAYGUAYAS MANABSUCUMBOS ESMERALDASNAPOPASTAZACOTOPAXIPICHINCHATUNGURAHUABOLVAR LOSROS CARCHI CHINCHIPE ZAMORACHIMBORAZO IMBABURACAAR MORONA-SANTIAGO14. Region names Cabo der San Francisco PACIFICr OCEAN Cabo Pasado Cabor San Lorenzo Puntar Santa Elena Golfo der Guayaquilr r Baha der Ancn de Sardinas Baha de Manta Pun La Plata Santa Clara SalinasSullanaPiuraChoneMantaPortoviejoJipijapa Posorja TumbesTalara Santor DomingoQuitoBaezaMachachiPto. Franciscor de OrellanaCononacoTena Nuevo r Rocafuerte LatacungaQuevedoAmbatoPuyo GuarandaRiobambaBabahoyoRo Tigre MontalvoAlaus GuayaquilRo CorrientesMacasNaranjalCuenca MachalaPasaje LojaZamoraMacar Tumaco San LorenzoPastoEsmeraldasMuisneTulcnSan GabrielIbarraZumbaMilagroCayambePlayasPto. El Carmenr del PutumayoNueva Loja Baha der Carquez16. Place names 9. Towns 10. Provincial capitals((12. Airports8. Tickmarks 80 78 76 4 2 0 2 80 78 76420 2 7. Frame6. Galpagos IsabelaSantiagoGenovesaPintaWolfDarwin Marchena Santa Mara EspaolaSanta CruzBaltraSan Cristbal Fernandina 0 50 100 km 0 50 100 mi GALPAGOS ISLANDSr (Archipilago de Coln) PACIFICr OCEAN 0 92 92 90 2 0 90 2 2 Puertor Baquerizo MorenoGALPAGOS 5. Globe grid 4. Globe boundary ECUADOR 1. Globe blackMap No. 3878 UNITED NATIONSr March 1996The boundaries and names shown on this map do not implyr official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations. Department of Public Informationr Cartographic Section National capitalr Provincial capitalr City, townr International boundaryr Provincial boundaryr Pan American highwayr Primary roadr Secondary roadr Railroadr Major airport( 0 0 50 100 150 km 50 100 mi ECUADOR 0. Legend

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12 In addition, the Park also provides valuable ecosystem services, as it is the principal water source for the communities surrounding the Park. These include the Provincial capitals of L oja and Zamora, as well as numerous smaller rural agricultural communities. While mestizo communities are found throughout the buffer zone, highland Saraguro Indians have settled primarily along the northeastern border of the Park, and Shuar communities ar e found along the eastern border of the Park. Crops grown in the higher areas include corn, sugar cane, coffee and a variety of fruits among others, whereas plantains and manioc are found in the Amazon region. Cattle ranching is also a primary activity. Primary resource management issues relating to the Park include the expanding agricultural frontier, maintaining safe water supplies, gold mining, and timber harvesting. Dissertation Overview Chapter 2 begins by discussing the development of environment al education and how it is situated within a broader educational framework, which Bernard (1994) named the educational model of social change. The key variables in the educational model of social change knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors are defined and discussed in depth in an attempt to understand the relationships among them. From this discussion a critique emerges. Drawing on political ecology and engaged pedagogy, I propose an "engaged political ecology" approach. In this approach, the ecological and cultural contexts, as well as economic and political structures across scales, are recognized as fundamental forces that impact educational programs. Likewise, within this approach, an experiential, engaged classroom that encourages critical thinking and involvement with the issues is promoted. I argue that this engaged approach is necessary for addressing underlying social, economic,

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13 and political (i.e., power) structures and worldviews that encourage, permit, and/or ignore environmental destruction and social inequality. Chapter 3 builds on this theoretical foundation and outlines the research design, objectives, and methods. I begin with an introductory overview of the evolution of my research design over its four years, outlining the primary obj ectives and activities undertaken in each year. I then discuss each field season, and provide a detailed description of the various methods used, including ethnographic interviews, focus group discussions, surveys, participant observation, and individual and group mapping activities. The discussion concludes by looking at the strengths and weaknesses of this research design. Chapter 4 applies the engaged political ecology approach developed in Chapter 2 to explore the complexities of promoting conservatio n in the buffer zone of Parque Nacional Podocarpus. I argue that it is critical to understand the ecological, economic, political, and social context, at various scales in which environmental education is operating. Therefore, I begin with a description of the field site, including a discussion of these various facets. These local conditions are then located within the national and international context to provide a foundation from which to understand the main management issues for Parque Nacional Podoca rpus. I focus on one issue, that of gold mining, as it is a particularly volatile issue in the region. I then introduce the key stakeholders in the management of the Park and their strategies for confronting the management challenges. These strategies, without exception, include environmental education, and thus the discussion progresses into a description of the evolution of education in Ecuador (in the broadest of terms) in order to situate current educational policy and practices in historical perspec tive and then to an analysis of these environmental education programs.

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14 In Chapter 5, I explore the perspectives of the children I worked with in the buffer zone of the Park. I focus specifically on the results from the survey and interviews, which were designed to address whether student participation in environmental education programs had changed their knowledge regarding local conservation issues. I found that although the educational programs were not fully meeting their goals, they were having a p ositive impact. Students who had been involved in the educational programs did have greater knowledge about the Park. They also illustrated that what they were learning about the Park and conservation was influenced by how they were learning it. Chapter 6 then delves into an analysis of the individual drawing activity, which provided another medium for the children to express themselves and gave further insight into how they understood their own cultural and ecological environments, including their relat ionship with the Park. I analyzed the drawings by asking five principal questions that reflected the key ecological relationships and issues discussed in local environmental education programs. The questions were how did the students portray: 1) local t opography; 2) the water cycle; 3) biological diversity; 4) human interaction with the Park; and 5) gender roles? I began by listing and categorizing all elements that appeared in the drawings. Then I looked for elements relating to the five questions ab ove. The results indicated that environmental education programs are having a positive impact on student knowledge about the Park, although they are not reaching their objectives fully. Chapter 7 adds the voices of teachers, educators, and government offi cials to the discussion. In this chapter we hear their perspectives regarding four main themes. First, the discussion addresses the Curricular Reform and the role of environmental education within this new system. This leads to a more narrow focus on d efining environmental education and how it is used in the buffer zone of PNP. Following this, local educators' knowledge

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15 and attitudes regarding the Park are discussed. Through these discussions it became apparent that there is no consensus regarding wh at environmental education entails, nor what the objectives should be. There is even less consensus when it comes to defining the specific themes and content of environmental education. However, one persistent issue, repeatedly raised by the teachers the mselves, was the need for further teacher training. There is a desire to improve the content and methods used in environmental education, but there is a lack of both technical and procedural knowledge. Thus, these discussions lead to a discussion of teac her training programs and reflection on how pedagogical philosophies and practices impact the learning process. I conclude by discussing the barriers to promoting environmental education and how an engaged political ecology approach brings together some v aluable insights that might contribute to overcoming these challenges. Chapter 8 provides an overview of the research and concludes with a compilation of ideas that emerged from teachers, educators, students, and parents living in the buffer zone, augmente d by insights from political ecology and engaged pedagogy, regarding how to improve the practice of environmental education. From this, I propose that an engaged political ecology approach in environmental education might help to facilitate "Awareness to Action." Political ecology contributes on two fronts. First, the content of EE programs is strengthened by the incorporation of materials and activities that address the larger political, economic, and cultural contexts influencing conservation efforts. Second, political ecology points out that education takes places within a landscape of power, and that it alone might not be sufficient to change behaviors. Therefore, it promotes increasing opportunities for students to translate their new knowledge and understanding into action. Without increasing these opportunities, environmental education falls short of its "Awareness to Action" mandate and does not engage with the

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16 larger political, economic and social contexts that shape human relationships with th eir environment. Engaged pedagogy contributes an understanding of how power influences learning and educational processes, and advocates for engaging students in their own learning. Applied to environmental education, it encourages collaborative learnin g and encounters in which teachers, parents, and students come together to discuss local environmental challenges and identify potential solutions. This transformation from a passive educational process to an engaged one, in which environmental and social justice issues are politicized and where opportunities to participate in activities designed to address these issues are created, is at the core of an engaged political ecology approach. By transforming the classroom into a space in which all voices are encouraged, and where local environmental and social issues are addressed, this approach could be one powerful way to address underlying power structures and worldviews that encourage, permit, and/or ignore environmental destruction and social inequality. Notes 1 For example, see Wunder (2000), Faminow (1998), Sponsel et al., (1996), Schmink and Wood (1992), Barraclough and Ghimire (1990, 2000), Hecht and Cockburn (1989), Guppy, (1984). 2 That would be 43 species of ants, from 26 genera. 3 Simberloff (1984) claimed that there would be an inevitable loss of 15% of the 92,000 plant species in South and Central America. That is 13,800 species. Wilson (1987) "upped the ante" when he estimated that pe rhaps as many as 10,000 species were going extinct every year, translating into 27 species a day. Ehrlich (1988: 22) made the alarming statement that "extrapolation of current trends in the reduction of diversity implies a denouement for civilization with in the next 100 years comparable to a nuclear winter."

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17 4 See also Skole (1992), Skole and Tucker (1993), and Myers (1988) for more information on rates of deforestation, and Lutzenberger (1987) and Myers (1992) for more discussion regarding the dynamic s and consequences of deforestation. 5 The potential role of extractive reserves in providing an economic alternative to deforestation has been particularly prominent in the discussion. See Anderson (1992), Anderson and Ioris (1992), Browder (1990, 199 2), Godoy and Bawa (1993), Godoy and Lubowski (1992), Godoy et al., (1993), Homma (1992) Salafsky et al., (1993), Schwartzman (1989), Nepstad and Swartzman (1992). 6 Although Peace Corp has been involved in environmental education since the early 1960s, they established their environmental education assignment area in 1989 in recognition of the growing importance of EE. For more information on the environmental educational programs of Peace Corp, see http://www.peacecorps.gov/volunteer/enrionment/index.html 7 The other main areas of concern were: policy and administration, planning and management, infrastructure development, research and ecotourism and community development. Fun ding for this project ended in 1999.

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18 CHAPTER 2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKS Introduction Around the globe, environmental education has become a popular strategy for promoting the conservation of biological diversity. Across scales, from the grassroots to the international, and across sector s, from non profits to governmental ministries, education has been embraced as a strategy to reduce environmental destruction. Therefore, this chapter begins by looking at the rise of environmental education as a field and examining the contributions made by educators and psychologists to the discussion of how knowledge, attitudes and behaviors are linked. The underlying assumption that behavior is dependent upon knowledge, which Bernard (1994: 23) calls the educational model of social change, is examined I argue that it is not sufficient for directing environmental education efforts, since it does not address underlying social, economic, and political structures. I propose that the adoption of an engaged political ecology approach will facilitate the u nderstanding of the social, economic, and political (i.e., power) structures and worldviews that encourage/permit/ignore environmental destruction. The theoretical approach developed in this chapter is then used in the following chapters to examine the ca se study of environmental education in the communities surrounding Parque Nacional Podocarpus, in southern Ecuador.

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19 In an attempt to address environmental degradation and destruction, there has been a call for more attention to education, and a whole new field of environmental education (EE) has developed since the 1960s. Complete with its own objectives and methodologies, environmental education has become a key part of the conservation agenda on national and international levels. Governmental organizations charged with the management of natural resources, as well as non-governmental organizations, have become involved. As Encalada (1992: 60) notes, A medida que ha avanzado la preocupacin por la problemtica ambiental en nuestros pases, en especial por los problemas de conservacin de las reas naturales, el nmero de proyectos educativos especficos ha crecido. As concern for the environment has increased in our countries, particularly in regards to the conservation of natural areas, the number of educational projects has increased. 1 Educational programs including everything from small local programs promoting recycling, to regional projects encouraging agroforestry, to global initiatives such as GLOBE and GreenCOM, have sprung up around the world.2 In the beginning, however, the geographical reach and scope of EE was more limited. In the United States, environmental education grew out of the social movements of the 1960s.3 The original focus was on developing "environmental literacy," and thus developing awareness, knowledge, and problem-solving skills was the primary aim. Gradually the focus shifted toward one promoting "environmental ethics" in which the goal was to enhance students' ability to think critically about environmental problems, evaluate their own role in these problems, and most importantly become motivated to action to resolve them (Cronin-Jones, 1998).

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20 Today, "Awareness to Action" has become the environmental educators' mantra. Regardless of the nuances of the local situati on or the specific topic, environmental educators will most likely be working from some version of an Awareness to Action framework. This framework was first articulated by Stapp et al. (1969: 30) who argued that environmental education should create know ledgeable citizens who are "able to help solve these problems, and motivated to work toward their solution." Later, this framework gained global attention at the Tbilisi conference in 1977, when delegates identified awareness, knowledge, attitudes, skills and participation as the five key elements to environmental education (UNESCO, 1978). Translated into objectives, environmental education seeks to 1) stimulate awareness of an environmental issue; 2) provide base knowledge; 3) explore attitudes that und erlie the issues; 4) teach problem solving and critical thinking skills, so students can actively participate in environmental problem solving; and 5) motivate participation in environmental issues, whether it be changed personal behavior or involvement i n local, regional or global action. Thus, environmental educators have the explicit final objective of promoting responsible environmental behavior (Hungerford et al., 1980; Gambro and Switsky, 1996; Hungerford and Volk, 1990). Despite the general conse nsus in the field of environmental education regarding the desirability of an Awareness to Action strategy, most programs do not successfully address all five objectives. The question therefore becomes, what are the barriers and practices that have preven ted the application of this Awareness to Action model? What is needed to reach the objectives of environmental education in practice? The next section looks for answers to these questions by examining one prevalent and underlying assumption guiding many educational programs.

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21 The Educational Model of Social Change It is frequently assumed that people are behaving in environmentally unfriendly ways because they lack knowledge about the ecological consequences of their actions. Increasing knowledge is beli eved to lead to a corresponding change in attitude, which in turn leads to the desired behavior (Matthews and Riley, 1995). In other words, awareness must precede knowledge, which in turn determines attitudes, which then influences actions. Although many educators have questioned this model (i.e., Hungerford and Volk, 1990), this thinking remains prevalent in educational programs designed to change people's behavior. 4 Bernard calls this the educational model of social change, and offers this critique, Th e model is based on the idea that thought causes behavior. If you want to change people's behavior, the reasoning goes, then you have to change how they think. . The educational model of social change . doesn't produce much in the way of desired c hange. This is because the behavioral change (the supposed dependent variable) often doesn't depend on education (the supposed independent variable). In fact, it's sometimes the other way around. [Bernard, 1994: 23] The literature, replete with example s that illustrate that knowledge is not the exclusive determinant of behavior, supports this critique. Educators themselves have commented that, A common myth is that people don't behave appropriately because they don't know better, and therefore informat ion is the cure for changing behavior. If you give people the facts that . deforestation increases soil erosion . they will correct their environmentally destructive behaviors. Clinging to this myth actually limits our efforts to change behaviors or provide the skills needed to perform the appropriate behavior. Providing information must be just part of a larger strategy. Obviously, information is necessary, though not sufficient. [Hernandez and Monroe, 2000: 13] Despite these critiques, man y EE programs continue to focus exclusively on providing information. Therefore, it is useful to examine the components of the model knowledge, attitudes and behaviors and the relationships between them.

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22 Knowledge Knowledge can be defined as a state of being aware of something or of possessing information. In the educational model this is the first ingredient to changing behavior. Research conducted in the 1970s in the United States illustrated that a person's level of education is strongly related to, and can even predict, a person's level of concern for the environment (Buttel and Flinn, 1978). Today, environmental educators recognize that the environmental threats we are facing are relatively new, of which many people may simply not be aware. Fo r example, various studies have documented generally low levels of environmental literacy among students and adults in the United States (Gambro and Switsky, 1996; Barrow and Morrisey, 1989; Brody, Chipman and Marion, 1989; Miller, 1990). 5 Therefore, some environmental educators hold that humans are behaving in ecologically unsustainable ways because they are not aware of the issues and/or do not have sufficient knowledge about them and the consequences of their actions. The lack of environmental knowled ge is often attributed to school curricula that do not systematically integrate environmental issues. EE has remained generally isolated in the science curriculum, although environmental educators have promoted an interdisciplinary approach from the start (Stapp, 1978). Ham and Sewing (1987 1988) point out that environmental education is usually lumped within science curricula in teacher training programs, which naturally leads teachers to assume that EE is appropriate only within that context. Even if n on science teachers recognize the interdisciplinary nature of EE, they may not feel qualified to teach environmental education (Ham and Sewing, 1987 1988). Simmons (1989) adds that environmental education is not incorporated throughout the curricula due to the lack of curriculum materials relevant to local situations.

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23 While the absence of EE across the curriculum (an issue of quantity) certainly can be considered a factor limiting the opportunities to gain environmental knowledge, another area of concern is the content (an issue of quality) of the programs. 6 Monroe and De Young (1993) integrate social marketing and psychological approaches with educational practices, and find that one strategy for changing behavior is to improve the content of educationa l programs so that they provide functional, useful, and believable information. Other research found that environmental education programs must provide information relevant to the specific behavior change desired, as well as teach the skills necessary to actually carry out the new behavior (Azjen and Fishbein, 1970; Hines et al., 1986 87). For example, a recycling program must include background information on why we need to recycle, as well as procedural information on how to recycle (De Young 1988 89). In addition to the issues of quantity and quality, several other factors may inhibit the accumulation of environmental knowledge. One issue is previous knowledge. The constructivist approach to learning acknowledges that students construct new understan dings by building on old knowledge and understandings (Ballantyne and Packer, 1996). Students enter the learning process having already created an understanding ("right" or "wrong") of their world, and this impacts their ability to integrate new knowledge (Munson, 1994; Clough and Wood Robinson, 1985). Therefore, previous knowledge plays an important role in learning, and the goal of EE must therefore be "a qualitative change in students' understanding rather than a simple increase in factual informatio n" (Ballantyne and Packer, 1996: 28). Unfortunately, this research also indicates it is difficult to change misconceptions. 7

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24 Another problem is inert knowledge, which is knowledge that one has, but does not necessary recall in a problem solving situation unless prompted to do so. Various research has found that environmental knowledge often lies dormant (Adams et al., 1988; Bransford et al., 1990; Jonassen, 1991). So although EE may increase knowledge levels, the new knowledge may not be used when the st udent grapples with an environmental problem. In this scenario, there is no connection between increased knowledge and behavior, since the new information is not retrived. Unless teachers specifically include meaningful problem solving situations, in whi ch students are able to apply their new environmental knowledge, the problem of inert knowledge remains. 8 These findings are closely related to research that illustrates the need to focus on critical thinking skills, which would give students the abilit y to use their knowledge base to analyze new situations and identify potential alternatives (Chiras, 1992). Since environmental issues are often controversial, they provide rich opportunities for challenging students' abilities to think critically. Yet, critical thinking skills are often underdeveloped. For example, one study conducted in Ecuador found that 84.6% of the people interviewed believed that they could do something for the environment, but only 5.6% were able to identify six actions that could be taken (Encalada, 1995: 160). Recognizing the need to address these shortcomings, some environmental education programs, like Project Learning Tree, have given special attention to developing critical thinking skills (PLT, 1994). To conclude this dis cussion on knowledge, we can see that many believe that it is a lack of knowledge that is the crux of the problem. Increasing the quantity and improving the quality of EE programs is considered to be a critical step toward

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25 influencing attitudes and changi ng behaviors. Thus, the next section explores the concept of attitudes and its relationship with knowledge and behavior. Attitudes Attitudes refer to the state of mental or emotional readiness for some form of activity. Bennett (1988 1989: 16) comments "attitudes, like values, reflect our feelings toward objects, both tangible and intangible, and include a wide range of emotions that influence the extent to which we value something." Research indicates that changing environmental attitudes is an extr emely difficult thing to do (Edwards and Iozzi, 1983). However, some research done in the early part of the environmental movement identified that an interdisciplinary approach helped (Hepburn, 1978), as was making it part of daily activities (Inverson, 1 976). 9 Research has also found that outdoor education can improve attitudes (Yerkes and Haras, 1997) and unsurprisingly that the media plays a powerful role in the development of environmental attitudes and values (Shanahan, 1999; Ostman, 1987). Althou gh it is generally believed that attitudes are changed through increasing knowledge, empirical research into this relationship is inconsistent (Iozzi, 1989). This can be partly attributed to the fact that attitudes are notoriously difficult to measure, a nd researchers have defined and operationalized the concept of attitudes differently, which confounds any attempt at comparative analysis. Yet, even taking this into consideration, research conducted in the 1970s did not support the assumption that knowle dge determined attitudes (Holtz, 1976; Hounshell and Ligett, 1973; Kinsey 1979). 10 More recently, Gambro and Switsky (1996) found that students' beliefs were generally stronger than their knowledge of the issue. Yet, Iozzi (1989: 4) notes the dearth of d ata in general,

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26 Most research conducted in the area of environmental education and the affective domain has been essentially descriptive . very few studies attempted to determine the effects of specific interventions or programs designed to improve, change, or alter existing attitudes or values and the ways they impact on the environment. The challenge of determining causal relationship between attitudes and behavior is also a formidable task. In 1964, Festinger could only identify three studies tha t addressed this relationship, and contrary to expectation, they all illustrated that a positive attitudes toward a behavior did not necessarily result in that behavior. 11 Since then, significant research has been conducted into these relationships. In 19 70, Ajzen and Fishbein articulated the theory of reasoned action, which argued that information was insufficient to produce a behavioral change since behavioral intentions are determined by attitudes and normative beliefs. In 1991, Ajzen proposed the mode l of planned behavior, which argued that three variables (attitudes, subjective norms and perceived control) influenced a person's intention to act, which then contributed to whether they acted. Importantly, this model also included the variable "perceive d behavior control," which acknowledged that there are some behaviors over which people do not have complete control. This leads us to look at behavior change. Behavior Behavior in the context of this model is confined to a specific single action that an individual performs. 12 Understanding and predicting behavior is extremely complicated, and very few models offer reliable predictions (Fishbein, 1967; Hines et al., 1986 87, De Young 1985 86). As Iozzi (1989: 4) laments, "Unfortunately, the relationshi p between knowledge and action still remains unclear." Encalada (1995) shows that even if

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27 educational programs increase people's knowledge regarding environmental issues and make them more sympathetic toward these issues, this does not imply a specific be havior change. Likewise, Murray (1987) found that educational programs stressing the value of reforestation in Haiti did not result in more planted trees since the program did not take into consideration key economic and political considerations. Similar results have also been found in the field of health. For example, HIV AIDS educational programs promoting safe sex have often not been successful (Sobo 1995, Kendall 1995, Frederiksen et al., 1984). 13 Thus, one thing is clear, as Blanchard and Monroe (1 990: 108) note, Changing the public's behavior toward wildlife through education is a monumental task. The irony is that sociologists and psychologists question whether durable behavior change reliably follows from providing information alone and can sho w few documented cases where this has occurred (Festinger 1964, Geller et al. 1982, Caduto 1985, Katzev and Johnson 1987). The provision of information may be a necessary but not a sufficient condition for behavior change. Research conducted in the field s of education, psychology, and advertising regarding behavior provides insight into some variables that EE programs might consider. For example, social cognitive learning theory states that confidence is a critical determinant of behavior (Bandura, 1982; 1986) and that people will avoid tasks they believe exceed their capabilities (Bandura, 1977). This relates closely with the idea of the "locus of control," which educators identify as a critical component in the translation of knowledge to action (Hung erford and Volk, 1990). If an individual feels hopeless or without power to affect the final outcome, s/he may not be motivated to participate (or in this case, change her/his behavior). Research into voting patterns has confirmed this (e.g., Chomsky, 20 01; Gans, 1996; Teixeira, 1992). Conversely, an individual is more likely to participate if they have

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28 problem solving skills and a feeling of being able to affect change (Hines, Hungerford and Tomera, 1987). Interwoven with feelings of confidence and con trol are intrinsic motivations such as a feeling of satisfaction or pride (such as a sense of adhering to a group cause), and personal commitment to an issue. Research suggests that environmental education that taps into peer pressure and cultivates a sen se of pride in carrying out the new environmental behavior will be more effective (De Young, 1985 86; De Young and Kaplan, 1985 86). For example, handing out environmental awards or plaques in school assemblies could reinforce the desired behavior, as it promotes pride and helps shape the social norm. In addition, some research has shown that getting students to commit to do something (such as sign a pledge to adopt or continue a behavior) increases the likelihood of them actually doing so (Katzev, 1986, Stern and Aronson, 1984). These intrinsic variables interplay with another key variable: the social norm. EE strategies that create space for students to share their experiences not only helps provide information to others which might increase their fee ling of competence to undertake the behavior, but also helps to redefine what is "normal." This reduces people's fears of what others will think of them if they adopt the new behavior (Monroe and De Young, 1994). As Muth and Hendee (1980) found, innovato rs are only a small part of the population. Thus, making an environmental behavior seem normal rather than extreme is an important goal. In addition to these internal characteristics, a variety of external factors influence behavior. For example, new be haviors are more readily adopted when people in places of power, whether it be in local governments or famous movie stars, adopt the behavior (Blanchard and Monroe, 1990; Muth and Hendee, 1980). Advertising relies heavily upon

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29 this understanding. In addi tion, coercive measures and negative incentives, such as fines and imprisonment, impact behavior. However, research illustrates that coercive measures do not result in durable behavior change (Katzev and Pardini, 1987). People tend not to comply with rul es created and imposed by outsiders, and even less so if they disagree with the rules. Indeed, criminalizing a behavior has been shown to increase the behavior rather than reduce it (Brehm and Brehm, 1981; Monroe and De Young, 1993). De Young (1993) foun d that the three main categories of techniques commonly used to promote conservation behavior (information, positive motivation, and coercive techniques) are more reliable at affecting short term behavior than promoting durable behavior change. To concl ude this discussion on knowledge, attitudes and behavior, it is important to realize that although researchers have organized these variables differently, and there are often subtle differences between the purpose and goals of their models, these three var iables have been central to the discussions occurring within the fields of education and psychology. 14 Thus, the information presented here is absolutely critical, for it provides the foundation from which to build and expand. Building an Engaged Politic al Ecology Approach As illustrated in the previous discussion, a significant amount of research has sought to elucidate the determinants of behavior. Although clearly valuable, I believe the focus on the characteristics of the individual learner limits t he discussion and narrows the universe of potential strategies for improving environmental education. Therefore, I first draw attention to the field of political ecology, and how this approach is relevant and valuable in the context of environmental educ ation. Then, I incorporate insights from engaged pedagogy.

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30 By bringing these two approaches together, I arrive at the conclusion that an engaged political ecology approach can be a powerful educational strategy that can address social, economic and polit ical inequalities and provide students with the skills to confront these social and environmental challenges. An Overview of Political Ecology Political ecology stresses the interconnections of cultural, political, economic, and ecological systems and posits that it is necessary to understand the dynamic interactions between these two systems to fully understand the dynamics of resource use, management, and conservation. Paul Little (1999: 2) provided a succinct definition, This research combines human ecology's focus on the multiplicity of relationships that human societies maintain with their respective biophysical environments with that of political economy in which the power relationships between social actors and societies are of prime concern. Bryant (1992), in his overview of the development of the political ecology approach, pointed out that political ecology is an effort to develop an integrated understanding of how environmental and political forces interact to mediate social and environment al change. 15 Therefore, looking at the question of how to promote conservation through a political ecology lens draws attention to both issues of scale as well as the socio structural and environmental contexts. The socio structural context includes such diverse variables as household consumption patterns, local and international market prices, labor availability, migration patterns, local, national and international policy and law, and the presence and strength of civil society in an area. Political and economic dynamics (across scales from local to international) is also a critical factor. The environmental context includes everything from the list of resources

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31 found in an area, to flood cycles, seasonal fruiting patterns, game abundance, and migration patterns. Taken together, the political ecology framework provides a more holistic understanding of the factors influencing resource use and ultimately, conservation. One of the first important political ecology pieces was from Blaikie and Brookfield, w ho conceptualized land degradation as a social rather than technical issue. They noted, The phrase 'political ecology' combines the concerns of ecology and a broadly defined political economy. Together this encompasses the constantly shifting dialectic b etween society and land based resources, and also within classes and groups within society itself. [Blaikie and Brookfield, 1987: 17] Schmink and Wood (1987, 1992) applied the approach to understand the complexities of land use in the Brazilian Amazon, il lustrating how the complex and changeable socio economic and political contexts influence people's perceptions and behaviors. By incorporating a wide set of variables into their analysis, including state fiscal incentives, colonization projects, and natio nal and international markets, among many others, they "illustrate how macro level economic and political processes determine the way natural resources have been exploited in frontier regions of northern Brazil" (1987: 3). In their book, Contested Frontie rs in Amazonia (1992), they illustrated how the social context impacted natural resource use and the physical landscape. They defined social context as, the configuration of economic, political, and ideological factors within global, national, and region al arenas that structure local outcomes by shifting power balances and by altering the incentives and disincentives for alternative courses of action, constraining some options while enabling others. [Schmink and Wood, 1992: 18] An important component of their definition is the focus on power relationships. They point out the need for more nuanced analyses that take into consideration both the capacity of local peoples to resist economic, political, and ideological attacks, as well as the immense

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32 power w ielded by these larger structural systems. Thus, the need to account for power at multiple scales, from the local to the international, is clearly outlined. Later, Schmink (1994) used a social definition of deforestation to bring attention to how the li velihoods of local populations were intimately linked to deforestation patterns. In addition, the analysis illuminated the interconnections between international and national market trends and policy, migration, and land tenure Likewise, Peluso (1992) used the political ecology framework to look at the extraction of rattan in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. This entailed examining local resource use and management, and then linking it with local social relations and the broader political and economic situ ation in Indonesia. In this way, she illustrated how individual decision making regarding resource use at the local level is linked with larger global processes. Stonich (1993) examined the political ecology of poverty and environmental destruction in Ho nduras. Peet and Watts (1993: 240) comment that, "political ecology discourse in the 1990s seems to be directly concerned with institutions and organizations in the context of shifting configurations of state and market roles." More recently, Jansen ( 1998) has brought political ecology to bear on issues of mountain agriculture in Honduras, and Grossman (1998) has looked at banana agriculture in the Caribbean. This and other similar research has firmly established the importance of understanding how so cio economic, political and ideological structures influence human environment interactions/relationships. In addition to these findings, scientists and field practioners alike began recognizing the need for models and tools that could handle both enviro nmental and social diversity. For example, Bryant (1992) examined the contextual sources of environmental change, conflict over access to natural resources, and the political consequences of environmental change

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33 and concluded that we must acknowledge the diversity within communities rather than relying on broad generalizations that pit a "powerful elite" against "poor villagers." He illustrates how these categories miss the complex power relations within communities themselves, including the often invisi ble gender differentiated power relations. Blaikie (1995: 203 ) also brought attention to the necessity for "a more politically aware understanding of the plurality of points of view regarding the environment." Likewise, Durham (1995: 252) noted that rese arch was clearly illustrating how "the impact of human populations upon environments is mediated by cultural and political economic forces" but that there was a "need for better ways to bring inequality in all its guises race, class, gender and ethnicity into the picture" (263). This understanding opened the door for the development of gendered political ecology (i.e., Rocheleau, 1995). Although a relatively new theory (emerging out of political ecology, which itself only began to be fully articulated i n the 1980s), it is one of the most promising theoretical positions currently being developed. Rocheleau et al. (1996: xv) made "an explicit effort to join feminist and political ecology scholarship from the ground up." And indeed they did so, providing case studies from around the globe, including Brazil, Austria, Spain, Kenya, Philippines, Himalayas, Zimbabwe, the Dominican Republic and the U.S., that clearly illustrate the intersection of these two approaches. Likewise, Paulson (1988) provided critica l insight into socioeconomic inequality and environmental degradation using a gendered lens. In addition, the Managing Ecosystems and Resources with a Gender Emphasis (MERGE) Program elaborated a gendered political ecology framework (Schmink, 1999) that i llustrated the value of incorporating gender into the matrix of variables requiring consideration in conservation issues. 16

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34 These various works illustrate the diverse applications of political ecology and have firmly established the importance of underst anding how socio economic, political, and ideological structures influence human environment interactions/relationships. Regardless of the particular issue or geographic location, the common theme is that political, economic, and ideological structures in fluence human environment interactions. Applying Political Ecology Insights to Environmental Education As environmental education seeks to influence human environment interactions as well, understanding how political, economic, and cultural variables im pact human behavior becomes necessary for designing successful programs. While this has been acknowledged, it has been extremely challenging to incorporate the complexities of these variables into predictive models, frameworks, and planning. 17 For example Hungerford used the catch all category of "other barriers" to acknowledge these external processes. What I would like to do is explore this category of "other barriers" and illustrate that the global political, economic, and ecological contexts in whic h education is situated must be directly addressed. The political ecology approach suggests that because the use of natural resources is a decision embedded within a complex social system of opportunities and constraints, increasing and improving educatio nal programs alone may not change behavior (Blaikie, 1995; Schmink and Wood, 1987; Thrupp, 1990). As discussed above, attempting to change a variety of human behaviors (related to conservation, health, voting, etc.) by increasing and improving educationa l programs has often failed. As Orr (1991: 10) acknowledged, The primary causes of biotic impoverishment are not, I think, ignorance or the lack of research funding. On the contrary, they are invariably political, having to do with "who gets what, when, and how." The decisions necessary to conserve biological diversity likewise will be political.

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35 Applying the political ecology approach to conservation education highlights the imperative need for environmental education programs to be informed by both th e cultural, political, economic and environmental contexts in which they work Understanding the needs, goals, opportunities and constraints facing the participants in educational programs, and how these factors influence their knowledge, attitudes, and b ehaviors related to resource use and conservation should strengthen these programs. For example, Monroe (pers. comm.) notes, In many cases, people are already aware of the environmental issues that involve them. They may know they should protect a waters hed, but they do not or cannot act on that knowledge. Policies, lack of access to technology, a lack of economic alternatives, and other factors may prevent them from engaging in environmentally positive practices. Thus, political ecology provides a more complex analytical framework that identifies the constraints to promoting conservation through education, and adds to our understanding of how humans develop and value their relationship with the natural world (see Howe et al., 1996). Overall, it is clea r that conservation practices do not take place in a vacuum, but within a particular cultural and environmental context, and that these variables need to be acknowledged and incorporated within educational strategies to promote conservation. I do not mea n to imply that educators have not recognized the need for relevant materials that address complex interconnections between social, economic and political variables across scales. But the fact remains that most educational programs, in terms of both conte nt and pedagogical practices, do not address these complex interconnections, nor do they facilitate the development of skills necessary for students to tackle environmental and social justice issues. Thus we come to the question: How do we create age appr opriate curricula and conservation programs that address these larger political ecological factors? I

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36 believe the answer lies in critical or engaged pedagogical theory and practice. Thus, the next section shifts from a focus on curricula (content) to ped agogy (method). An Overview of Engaged Pedagogy Engaged (or critical) pedagogy examines the issues of power in the context of teaching and learning, questioning how and in whose interest knowledge is produced. Some of the most influential writers in this field include Michael Apple, Paulo Freire, bell hooks, Henry Giroux, and Peter McLaren. Giroux notes that critical pedagogy signals how questions of audience, voice, power, and evaluation actively work to construct particular relations between teachers and students, institutions and society, and classrooms and communities. . Pedagogy in the critical sense illuminates the relationship among knowledge, authority, and power. [Giroux, 1994: 30] This focus on power brings attention to political and econo mic structures, at different scales, which as seen in the previous discussion, coincides with the focus of the political ecology approach. For example, Beyer and Apple (1988) identify eight issues that educators must address. These include: epistemologic al issues (what counts as knowledge); political issues (who controls the selection and distribution of knowledge); economic issues (how is control of knowledge linked to existing and unequal distribution of power, goods, and services); ideological issues ( whose knowledge counts); technical issues (how is knowledge made accessible to students); aesthetic issues (how do we link knowledge to the students); ethical issues (how do we treat other justly in education); and finally historical issues (what tradition s educators can draw upon). In examining these issues, critical pedagogues argue that an engaged approach, in which students are active participants in the process of creating knowledge, is absolutely essential. 18

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37 It is important to realize that the idea of active learning promoted by engaged pedagogy is not a new one. Numerous educators from around the globe have argued for a more participatory approach in education. For example, John Dewey founded the Laboratory School in the U.S. in 1900, in which st udents linked their classroom learning with everyday life through practical experiences. Likewise, radical British educator A.S. Neill founded Summerhill School in England in 1921 with the desire to give students freedom to choose what they learned (Neill 1960). The Beacon Hill School was founded shortly thereafter (1927) by Dora and Bertrand Russel, with the goal of promoting an egalitarian society. In Italy, Maria Montessori revolutionized education with her innovative "Casa dei Bambini (Children's H ouse) in 1907. She harshly criticized standard education, writing, Schools as they are today, are adapted neither to the needs of adolescence nor to the times in which we live. . While material progress has been extremely rapid and social life has bee n completely transformed, the schools have remained in a kind of arrested development, organized in a way that cannot have been well suited even to the needs of the past, but that today is actually in contrast with human progress. [Montessori, 1973: 97] Today, the Reggio Emilia approach to learning pioneered by Loris Malaguzzi in northern Italy in the Post WWII era is recognized worldwide for its innovative and participatory approach (Cadwell, 1997; Edwards et al., 1998). It is based on an understanding of the child as a competent being, able to participate in directing his/her own learning. The focus is on creating learning environments responsive to children's development within a specific socio cultural context. Rather than pre packaged learning uni ts, the Reggio approach relies upon an emergent curriculum in which students and teachers develop projects together (Malaguzzi, 1993). Likewise, Huckle (1996) brings attention to the concept of "education for sustainability." He pulls together the compl exities of modern societies and environmental

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38 politics and ideologies, looking particularly at Britain, and concludes that education for sustainability can be a powerful tool for change if it "engages people in a realistic appraisal of alternative meanings values and agendas" (1996: 15). Sterling (1996) provides a comprehensive theoretical overview of the efforts to promote education for sustainability. He first points out the paradox of education, in which it is used to reproduce the status quo as wel l as promote change. He then articulates the characteristics of education for sustainability, which include "broadening, inclusive, participative, critical, integrative, ethical and essentially concerned with the quality of the interrelationship and proce ss" (1996: 31). He points out how this meshes with Orr's (1992) call for more "connective education." Five key dimensions of education for sustainability (sustainability values, personal and community values, pedagogy, curriculum and structure and organ ization) are conceptualized as mutually affecting. Sustainability values included such things as "ensuring intergenerational equity; conserving biodiversity and ecological integrity; preserving natural capital and sustainable income; supporting an antici patory and precautionary policy approach; ensuring social equity;and community participation" (1996: 34). Linking these values to personal and community values was seen to be critical. He noted that education for sustainability should strive to nurture or bring out eight qualities: a sense of responsibility to the environment, to other people and to the future of both; the will, knowledge and skills to translate this responsibility into action in both personal and public life; the ability to respond pos itively to change and uncertainty; a capacity to see the links between individual and group actions, external events, and other factors; an interdisciplinary and holistic outlook; a healthy skepticism alongside the ability and freedom to be creative; a bal ance of rationality with feeling and intellect with intuition; and a sense of self worth combined with a respect for other individuals and cultures. [Sterling, 1996: 35] In his discussion of curriculum, he suggested that themes such as political ecology, natural history, ecology, systems theory, social relations, conflict resolution, equity and social justice and local and bioregional studies among many others might be included.

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39 Importantly, he recognized that implementing such a curriculum would depend on institutional structures. Critically, he argues that How people, institutions and communities interact the hidden and operational curriculum is all important and should engender a sustainability ethos that is both lived and critically reflected upon. Its characteristics include democratized classrooms and decision making; . using institutions as learning centers for the whole community; establishing networked links between all formal and non formal local educational facilities; teachers and leaders being facilitators rather than authorities; and education for life. [Sterling, 1996: 36] Likewise, Roger Hart has focused on children's participation in environmental activities, stressing "participation must be a dynamic constructive process" and tha t we must "recognize the capacities and desires of children to play a meaningful role in the development of their communities and in the care of the environment"(1997: ix x). Although not operating in the formal education sector, another example comes f rom the 4 H Youth Development program in the United States. This program is based on the philosophy that "youth learn best when they are actively involved in relevant, real world situations." Carlson (1998) found that "Youth thrive in an atmosphere where they can learn at their own pace and can evaluate themselves," and that "Hands on activities can provide a way to engage unmotivated learners" (Carlson, 1998). This is supported by research by Langer (1989), who found that sharing decision making and pro viding choices to students results in more engaged educational experiences. Conversely, Deci and Ryan (1985) found that "controlled environments lower the creativity of children, impair cognitive learning of college students and create negative feeling in general." Carlson (1998) urges, "Allow them to decide what they want to learn and how they want to learn it." The pace of learning is thus controlled by the

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40 student, who takes on more complex themes as they feel ready. In this way, the content is guara nteed to be age appropriate, for it is the student initiating the learning process. Participation, in terms of experiential learning, has been advocated as a means to increase confidence. As Ajzen (1991) notes, research has shown that a person's confide nce levels regarding a specific behavior strongly influence whether or not they attempt a behavior. These findings mirror the work of Bandura (1977, 1986), who found that perceived self efficacy is a major determinant of behavior. 19 Therefore, making the classroom a place where students develop skills and confidence to address environmental issues will likely help them tackle these issues once outside the classroom. In addition, participation is seen to be critical for developing relevant curricula that h olds the interest of students, and vital for developing critical thinking and problem solving skills. In addition, David Kolb (1984) elaborated the experiential learning cycle model, where concrete experience creates reflective observation, which leads to abstract generalization, which then prompts active experimentation. These various examples, from across time and from around the globe, illustrate some of the trends in pedagogical theory that are particularly relevant to promoting environmental and so cial justice. Now, I would like to focus in on the contributions of two of these critical educators, bell hooks and Paulo Freire, whose work has had tremendous impact in defining the field of engaged pedagogy. Below I highlight some of their key contribu tions and then discuss some of the implications for the promotion of conservation objectives through education.

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41 Paulo Freire Paulo Freire was one of the most influential philosophers/educators in Latin America and his work has had a global impact. In 19 67 he published his first book, Educao Como Prctica da Liberdade (Education as the Practice of Freedom) and in 1970 produced his seminal work Pedagogy of the Oppressed Throughout these works he demonstrates how knowledge and educational practices ar e not neutral and argues that curricula that ignore issues of social justice become part of the system that maintains inequalities. Although his contributions are complex and cannot be fully detailed here, I would like to mention several key themes that r epeatedly arise which have specific relevance to participatory, experiential learning and, I argue, for developing education strategies that promote biodiversity conservation as well as social justice. 20 The first theme is humanization According to Freir e, the vocation of humans is to become more human, which he names "humanization." This process is mediated through education, since it is through education that humans discover themselves, their place in an historical context, and their potential as human s. Therefore, Freire argues that a liberation pedagogy must be created with rather than for oppressed peoples. By participating in the educational process, they participate in the struggle for liberation, and thus become more fully human. This is in s harp contrast to the top down approach often promoted by more developed countries in which efficient and effective ways are sought to correct students' "misconceptions" and change their behavior. A second critical contribution of Freire's work is his crit ique of the banking system of education Within a banking system of education, students are passive receivers of information, which they are only required to memorize and repeat. Freire sees this type of education as an "exercise of domination" which has the "ideological intent (often not perceived by educators) of indoctrinating them [the students] to adapt to the world of oppression" (Freire 1986: 65). In contradistinction to the banking system of education, Freire posits a "problem posing education" i n which both teacher and students are active

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42 learners. Together, both teacher and student become jointly responsible for the process of education. This "liberating education" is not about passive transferal of information like in the banking system, but rather in active acts of cognition. He writes, The teacher is no longer merely the one who teaches, but one who is himself (sic) taught in dialogue with the students, who in turn while being taught also teaches. They become jointly responsible for a pro cess in which all grow. . The students no longer docile listeners are now critical co investigators in dialogue with the teacher. [1986: 67 68] As described in the first section, Freire's insights have been corroborated by empirical research, which illustrates that problem solving education, in which students actively use their knowledge, reduces the problem of inert knowledge and improves the results of the program. Thus, in an engaged classroom the focus is on facilitating rather than on teaching Donaldson and Scannell (1987: 122) provide this useful summary of the distinction: Table 2.1. Qualities of Teachers vs. Facilitators Teacher Facilitator Presents information Guides discussion Provides the right answers Provides the right questions One way communication Two way communication Gives assignments Coordinates learning activities Dictates objectives Meld's groups goals Teacher centered Learner centered Moving from being passive to active in the learning process leads to what Freire terms praxis. By combining critical thought and action, simultaneously, it is possible to gain liberation. This is a critical component of Freire's philosophy, and bell hooks integrates this idea into her work when she argues for the integration of ways of knowing with habits of being. This idea of integration is also found in environmental education, with the emphasis on Awareness to Action. Another linkage, and of specific relevance to conservation work is

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43 Freire's belief that transformative pedagogy has significant implications for how humans relate to their environment. He argues that, The oppressor consciousness tends to transform everything surrounding it into an object of its domination. The earth, property, production, the creations of men, m en themselves, time everything is reduced to the status of objects at its disposal. [Freire, 1986: 44] bell hooks Critiquing and building on the legacy of Freirian pedagogy, bell hooks has brought a powerful feminist perspective to the dialogue concern ing critical pedagogy. Her writings deal with issues of gender, race, teaching and the significance of media for contemporary culture. In her book, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom (1994), hooks characterizes teaching/learning as a revolutionary process when knowledge taught in the classroom is relevant to the lives of the participants. In contrast, education ceases to be about "the practice of freedom" when teaching/learning focuses on information only with no relationship to how one lives and behaves (3). The critical point is hook's insistence that there be an integration of knowledge and practice. Thus education is "striving not just for knowledge in books, but knowledge about how to live in the world." (1994: 15) She ca lls this "integrating ways of knowing with habits of being." Another critical integrative aspect of engaged pedagogy is that it demands attention to the holistic well being of the students. hooks argues that part of the power of her early educational exp eriences was based in the fact that her teachers shared not only information, but also in her intellectual and spiritual growth. They knew her as a whole person. Thus, hooks extends the critique of the mind/body split common to ecofeminism discussions to education. 21 She emphasizes, our work is not merely to share information but to share in the intellectual and spiritual growth of our students. To teach in a manner that respects and cares for the souls of our students is essential . .engaged pedagogy emerges from a philosophical standpoint emphasizing the union of mind, body and spirit [hooks, 1994: 13, 18]

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44 In order to capture the essence of engaged pedagogy, I have extracted some of the key elements hooks discusses and condensed them into the table below. Table 2.2 Tenets of Engaged Pedagogy Both Teacher/Facilitator and Student: Deconstruct the traditional notion that only the teacher is responsible for classroom dynamics Recognize that the teacher's voice is not the only account of what ha ppens in the classroom Recognize that both student and teacher grow, learn and are empowered by the process Pay attention to the issue of "voice": who speaks? who listens? why? Recognize that everyone influences the classroom dynamic and everyone con tributes Openly discuss how the class is impacting real life (confronting sexism, racism, etc) Work on integrating theory (ways of knowing) and practice (habits of being) Teacher/Facilitator: Personally: Acknowledge that their style of teaching ma y need to change Be prepared to confront the limitations of their training and knowledge in dealing with cultural diversity, and be willing to learn new strategies for dealing with antagonisms in the classroom Learn how to accept critical feedback from students and how to be self critical Embrace the process of self actualization In the classroom: Acknowledge everyone's presence Genuinely value everyone in the classroom and value student expression Create opportunities for students to work toge ther and develop supportive social networks Recognize each classroom is different, and adapt lesson plans accordingly Relinquish power and authority in the classroom Be willing to confront their uneasiness with relinquishing power and authority

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45 Applying Engaged Pedagogy Insights to Environmental Education I believe these tenets of engaged pedagogy are critical for the development of an educational system that can help us develop the skills needed to successfully promote conservation and d evelopment. First and foremost, we must recognize that knowledge is socially constructed, and information is not neutral (Foucault, 1980). Engaged pedagogy provides us with a means to restructure power and hierarchy, and to create new ways of listening, learning and understanding the challenges that face us. An engaged pedagogical approach creates a space for controversy and diverse epistemologies within the learning process. Teachers relinquish absolute power, and allow debate, which is considered cr itical to the learning process. Debate and critical discussion challenge the notion that education is value free. Engaged pedagogy recognizes that both teachers and students come to the classroom with a history of personal experiences that inform their p erceptions. These experiences are recognized, valued and incorporated in the engaged classroom. Through recent work of various thinkers in critical and feminist pedagogy, there has been a true effort made to develop new ways of incorporating difference, whether it be based on sex, race, sexuality, nationality, etc, into the classroom. In this way, the classroom becomes a location for developing skills that are valuable throughout life. As both hooks and Freire point out, education can either reinforce th e status quo of domination and inequality or it can challenge it and thus be a "practice of freedom." Addressing the historical silencing of local people's voices and knowledge, and approaching education in a more participatory and egalitarian way, create s the space in which people can become more fully involved in environmental problem solving.

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46 Conclusion A substantial body of scientific evidence indicates that human activity is having an unprecedented impact on the worlds' ecosystems. The plight of t ropical rain forests, which are being altered at alarming rates, has specifically drawn international attention due to the extraordinary biological diversity found within these ecosystems. Organizations addressing environmental issues in the tropics have proliferated since the 1960s. Although these groups vary greatly in terms of size, power, mandate, and goals, they often include educational programs in their strategy to protect tropical ecosystems. The commonly held assumption is that increased educat ional efforts will lead to more informed attitudes, which in turn will lead to a desired change in behavior. This model has been called the educational model for social change, and this chapter examined the contributions made by educators, psychologists, and others to our understanding of the model's three main components of knowledge, attitudes, and behavior. Yet, even with the plethora of research, the exact nature of the relationships between knowledge, attitudes, and behavior remains elusive. With thi s foundation laid, I introduced political ecology and discussed how this approach brings attention to structural macro level variables that impact conservation behavior and thus yields insights that are useful for conservation education efforts. As Schmin k and Wood (1992) and others have shown, political and macro economic factors influence patterns of land use and natural resource exploitation. Therefore, it is not merely local ignorance that is driving tropical deforestation, but larger global processes Thus, my central critique is that while environmental education programs usually provide information regarding the ecological reasons why it is important to

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47 conserve biological diversity, they must also include an analysis of the significant political a nd economic process that shape how humans interact with their environment. Without an in depth understanding of the historical political, economic, and social context of the people and communities we are working with, educational programs cannot be tailor ed to meet their real needs and constraints. In addition, the political ecology approach points out that environmental education and c onservation practices do not take place in a vacuum, but within a particular political, economic, cultural, and ecological context. Therefore, political ecology suggests that even if environmental education programs are strengthened by including thoughtful analysis of political, economic, and cultural issues, they still may not be sufficient to change behaviors. In other wo rds, although awareness of political, economic and cultural forces is an important first step, it does not by itself reduce their impact. That is exactly why environmental educators are seeking ways to promote the Awareness to Action approach, where stude nts turn their knowledge into action. This leads to questioning how educators might incorporate these complex issues into their curricula (in an age appropriate manner) in order to equip their students both intellectually and emotionally to be actors in ecological problem solving. I argue that the answer lies in engaged pedagogical theory and practice, where students are encouraged to develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills. By bringing these two approaches together, I arrive at the conclusion that an engaged political ecology approach can be a powerful educational strategy that can address social, economic, and political inequalities and provide students with the skills to confront these social and environmental challenges. In the up coming chapters I explore these ideas in depth

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48 as I discuss environmental education programs in the buffer zone of Parque Nacional Podocarpus. Notes 1 All translations are by Lynch. 2 For an example of a l ocal recycling educational program, see: http://www.uoregon.edu/~recycle/edu_promo.htm For examples of regional agro forestry education efforts, see http://198.93.224.166/sea/seanafe/seanafe.asp and http://www.icraf.cgiar.org/res_dev/prog_5/str_agro/anafe.htm For more information on GLOBE, see http://globe.fsl.noaa.gov/ For more information on GreenCOM, see http://www.aed.org/intl/env.html 3 The United States officially recognized environmental education in the Federal Environmental Education Act in 1970. This act stated that EE must be interdisciplinary, must relate to both natural and human made environmental problems, must be included in both the formal and informal educational sectors, should "promote conser vation" as well as transmit information, should involve all ages and should be participant centered. 4 For just one example, Simmons (1991) reports that a majority of environmental centers in the U.S. connect nature study and the acquisition of knowledg e with encouraging environmentally sound behaviors. 5 Gambro and Switsky (1996) documented this in U.S. high schools in relation to the specific issues of greenhouse gases and acid rain. Barrow and Morrisey (1988 89) found similar results in relation to energy literacy in ninth grade students in Maine and Canada. Brody, Chipman and Marion (1988 89) likewise tested knowledge of acid rain in 4th, 8th and 11th graders in Maine and found dismal results. Although a majority of this research focused on stude nts, Miller (1990) found that adults had low knowledge level regarding acid rain and the ozone hole as well. 6 Quality is also influenced by pedagogical methods, which will be discussed further in the discussion on engaged pedagogy. 7 For more informat ion on misconceptions, see also Carey (1985), Driver et al. (1985), Hewson and Hewson (1988), Osborne and Freyberg (1985), Posner et al. (1982). 8 See also the Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt (1990) for more research on inert knowledge. 9 Ajzen and Fishbein (1977) provided a comprehensive literature review of attitudes research regarding which is valuable for understanding the field today.

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49 10 Specifically, Hounshell and Ligett (1973) found that urban children were more knowledgeable t han rural students about the environment, yet their attitudes were the same. Kinsey (1979) found the disturbing result that environmental studies courses can actually lead students to develop more persuasive arguments for their previously held negative at titudes toward the environment. 11 These studies were Maccoby et al. (1962), Fleishman et al. (1955), Janis and Feshback (1953). 12 Although behavior is defined as an individual action, this does not imply that there are no group environmental behav iors. For example, a beach clean up sponsored by an environmental club is a group activity, yet it is composed of individuals who have decided to participate. The important point is to clearly define whether a program is aimed at getting individuals to p erform an activity alone or in groups, as this will influence methods and evaluation. 13 Kendall mentions (1995: 254), "although health education is often couched as if information is what was needed to bring about behavior change, that rarely is the case The literature on family planning education often discusses a KAP GAP, or a gap between expressed knowledge and attitudes, on the one hand, and practices on the other." He goes on to come to a similar conclusion as being made in this dissertation, in that "what's missing is an effort to reflexively place the discourse of safe sex, and of rapidly changing individual behavior in response to risk profiling, in its social and community context." (1995: 255). 14 For example, Fishbein looks at specific beh avior, while Hungerford looks at generic responsible behavior, both with the intention of understanding the determinants of behavior (how did we get x behavior) rather than developing policy recommendations on how to change x behavior. Cook and Berrenberg (1981) developed a framework to organize different techniques to change behavior. Their categories included knowledge, (in the form of persuasive communications and feedback regarding the behavioral change), attitudes (in the form of evoking attitude con sistent behavior), and external variables such as material incentives and disincentives, and social incentives and disincentives. See also Katzev and Johnson (1987), Geller (1989; 1992) and Granzin and Olsen (1991) for other examples. 15 There are other s, such as Low and Gleeson (1998), who use the term "political ecology" in a completely different vein. In their book, Justice, Society and Nature: An Exploration of Political Ecology Low and Gleeson explore the philosophy of justice as it applies to env ironmental and ecological issues. This exploration encompasses the subject of environmental justice and "the moral response which the world must now make to the ecological crisis if there is to be real change in the global society and economy to favour e cological integrity." 16 MERGE began in 1994 as a collaborative project between the University of Florida, the Facultad de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) in Quito, Ecuador, Conservation

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50 International (CI) in Peru, the Nature Conservancy (TNC) and a network o f organizations in Ecuador, Brazil, Peru and the United States. Recognizing that there was a dearth of data documenting the relationships between gender and natural resources, our collaboration focused on strengthening understanding of gender issues in na tural resource management in tropical areas through training and research initiatives. The MERGE collaboration influenced all phases of my research. My research site was determined during a MERGE conference in Ecuador, where I was offered the invitation t o collaborate with Fundacin Arcoiris, a conservation group that had members who had participated in MERGE training. My research design was influenced by the MERGE participatory philosophy, which stressed negotiating with communities before starting resea rch. This led me to take a whole field season to meet with residents living in the buffer zone of Parque Nacional Podocarpus (PNP) to determine research needs and priorities. I was able to listen to their concerns, share my ideas on how to combine our in terests, get feedback and respond to this feedback, before I started my research. In addition, MERGE provided funding for conducting this type of preliminary fieldwork. Moreover, the evolving MERGE hypotheses included two that I was particularly interest ed in researching. These were: 1) "Under what conditions does participation by local communities contribute to the goals of achieving conservation with improved livelihoods?" and 2) "Does stakeholder participation in participatory learning with a gender focus improve the ability of local groups to negotiate their interests in conservation?" My research on regional environmental education programs in the buffer zone of Parque Nacional Podocarpus sought to address these hypotheses by identifying who was pa rticipating in the process, how they were participating, and if gender issues and community participation were incorporated. Beyond all the specific theoretical and methodological impacts to my specific project, MERGE provided the opportunity to learn how to negotiate the difficult terrain between academia and application. This entailed fine tuning communication and collaboration skills. As difficult as this was at times, it was a valuable experience. 17 Fishbein and Ajzen have grappled with this in thei r models, and have attempted to account for larger processes when they included the variables of competence and social norms in their models. Still, there is an immense amount of complexity and diversity that is omitted with these categories. 18 See als o Beyer and Liston (1996), who explore curricular reform issues in the U.S. 19 Self efficacy is defined as "concerned with judgments of how well one can execute courses of action required to deal with prospective situations." (Bandura, 1982:122). 20 For a concise summary of Freirean terminology, see Heaney, Tom. "Issues in Freirean Pedagogy" http://nlu.nl.edu/ace/Resources/Documents/FreireIssues.html 21 For example, see Plumwood ( 1993) "Dualism: the logic of colonization" in Feminism and the Mastery of Nature London: Routledge. pp. 41 68.

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51 CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Introduction The goal of this research was to explore the role of environmental education in promoting conservation, looking specifically at a case study of environmental education in the buffer zone of Parque N acional Podocarpus (PNP), in southern Ecuador. This chapter presents how I tackled this challenge, including descriptions of my research objectives, design and methods. I begin with an introductory overview of the development of my research design, outl ining the primary objectives and activities undertaken in each field visit. I then include a detailed description of the various methods used in each field season. I conclude by looking at the various strengths and weaknesses of this research design. Thi s research began in 1996 when Fundacin Arcoiris, a conservation group in southern Ecuador, invited me to participate in an evaluation of their environmental education programs. I agreed, but expanded the scope so that the general objectives of my researc h included 1) analyzing how environmental education is currently used as a conservation strategy in the buffer zone of PNP; 2) exploring the social, economic, and political realities facing the participants in these environmental education programs; 3) ide ntifying students' and teachers' knowledge and attitudes regarding local conservation issues that are discussed in local environmental education programs; and 4) investigating and analyzing the pedagogical practices used in regular classrooms and in enviro nmental

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52 education programs. These objectives reflect the overall purpose of this research, which was to contribute to the development of new approaches to environmental education that would engage students more successfully in environmental activism and p rovide knowledge and analytical skills that will be more useful in students' struggle for meaningful livelihoods. To reach these objectives I turned to political ecology and engaged pedagogy to develop my specific research questions. These included iden tifying who was promoting and offering environmental education in the buffer zone, the objectives and goals of the environmental education programs, the political, economic, cultural and ecological context in which the programs were operating, at the local regional and global levels how the programs, curricula, and materials were being developed, who was participating in these programs and how they were participating, the facilitation methods and materials used, how the impact of these programs was being measured, and if student participation in environmental education programs changed their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding conservation issues. By asking these questions, my analysis situated environmental education programs within the economic political, and conservation contexts, at multiple scales, and contributed to the overall understanding of the role of environmental education in promoting conservation, and how it might be transformed to engage students more successfully in environmental problem solving. The study was designed to address these questions using a variety of methods, including ethnographic interviews, focus group discussions, surveys, participant

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53 observation, and individual and group mapping activities. Both the objective s and the methods are summarized in the tables below and are described in detail in the following sections. Table 3.1 Summary of Research Objectives Phase One: Preliminary Site Review (May July 1996) identify key stakeholders in the management of Parq ue Nacional Podocarpus identify their perspectives regarding the key management issues for the Park identify their research priorities and informational needs identify partners and establish agreements and protocols for future collaboration Phase Two: Fir st Field Season (May August 1997) observe and develop understanding of environmental education programs develop an understanding of students' knowledge, attitudes and behaviors regarding the Park and conservation develop an understanding of the economic an d political histories of the communities in the buffer zone of the Park develop an understanding of the political, economic, and conservation histories in Ecuador (nationally, regionally, and PNP) Phase Three: Final Field Season (October December 1999) de velop further understanding of the local environmental education programs work with teachers' to document their perspectives regarding national education, environmental education, PNP and conservation work with parents' to document their perspectives regar ding education and conservation

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54 Table 3.2 Summary of Research Methods Phase One: Preliminary Site Review (May July 1996) Semi structured ethnographic interviews Non governmental organizations (NGOs) Governmental ministries Participants in the PNP Management Plan workshop Exploratory and non structured focus group discussions Literature Review Stakeholder Analysis Participant Observation Phase Two: First Field Season (May August 1997) Semi structured ethnographic inter views Fifth and sixth grade students Fifth and sixth grade teachers Environmental education staff in non governmental organizations Environmental education staff in governmental ministries Parents and com munity members Structured Focus group discussions, related to environmental education and PNP Fifth and sixth grade students Fifth and sixth grade teachers Survey Fifth and sixth grade students Fifth and sixth grad e teachers Individual Drawings of Parque Nacional Podocarpus Fifth and sixth grade students Group Mapping Activity Fifth and sixth grade students University students Participant Observation Phase Three: Final Field Season (O ctober December 1999) Semi structured ethnographic interviews Fifth and sixth grade teachers Fifth and sixth grade students Environmental education staff in non governmental organizations Environmental education st aff in governmental ministries Parents and community members Survey Fifth and sixth grade teachers Educational administrators and officials Participant Observation

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55 Research Design Phase One: Preliminary Site Review (May Ju ly 1996) The preliminary site review was designed to identify the key stakeholders and management issues for Parque Nacional Podocarpus. I began with a stakeholder analysis, which is an approach that entails identifying the key actors (or stakeholders) in the system and assessing their respective interests in that system (Grimble and Chan, 1995). Stakeholders are defined as different social actors, formal or informal, who can affect, or be affected by, the resource management issues at hand. Stakeholder analysis is particularly useful for examining various social dimensions (such as power) of groups and organizations across scales from the local to international. As Grimble and Chan point out, interest in this analytical approach developed after experien ce illustrated that omitting stakeholders in decisions that affect their lives can result in negative consequences, from passive non cooperation to open and violent opposition of a project or policy (1995: 113). Thus, a stakeholder analysis permits the id entification of both potential allies and potential adversaries. In tropical conservation, this is particularly important since diverse groups have a stake in the management of tropical natural resources. This includes local communities who depend upon t he forest for their subsistence and livelihoods, as well as international companies extracting and marketing forest resources. Conducting this initial stakeholder analysis illuminated the complex array of social groups that have a stake in natural resourc e management issues in this area. Once I identified the stakeholders, I was able to work with some of them in developing my research plan. It was through this initial participatory process that my research focus was narrowed to investigating environmenta l education.

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56 Phase Two: First Field Season (May August 1997) Building on the foundation laid in 1996, my specific objectives for the 1997 field season included developing an understanding of the environmental education programs in the buffer zone, the ec onomic and political histories of the various communities in the buffer zone, and the history of the Park itself. This created a baseline from which to look at students': 1) knowledge about the Park, including both ecological and social indicators; 2) att itudes toward conservation and environmental protection; and 3) conservation behaviors. To address these questions, I began documenting the environmental education efforts in the region. I conducted interviews with the individuals responsible for environ mental education in the Instituto Ecuatoriano Forestal de Areas Naturales y Vida Silvestre (INEFAN) (The Ecuadorian Institute of Forestry, Natural Areas and Wildlife) and Fundacin Arcoiris (FAI) to obtain a comprehensive understanding of their programs. I also began accompanying them when they offered their programs in local schools in order to observe the programs in action. Full descriptions of these organizations and their programs are found in Chapter 4. I also worked on developing a sampling frame f or interviews and surveys with teachers and their students. Selecting a random sample of children living in the buffer zone was impossible, since there is no list of all the children in the buffer zone, and it would be extremely time consuming to compile one. However, since children cluster in schools, I decided to make use of a cluster sample. This entailed obtaining a list of all the schools in the buffer zone, and picking a random sample from these schools. This cluster sampling was necessary and ve ry useful, for as Bernard (1994: 89) notes, "Cluster sampling is a way to sample populations for which there are no convenient lists or frames."

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57 However, obtaining a list of schools was not easy either. I found that just as there was no list of children in the buffer zone, there was no comprehensive list of schools either. Government statistics are organized by Parroquias and Provincias, and the buffer zone extends over two Provincias, and numerous Parroquias. As each Provincia maintains a list of all the Parroquias inside its borders and the schools within each Parroquia, I went through these lists of schools, and attempted to estimate their distance from the Park, and determined whether or not they would be considered to be within the buffer zone. Th en I checked with the various organizations to confirm my list. If there were schools I had omitted, but which these groups considered to be inside the buffer zone, I added them to the sampling frame. Compiling the sampling frame was further complicated b y the fact that two separate governmental school systems operate in the buffer zone that of the Ministry of Education and that of the Direction of Bilingual Education. Each maintains responsibility for their own schools, curriculum, and teachers, and thus it was necessary to work with both these entities. Finally, it was necessary to incorporate the numerous private schools into my sampling frame, although they do not appear on any official list either. I then categorized the schools depending upon the extent of their involvement with local environmental education programs. In order to categorize the schools, I asked those responsible for the environmental education programs in each organization to provide a list of schools they had visited, and the dat es of their visits. Although this research focused specifically on Arcoiris' educational programs, I had to work with all organizations working in the region in order to control for their influences on knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. I received vari ous documents, primarily annual reports and planning documents, which listed the planned activities for a term or whole school year.

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58 While these lists provided the means to categorize the schools, I was cognizant that these sources were not 100% accurate. I found that while most organizations develop a schedule of schools they plan to visit each school year, these schedules are very tentative and prone to significant revisions. Therefore, I could not assume that they had visited all the schools on their list, or that their lists included all the schools that they had visited. Further interviews and later surveys often revealed visits that had not been officially planned, and thus missed in the original accounting. Therefore, it was necessary to methodic ally work through the documents and confirm whether each planned visit actually had occurred or not. Fortunately, in 1997, as a member of the Nature Conservancy's Parks in Peril Program, Arcoiris had presented a final report to the Nature Conservancy that included a complete listing of schools visited. If an organization did not have a complete listing, I carefully went through the sampling frame with them to identify if they had ever visited the school, and if so, with what frequency. The accuracy of thi s method is subject to the vagaries of human memory (Bernard et al., 1984). Yet, I worked with what was available, and from these efforts I was able to categorize schools based on their level of exposure to environmental education. The categories I was i nterested in were a) those never visited by any group; b) those visited by Fundacin Arcoiris only once; c) those visited by Fundacin Arcoiris more than once. I then randomly selected three schools from each list, using a random number table. 1 Normall y, in cluster sampling it is then necessary to take another random sample of those children from each the schools selected. However, the fifth and sixth grade classrooms were so small that it was possible to work with all the children, and further samplin g was not necessary. The focus on fifth and sixth grade students reflected the emphasis local

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59 environmental education programs place on programs for children in primary level (K 6). The next two weeks were spent obtaining permission to work in these scho ols, arranging visits to these schools, and setting up dates to begin the interviews. In addition, I used this time to polish the survey instrument. A critical component of this research design was the collaborative process by which it was developed. As discussed previously, my focus on environmental education came from the request of various stakeholders in 1996. In 1997, Fundacin Arcoiris provided valuable suggestions regarding my methods and survey. The original draft of the questionnaire was devel oped in Florida, building on information learned during the preliminary site review in 1996. It was shared with FAI for comments and suggestions, in terms of content, logic, flow, and language. The survey was revised, not only by the staff working in env ironmental education, but also by the director of the organization, and therefore reflected our combined interests. This was important, as I specifically wanted to ensure that my research would be useful and relevant to local educational efforts. Several drafts later, I was ready to pre test. Pre testing of the survey instrument was a critical component of the research design. While the time taken out of the field season to pre test resulted in a smaller sample, it was necessary to improve the reliabilit y and validity of the information collected. The school randomly selected for pre testing was in Rumishitana, a small community south of Loja. As a result of the pre test, the initial ice breaking games were changed, the questionnaire shortened, the voca bulary and questions refined, and my skills as a facilitator sharpened. As I discuss below in the methods section, pre testing gave me insight into how to work with the children, teachers, and school administrators. Primarily, this entailed assuring ever yone that there were no "right" or "wrong" answers. In addition, the pre test provided critical

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60 feedback as to the amount of information I could realistically expect to obtain, given the time constraints of teachers and school days, not to mention the att ention span of the children. Finally, pre testing made me more acutely aware of power and gender issues within the schools. I learned that receiving approval to do my research by a school Director did not guarantee that every teacher in that school would be aware of, or approve, my presence at the school. In fact, approval by the Director might result in suspicion and even outright hostility, depending upon the internal relationships within the particular school. After the pre testing was completed and the necessary revisions made, I began administering the survey. Table 3.3 summarizes the activities conducted in each school. The sequence began with observing the environmental educational programs offered by Fundacin Arcoiris. The objective was to ga in an understanding of how the programs were conducted. I then interviewed teachers, and sought permission to observe their class. The objective here was to get the feel for the pace, the personalities, and age spread of the students, as well as teaching practices and teacher student relationships. Once this baseline was collected, I began dialogue with the students. This included an initial ice breaker game, then a survey which was completed in the classroom with all students at once, a group discussio n and mapping exercises, and finally individual interviews. These activities all contributed toward my objectives of developing an understanding of the EE programs in the region, and developing an understanding of students' knowledge, attitudes, and beha viors regarding the Park and conservation. In total, I was able to complete the entire series of activities in four schools, working with 60 individual students and seven teachers.

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61 Table 3.3 1997 Field Season Activities in Schools Day One Day Two Day Th ree Day Four Day Five Observe environmental education program (half day) Observe regular classes (half day) Observe regular classes (full day) Observe regular classes (half day) Interview teacher(s) (~60 90 minutes) Activity w/Students ice breaker game (~20 minutes) Student survey (~60 minutes) Individual drawings (~30 minutes) Group Discussion survey & drawings (~60 90 minutes) Group Discussion what is a map? (~20 minutes) Group Mapping (~90 120 minutes) Group Discussion debriefing the map (~3 0 minutes) Thanks and final game In addition to these activities, I sought information regarding the political, economic, and social histories of communities in the buffer zone of the Park. I also researched the history of conservation in Ecuador, loo king at national trends, regional issues in southern Ecuador, and the history of PNP specifically. These events were situated within particular national and global political and economic contexts, and I looked at these as well. This multi scaled analysis contributed to the overall understanding of the context in which environmental education programs are operating in the buffer zone of PNP. I also spent time talking informally with community members and parents regarding Parque Nacional Podocarpus and co nservation issues. Phase Three: Final Field Season (October December 1999) During this final field season I focused on educators, including public school teachers, school directors, and the education staff in non governmental and government organizations In total, I administered a survey to eighteen elementary school teachers and

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62 conducted in depth interviews with forty five educators. This shift in focus, from the learners to the educators, filled a critical gap in the study by providing insight into the perspectives, knowledge, and attitudes of the providers of environmental education. In addition, it was of vital importance to work with teachers, for they had been mandated to integrate environmental education into their curricula. As mentioned in C hapter 1, this mandate of the Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC) which is responsible for public education in Ecuador, came in the form of a comprehensive Curricular Reform. Within the Reform, environmental education is designated an "eje transversa l or interdisciplinary theme. Teachers from all subjects and all grades have been mandated to integrate environmental education throughout their curricula. Thus, the objectives of this final season were to gain more insight into educator's perspectives regarding the national Curricular Reform, teacher training, their students, and their knowledge and attitudes toward the Park. Second, I wanted to develop a deeper understanding of the environmental education programs being offered, not only through follo w up interviews but also through observation of these programs in the schools. I specifically wanted to focus on pedagogy, and examine both the expressed goals and the reality in the classroom. Third, I wanted to gather more insight into the knowledge, a ttitudes, and livelihood strategies of the parents of the children in these buffer zone schools. Previous analysis, as well as the literature, had pointed out that it would be useful to understand how the parents understood the role of education and their relationship with the teachers and schools. Finally, I had hoped to find the students I had interviewed in 1997, but this proved to be logistically impossible. 2 Other logistical issues arose that poignantly illustrated the powerful and detrimental impa ct of global political economic structures. The dire economic situation in Ecuador in

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63 1999 and corresponding high fuel prices meant that local conservation organizations were limiting their traveling expenses by working only in nearby schools. Thus, it w as no longer possible to travel the extensive buffer zone with Fundacin Arcoiris to visit and observe environmental education programs in remote schools, for they were no longer being offered. In addition, the frequent national transportation strikes mad e traveling by public transportation unwise. These challenges illustrated the difficulties facing those trying to promote environmental education programs in the buffer zone. Strengths and Weaknesses of the Research Design One of the greatest assets to this multiple season research design was that it gave me time to review my initial findings and identify important areas to pursue further in subsequent field visits. The ability to return several years in a row also provided for the development of a more holistic understanding of the shifting political, economic, and social context. For example, this design provided an opportunity to develop a greater understanding of the Curricular Reform process, since I was able to watch and document the difficulties in its implementation over the years. This design also allowed me greater flexibility. I was able to listen to people's needs and priorities, and then return to UF and take extra coursework in education, which strengthened my ability to respond to their requests for an evaluation of their environmental education strategies. However, by dividing up my fieldwork over three field seasons, I also confronted several challenges. First, it was difficult to establish continuity. Efforts to maintain contact and communication during my absences failed almost completely. Therefore, each year I had to spend valuable time re acquainting myself with the current situations and politics. I

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64 also had to reestablish rapport, and reintroduce my intentions, research objec tives, and activities to the various stakeholders. Often this entailed tracking down the new location of the groups with whom I worked (i.e., Arcoiris was in a different office every year of my research). In addition to this time lost, I also fear that I lost some credibility in the eyes of some stakeholders who were in need of more immediate results than I was able to provide due to the longitudinal nature of this study. I also had to work with the challenges created due to personnel changes. The parti cipatory nature of my research created responsibilities both for me as researcher and for those with whom I worked. Although I had broad institutional support, the details of the research design were often agreed upon at the individual level. 3 Unfortunat ely, as personnel changed, these agreements were often lost. Thus, the commitments to follow through on critical research design issues, such as the continuation of EE programs in certain pre determined schools in the sample, were not kept when these peop le left. This meant time was needed for re negotiating and redefining objectives and design for the final field season. Research Methods As this project was grounded in a variety of theoretical frameworks, it was necessary to use a variety of research m ethods. In addition, every method has its strengths and weaknesses. By combining methods, it was possible to address those weaknesses and verify information obtained by other methods. Below the various methods used are described, including ethnographic interviews, participant observation, focus group discussions, surveys, and participatory mapping. While anthropologists may be familiar with these methods, those coming from other disciplines, or outside academia, might not be.

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65 Therefore, I have taken ca re to provide explicit descriptions of the various methods and how they were applied. Ethnographic Interviews The ethnographic interview is perhaps the most fundamental and important method used by anthropologists. It provides a means to gather in depth information through one on one conversations that usually last an hour or more. 4 Following generally accepted protocol, and specifically the guidelines provided by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Florida, I began each interview with a n explanation of my research goals, objectives, activities, and how the results would be used. I provided time up front for interviewees to ask me questions and then gave them time to decide if they wanted to continue with the interview. I also explained that they did not have to answer any question they did not want to, and that our conversations were completely confidential. If they agreed to continue, we began. I worked from a pre printed interview guide, which differed depending upon the person bein g interviewed (i.e., teacher vs. rural cattle rancher) and the specific objectives of that particular field season. Although I worked from a guide, these interviews often felt more like informal conversations than formal interviews, and they sometimes con tinued over days or even over entire field seasons. Below I discuss the specifics regarding the interviews in each field season. Focusing on non governmental and governmental organizations In 1996, I focused on semi structured interviews with NGOs and go vernmental organizations involved in the management of PNP. These "grand tour" interviews were designed to help me understand the different players, their resources, their stakes, and their activities. I asked general, open ended questions about the hist ory of their organization (date founded, by whom, etc.), current structure of their organization (number of people, their responsibilities, etc.), and their mission, objectives, strategies and projects (past, current

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66 and planned). I also asked them to i dentify the key natural resources and management issues for the Park, along with what other groups were working in the Park. I finished these interviews with an inquiry into whether or not the organization had any documents that they thought I should be familiar with as I tried to learn more about the region, the Park, and its management. Most groups maintained an archive or library, even if on a very small scale, and this inquiry often led directly into an afternoon or more of library research. This li terature review was a critical component of this initial field visit, since many of the documents were internal or gray literature, and unavailable in the United States. These initial activities, both the interviews and literature review, were vital to de veloping an understanding of local stakeholders and dynamics surrounding the management of PNP. As discussed above, they provided a means for local stakeholders to participate in defining my research and illuminated the importance of environmental educat ion and the need to evaluate the outcomes of this strategy. Focusing on educators within non governmental and governmental organizations In 1997, I continued to work with NGOs and governmental organizations, but I specifically worked with the individual s responsible for the environmental education programs. This time, the semi structured interviews focused on the content, length, goals, and objectives of their educational programs. I wanted to understand how they themselves defined environmental educat ion, and what they saw as the main obstacles to promoting it. This went hand in hand with understanding what they viewed as the key threats to the Park. I asked them to identify and rank the activities that have a negative impact on the Park, to identi fy who was engaged in these activities and when, and if they thought these activities could be controlled or influenced by education programs. The results of these discussions appear in Chapter 7, where I discuss the perspectives of teachers and educators In addition, I needed to place these programs within the broader institutional context and determine the current status of environmental education on the agenda of the

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67 organization. In other words, I needed to re confirm that environmental education was still a principal conservation strategy of their organizations, since major changes might have taken place since my previous visit in 1996. I also sought to identify program funding, to discern if different donors were having differential impacts on proj ects. Importantly, I needed to determine if there had been any evaluation of their educational programs, and if so, what type, and what had been the results. I did not want to duplicate, but rather build on, past efforts. I also had to develop an under standing of how the organization conceptualized and divided up the buffer zone of the Park. Understanding how they organized the physical space in which their programs operated, and how they decided which schools to visit, was critical to understanding th eir strategies for promoting their conservation goals. It also had very pragmatic implications for my work, since I was interested in working in a continuum of schools from those that had been heavily involved in environmental education to those that had received none. Thus, these interviews helped me develop the sampling frame used to select the schools in the sample. Focusing on students and teachers In addition to interviews with educators in NGOs and governmental organizations, I interviewed student s during the 1997 field season. I focused my activities on fifth and six grade students, since the environmental education programs in the region primarily targeted elementary schools. However, in order to work with students, I first had to gain permissi on from the Director of the school, and then from the individual teachers. This provided an opportunity not only to explain my project, but also to solicit interviews. Therefore, for every classroom of students with whom I worked, I also collected severa l interviews with teachers and school administrators. Below I trace this series of activities, first describing the interviews with the teachers and then describing my work with the children.

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68 In the semi structured interviews with the teachers, I began with open ended questions about the educational system in Ecuador, the 1997 Curricular Reform, and the content, goals, and objectives of their curriculum. This often led to very passionate commentaries on the difficulties they face professionally. We th en discussed their students and the socio economic conditions in the communities where they teach. I also obtained demographic data, including how long they had been teaching, how long they had lived in the community, and where they had been born. This p rovided some insight into whether or not the teachers themselves were locals and likely to be more familiar with local ecosystems and the Park. Like in the previous interviews with NGO staff, I wanted to understand how teachers defined environmental educa tion, their opinions of EE, and what they saw as the main barriers to promoting it. In addition, I wanted to learn what kind of flexibility they had in their curriculum to include EE programs and their level of interest and commitment in doing so. This included determining if they incorporated environmental education within their own classrooms, or if their students had ever been visited by any of the local organizations offering environmental education. If so, I asked them to describe the programs, pro viding yet another perspective on the programs offered in the schools. Like in previous interviews, I asked them to identify and rank the activities that had a negative impact on the Park and if they thought these activities could be controlled or influen ced by education programs. At the end of the interview, I inquired about the possibility of working with their students. I explained the overall plan of activities, which included an "ice breaker" game, a survey, a group discussion and individual intervi ews, and finally a group mapping exercise. If they agreed, and their schedule permitted this time intensive set of activities, we set up dates to proceed. I took time to carefully explain that I was not testing their students, nor evaluating their teachi ng as part of any formal national evaluation of the Reform. Rather, the activities were designed to teach me what the students knew about the Park and to give me an understanding of teaching practices in the buffer zone of the Park.

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69 The interviews with th e children focused on similar issues and followed the same general protocol used with educators, but the language was adjusted for children. I asked them to tell me about Parque Nacional Podocarpus. We discussed the natural resources found in the Park an d then identified and ranked the activities that had a negative impact on the Park. I asked them about the environmental education programs they had participated in and what they thought of them. I wanted to understand how they defined environmental educ ation. I then asked them generally about education and what they thought of their schools and teachers. If they responded with a lack of enthusiasm, I asked them their perspectives on how their schools and education could be improved, and what would make it more interesting and fun to them. As outlined above, the interviews with children were never done in isolation, but were part of a series of activities. The interviews came after rapport building activities had taken place, including games and group discussions, and generally after they had completed the written survey, which is discussed later in this section. Therefore, these interviews gave students the opportunity to clarify responses given on the survey, and to give detailed explanations of the ir illustration of the Park. As you will see in Chapter 6, the explanations and descriptions are wonderfully rich, and without this input, it would have been impossible to analyze their drawings. Focusing on teachers In my final field season in 1999, I narrowed my focus almost exclusively to teachers working in the buffer zone of the Park. Previous years had given me ample information regarding environmental education programs and student perspectives, but I still needed more input from the educators. Thus, although I continued to work with local NGOs, as well as with students, the majority of my time was spent working with teachers to document their perspectives regarding education and conservation issues. I followed the protocol

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70 outlined above, exce pt that I generally omitted the activities with the students. This allowed me to travel to more schools and talk with more teachers. The primary difference between the 1997 and 1999 teacher interviews was the addition of questions regarding teacher train ing. Preliminary analysis from 1997 indicated the need to investigate both the process and content of teacher education. Therefore, I asked teachers to share information about their own experiences in school and the process they underwent in order to gai n their teaching credential. The significance of teacher training was a topic that everyone felt strongly about, and it is discussed further in Chapter 7. I also asked them to rank how they felt about a variety of issues related to their schools, curricu la and materials. 5 Focusing on community members, parents, resource users Throughout all three field seasons, I also interviewed a variety of community members as the opportunities presented themselves. I obtained a diversity of interviews this way, from taxi drivers to professional loggers to many more. Oftentimes I got to talk with the parents of the children with whom I worked. Frequently someone would introduce me to someone who would turn out to be intimately involved in the management plan for the Park, or in the miners' cooperative or the indigenous federation. In this way, I filled my free time (that time when I wasn't working with NGOs or in the schools), talking with local people. Since women have traditionally been underrepresented in rur al community development research, I took special care to talk with the women to insure that their perspectives were heard in my research. Gender analysis has illuminated ways in which women are often under represented due to logistical constraints, so I sought to make sure that interviews were scheduled at convenient times and places. Interviews often took place in family fields, or while doing laundry or cooking. In addition, I often took advantage of

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71 the long taxi and bus rides between the communities I worked in to conduct interviews. Like all the other interviews described above, I sought similar insights into their perspectives on education and conservation issues in the region. To conclude this section on ethnographic interviews, it is clear tha t I relied heavily upon these interactions. However, they were not the sole tool I used in my quest for understanding. Below I describe the other methods I used to complement these interviews. Participant Observation Another fundamental and standard too l of anthropology is participant observation, and it was a major component of my work. This method is exactly what it implies the researcher participates in and observes the lives and activities of the people they are studying. Bernard defines it as, t he foundation of cultural anthropology. It involves getting close to people and making them feel comfortable enough with your presence so that you can observe and record information about their lives. . [It] involves establishing rapport in a new commu nity; learning to act so that people go about their business as usual when you show up; and removing yourself every day from cultural immersion so you can intellectualize what you've learned, put it into perspective and write about it convincingly. [Berna rd, 1994: 136 137] However simple it may seem, it entails a considerable amount of work and practice to master the art of participant observation. 6 The principal thing to realize is that unlike other disciplines where research is confined to a laboratory or to making discrete measurements in the field (i.e., walking transects, measuring plots or mammal skulls), participant observation occurs twenty four hours, seven days a week. The most common of daily events, like eating and sleeping habits, reveal in formation about a culture, and thus the anthropologist is always collecting information, always developing understanding. Conversations over dinner or at the local bar often lead to critical understanding. By living

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72 with local residents, and working in the offices of Fundacin Arcoiris, the information shared in surveys and interviews was greatly expanded upon and contextualized. Likewise, the local people are observing us and how we dress, what we eat, where we sleep, and what gear we bring. We become part of the social dynamics that we are studying, and our ability to "fit in" affects the quality of the information gathered. Since anthropologists are interested in observing how life normally is, not how life is when we are present, the ability of the researcher to "fit in" with local circumstances becomes critical. On the flip side, observant participation was also part of my research. When I was invited to meetings and workshops and asked for my input, I was given the opportunity to address the chal lenges educators and conservationists face first hand. Not only was I able to meet new people, but I experienced the frustrations they felt as we grappled with the complexities of multiple stakeholders and conflicting agendas. I gained an intimacy with t he issues that would have been impossible from the surveys alone. When I was invited to schools to help facilitate environmental education programs, I was given the opportunity to experience these programs first hand. By participating, I experienced the difficulties faced by educators from the lack of equipment and materials to the problems of securing vehicles and traveling to distant schools. The issues came alive. Focus Group Discussions I supplemented the knowledge gained through ethnographic inte rviews and participant observation with focus group discussions. A focus group is a tool that brings together a small group of generally homogeneous people to discuss a specific topic in a casual and informal way. 7 "Small" implies no more than ten peopl e, and my groups generally included from five to eight participants. "Homogeneous" implies that the idea of a focus group is not to facilitate a debate between different factions, but rather to learn about how a certain group feels about an issue. Having a homogenous group allows participants to build upon each other's comments, often providing greater depth into an issue than is obtained through

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73 individual interviews or surveys. Having single sex (or single class, single ethnicity, etc.) groups often pr ovides a forum to hear voices that traditionally have been unheard. The focus groups I facilitated included groups of teachers, groups of students, and groups of community members (women or men). "Casual and informal" means that these discussions can ta ke place anywhere, from sitting on the floor of a woman's house cleaning corn together, to in the taxi that takes teachers to and from their rural schools. Creating a casual and informal setting entails beginning with introductions all around. It also en tails clearly establishing the two basic guidelines: 1) all opinions, comments, and perspectives are valuable and welcomed there are no right or wrong answers; and 2) the moderator (me) is neutral. This point cannot be emphasized enough. It was important for the success of the focus groups I facilitated to state at the beginning that I was not working for the government, any multi national development NGO, any other community, or anyone else. Clarifying my role as a graduate student collaborating with, b ut not working for, Fundacin Arcoiris was challenging, but critical. In addition, in communities which have been disillusioned by unfulfilled promises by the government, development organizations, and researchers alike, it is also important to clearly ex plain how the results will be used and if they will receive any benefits from participating. In my case, I did not pay those participating in focus groups, so any benefits they received were abstract, intangible, and personal rather than tangible, hard, c old cash. Focus groups take on different flavors depending upon their purpose and I used focus groups in a variety of ways throughout my research. In 1996, my focus groups were exploratory and non structured, since at that stage my goal was to generate ideas and stimulate local input into the design of my research. I presented the initial topic of conservation and development and they provided the rest. Later, in 1997 and 1999, the focus groups were much more structured and addressed specific topics su ch as education, mining, logging, and the management of PNP. I worked from a prepared topic guide that included the issues outlined above in the discussion on ethnographic interviews. The idea

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74 behind using a guide was to ensure that all the relevant issu es were covered. Generally this worked, although in some cases the conversation took on a life of its own and I found it more interesting and useful to let it go rather than bring it back to my outline. In some instances focus group discussions led to t he generation of community history time lines, and in other cases I got more personal life histories. In all cases, these focus groups provided extremely rich and detailed information on the perspectives of different groups including teachers, communities and resource user groups. They allowed me to hear a variety of people's perspectives, and illuminated some internal dynamics between various individuals that I would not have become aware of otherwise. They also let me work with some groups that might not have been comfortable filling out written questionnaires or talking with me one on one. These discussions also helped me decide what the key issues were to explore further in individual interviews and in the questionnaire. Survey Questionnaire Quest ionnaires are a common method used to gain relatively superficial information relatively quickly. As Bernard notes, survey research is a major industry in the United States, and in many countries around the world (1994: 256). Questionnaires can be conduc ted through personal interviews, over the phone, or through the mail and they can last anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours. They usually ask closed ended questions that are relatively easy to answer, and they have been used to collect data on everyt hing from demographics, such as the U.S. Census, to voting and consumer behavior. In my research, I relied upon face to face administration of questionnaires. The rigidity of this method is a major weakness. Since surveys are pre printed, they obtain information only about a specific set of items, and the format usually does not permit informants to share other information that they might consider more relevant or more important.

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75 The way to address this weakness is to begin with interviews and focus group discussions, which can then help determine the content included in a survey. I drew on insights from initial interviews and discussions to design surveys to use with teachers and students. My objective was to complement the rich qualitative data I already had with some quantitative data. The questions followed the key themes that had surfaced in the interviews and focus group discussions. I asked about the Park, its resources, and management issues. Teacher survey As described previously, my o riginal plan was to interview teachers before I started working with their students. In addition to getting vital information regarding their knowledge and attitudes about the Park, my intention was to build rapport and gain permission to work with their students. However, it turned out that in most cases, teachers were more than willing to turn over their classes after seeing a letter of introduction from Fundacin Arcoiris and the University of Florida. Rapport building was completely unnecessary. In addition, I had originally assumed that the teachers would prefer an interview to filling out a survey, possibly taking offense if I administered a survey to them along with their students. However, teachers were frequently unable to spare an extra hour o r two for an interview. Early in 1997, one teacher suggested that I simply prepare a survey for the teachers to fill out while I worked with the students. I followed this advice and prepared a survey that followed the same line of questioning as outlined for the interview. This survey underwent significant revisions in 1999, when I received the valuable input of two local educators who took a special interest in my project. In addition to their insightful suggestions on how to revise the survey, they al so provided assistance in pre testing it. I was then fortunate to have one of these educators accompany me to the field. We conducted the first surveys together to establish protocols and then we divided up the schools that had been selected for the samp le. Without this assistance I would not have been able to reach the same number of schools and teachers. Student Knowledge In addition to the teacher survey, I designed a four page survey questionnaire in collaboration with Fundacin Arcoiris, to test student knowledge of PNP

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76 The questions related to the information provided in their environmental education program, particularly focusing on the natural resources and biodiversity of the Park. The dependent variables measured were students' knowledge a nd attitudes regarding conservation and their conservation behaviors. The independent variable was the amount of exposure to an environmental education program. 8 During the pre testing phase I learned that it was necessary for me to facilitate the questio nnaire with the students. This entailed reading each question and walking around the room to verify that they understood each question. (This also allowed me to check that I could read their answers.) Without this guidance chaos reigned, with students flipping ahead, skipping questions, and constantly getting up to ask me, their teachers, or their friends the "correct" answers. I also found that I needed to include a more explicit introduction that stressed that there were no right or wrong answers, an d that I needed them to do the survey individually. Regardless of this assurance, many students were still apprehensive and timid about expressing themselves. I think that spending more time in each school might have addressed this to some extent. Howe ver, I also believe this is indicative of an educational system that limits learning to rote memorization rather than promoting individual critical thinking skills. This is discussed further in Chapter 4. From this experience I got the idea to color code the pages of the survey. Although drawing different color borders on each page of the survey was time intensive, it was well worth it. Not only was I able to verify that we were all working on the same page by glancing across the classroom, but the color s also sparked the interest of the children. They made the dreary questionnaire, which I am sure seemed rather like a test, into something a bit more palatable (at least according to some of my respondents). It was just one way that I tried to create a f un, light atmosphere to dispel their fear of not knowing an answer or not understanding a question. Second, the pre testing was critical not only for learning about the children's responses to the questionnaire, but also for learning about how to respond to the teachers. I found that

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77 I needed to take more time to emphasize that the survey was designed to provide an idea of student knowledge, and was not intended to evaluate their teaching. I stressed that there were no right or wrong answers, and therefo re they should not assist their students. Still, there is a natural tendency for teachers to interject answers, opinions, and comments that bias the results. Thus, arranging for the teacher to be away from the classroom while conducting any of the activi ties with the students was important. Depending on the class size and the number of questions the children had, surveys took from forty five minutes to an hour and a half to complete. The survey concluded with a drawing exercise, which is described next. Individual Drawings The final question asked students to draw Parque Nacional Podocarpus. These individual drawings, or maps as they are referred to interchangeably throughout this study, complemented the survey by allowing students an opportunity to express their knowledge in a visual format. For those students uncomfortable with writing, this provided an alternative way for them to express themselves. The main objective behind working with drawings was to obtain a visual representation of each indi vidual's understanding of PNP. Following guidelines developed by Thomas Slayter et al. (1993), I left the instructions wide open, letting them choose what they felt represented PNP. I had all children (n=60) from the four schools participate in the draw ing activities, asking those who did not know about the Park to draw "su medio" (your environment). When students finished their drawings, I talked with them about what they had created in order to understand fully the intention behind each drawing. Fort unately for me, students generally did not finish their drawings all at once, which allowed me time to review the survey to verify that all questions had been answered (and answered legibly) and to talk with each student about their responses and drawing. This time was very valuable for clarification. The students who finished very early were given puzzles and other activities to do until the others finished. Once everyone was

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78 finished with their drawings we moved into a group discussion of the questions from the survey. I used flipchart paper to capture their responses, which gave me comprehensive lists of their responses. I analyzed the drawings by asking four principal questions that reflected the key ecological relationships and issues discussed in local environmental education programs. The questions were how did the students portray: 1) local topography; 2) the water cycle; 3) biological diversity; and 4) human interaction with the Park. The specific elements looked for in each category were d irectly derived from the environmental educational objectives and materials. In addition to examining the drawings for the inclusion of these various elements, I also noted the location and size of the elements in the pictures, which provided an indicatio n of the importance given to each item by the children. In addition, I was also eager to analyze the drawings from a gendered political ecology perspective. Thus, I was curious to see if the children would reveal any information regarding gender roles a nd relationships, and if the political and economic instability of the country would show up in their drawings. Chapter 6 provides a full analysis of this activity. Group Mapping In addition to the individual drawing exercise, I also facilitated a group mapping activity with each classroom. After the somewhat tedious survey and then group discussion, the students were given free reign to use their creativity and collective knowledge to create a group map. Through this activity I gained a more in depth u nderstanding of their knowledge and attitudes about the Park. I prepared for using this tool by developing a guideline in which I listed all the items I thought might appear on their maps, anticipating that I might need to step in and facilitate if stude nts needed assistance. I created the guideline as a way to ensure that I followed the

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79 same format in each classroom. I soon learned however, that students had no trouble tackling the maps, and t he guidelines I developed were never used. I began by asking the students if they wanted to help make a big map that showed everything they knew about the Park. When they agreed, I pulled out a bed sheet and laid it on the ground, generally to much commotion and excitement as the kids realized I meant a really big map. Before they began working on the map itself, I facilitated a general discussion to help organize the activity. We first discussed what a map is, what items it might include, and what they wanted to include in their map of the Park. I kept track of this dialogue on a flipchart. The items generally fell into one of two categories: either basic infrastructure items like roads and schools, or general ecological items like trees, rivers, and waterfalls. Then they were given materials, including the be d sheet or large flipchart paper, colored paper and markers, scissors, erasers, and masking tape, and free rein over how they wished to develop their map. It is important to note that in this activity, it was the process of the map creation that was of p articular value to me. It was fascinating to listen as they negotiated different items, and to see what items they finally included and which they excluded. It was just as fascinating and perhaps even more revealing to observe the inter personal dynamics and gender roles being acted out. Not only did I learn a tremendous amount about the local community through these exercises, but I also was able to gain deeper insight into the knowledge, attitudes, and misperceptions held by students. In this way, the group mapping exercise complemented the individual illustrations in the way that focus group discussions complemented the individual interviews. They provided further depth and understanding in a group setting.

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80 Conclusion This chapter described my r esearch objectives, design, and methods. An introductory overview sketched the progression of my research design over its four years, summarizing the primary objectives and activities undertaken in each year. A chronological discussion of the research de sign, and then an in depth description of the various methods I used followed. These components illustrate how the objectives guided the development of the research design and the development of research tools. Just as I drew from various theoretical app roaches, I also relied on the strengths of various research methods to address the objectives of my research. Not only did this allow me to obtain both qualitative and quantitative data, but it also allowed for a triangulation of results. This ability to verify and double check information was very useful, and strengthened my confidence in the analysis. Notes 1 I recognized that sampling from schools created several problems. By categorizing s chools, I was assuming that each student had been enrolled and present in that school on the day the environmental education program was offered. So I had to verify the presence of each child at the programs provided. I did this in interviews and convers ations, and backed this up with observations. I found that knowing personal first names was a proxy for exposure: in schools that were reported to have received the most education, students and environmental educators knew each others' names. Second, the issue of whether or not I could consider the responses from students in the same school as independent data points was raised. However, since the environmental educational programs were being offered in the schools, and were designed to change individual students' knowledge, attitudes and behavior, sampling from schools was the most logical method to obtain the information we were seeking. 2 I found it to be extremely difficult to track the students who had been in the fifth and sixth grade in 1997, as they were now either at a larger secondary school, or had moved, or had

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81 dropped out. With the limited time I had available, I found it more worthwhile to focus on gaining an understanding of the perspectives of teachers. 3 See the Appendices for the let ters of support received throughout this research. 4 For more information on how to conduct ethnographic interviews, see Spradley (1979) and Bernard (1994). 5 I should note that one Professor of Education at the Universidad Nacional de Loja whom I a sked to review my survey design, warned me that I should be wary of the data obtained from Likert scales. She explained that due to the culture of domination, acculturation and conquest, teachers would not admit that they were not happy. This again point ed to the need to spend more time in each community and in each school, in order to develop rapport that would permit teachers to speak more freely. 6 For more information, see Bernard (1994) who provides a comprehensive discussion of participant observa tion and how to successfully employ this technique. 7 For detailed information on focus groups, including an useful evaluation checklist, please see Debus (1986). Slocum et al. (1995: 95) also provide useful and concise tips on the process of focus grou ps. 8 I also took note of the teachers' sex, age, ethnicity and residency. I also originally wanted to control for parents' knowledge, attitudes and behaviors, but due to logistical and time constraints, this was impossible.

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82 CHAPTER 4 THE POLITICAL ECOLOGY OF PARQUE NACIONAL PODOCARPUS Introduction In this chapter I use a political ecology framework to describe and analyze the management issues and conservation strategies for Parque Nacional Podocarpus (PNP). I focus s pecifically on the strategy of environmental education with the objective of illustrating how the ecological, political and economic contexts interact and influence this conservation strategy and its outcomes in the buffer zone of PNP. I begin by sketchin g a picture of the physical landscape and biological diversity found within the Park. I overlay this with various social considerations, including the historical, political and economic development of human settlements in the buffer zone and the current n ational context in Ecuador. This leads to an examination of natural resource use and the management issues facing Parque Nacional Podocarpus. I use gold mining as an illustrative case, as this issue is identified as particularly critical in the managemen t plan. Then, I introduce the key stakeholders in the management of the Park and describe their environmental education strategies for confronting these management challenges. This includes identifying the objectives of these programs, and how the progr ams, curricula and materials are being developed. I also look at who was participating in these programs, and how they were participating, and the facilitation methods and materials used. Finally, I discuss how the impact of these programs was being meas ured. This introductory description and analysis of the environmental education programs in the buffer zone is

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83 further developed in the following chapters as students, teachers, and environmental education staff add their perspectives. Examining the Pa rk Through a Political Ecology Lens Ecological Considerations Located on the eastern cordillera of the Ecuadorian Andes, within the Central and Eastern Andes Endemic centers (Bibby et al., 1992), PNP is considered a "hot spot" of biological diversity. It has been called the "Andean jewel in the crown of Ecuador's protected areas" (Rahbek et al., 1995: 114). Overall, the Park harbors 146,280 hectares of tropical forest, cloud forest, and highland pramo (alpine tundra) habitat, including the only conifer genus native to Ecuador, the Podocarpus With an altitude range of 800 meters in the Amazonian rain forest to 3,600 meters in the high pramo PNP protects an impressive diversity of habitats and species. Five habitat types are found in PNP following the Holdridge classification system (INEFAN, 1997: 16). 1 S ix natural community types have also been identified. 2 An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 vascular plants are found inside the Park. Gentry noted that this area is one of high floristic endemism (TNC, 1995). The diversity of orchids found within PNP has brought international acclaim, and unfortunately, illegal harvesting and the threat of extinction for many species. 3 In addition to orchids, botanical surveys conducted in 1990 and 1991 alongside the eastern border of the Park in the Ro Nangaritza basin identified numerous potential botanical resources. These included various species of Cinchona an unknown species of Theobroma (cacao), a species of Gnetum (Gymnospermae) which provides edible fruit, Caryode ndron orinocense, which provides

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84 seeds rich in oils, carbohydrates, and proteins, and a species of Croton popularly known as sangre de drago (Palacios, 1997:42). The team recommended that "Future scientific explorations should include the higher parts of the Nangaritza basin, which have never been visited by biologists" and that it was imperative to protect this area, possibly by extending PNP to include some of the Ro Nangaritza basin. Another inventory sampled tree species in one hectare plots between 2,700 2,800 meters and found PNP to be one of the richest cloud forests in Ecuador in terms of tree species (Rasmussen et al., 1994). Likewise, ornithological research has demonstrated that PNP is one of the world's richest areas for avifauna and that se veral globally threatened species may depend on the Park for their long term survival (Rahbek et al., 1995; Rasmussen et al., 1994). These species include the endangered Hapalopsittaca pyrrhops the vulnerable Leptosittaca branickii and Pyrrhura albipect us an endemic parrot considered to be vulnerable (Collar et al., 1992; Toyne et al., 1992). Other notable birds listed as "vulnerable" include: the Penelope barbata, endemic to southernmost Ecuador and northern Peru (Medina, 1991; Rahbek et al., 1995); t he Galbula pastazae endemic to the east slopes of the Andes in Ecuador (Poulsen and Wege, 1994); and the newly described Dolirnis remseni (Rahbek et al., 1995). Indicative of the habitat diversity of the Park, PNP contains a high number of specialized A ndean forest taxa. For example, over half of Ecuador's species of tanagers (Thraupidae) and hummingbirds (Trochilidae) are found in PNP (Rahbek et al., 1995). Unprecedented rates of deforestation in the Andes place these species in danger, and increase t he already valuable role that PNP plays in protecting biological diversity. In addition, Andean cock of the rock (Rupicola pervuviana ), torrent ducks (Merganetta

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85 armata) lanceolated monklets (Micromonacha lanceolata) and gray breasted mountain toucans (A ndigena hypoglauca), are among the many birds that attract ornithologists and birders from around the world. Bloch et al. (1991) have suggested that as many as 600 800 species may be found in the Park, and the number is expected to increase as more survey s are conducted, since only a very limited area of the Park has been studied. In addition, PNP is the only area in southern Ecuador with large tracts of undisturbed forests, which provides refuge to jaguar (Panthera onca) puma (Felis concolor) mountain t apir (Tapirus pinchaque) and spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus) The Park also supports populations of giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus), northern pudu deer (Pudu mephistophiles) and woolly monkey (Lagothrix lagotricha) (Bloch et al., 1991; Toyne an d Jeffcote, 1992). Many of these large mammal species are threatened or endangered throughout their ranges, and the Park provides an important sanctuary for them. Finally, the Park is critical for watershed management, as it is the principal water sour ce for the communities surrounding the Park. The cloud forest plays a crucial role in water storage, and is vital for soil conservation. As Colby and Keating (1998: 1483) report, the highlands of PNP receive more than 4,000 mm of rain each year and are c haracterized by sharp ridges with slope angles of up to 57. With numerous streams cascading through this rough terrain, high rates of erosion are not surprising. Erosion would be even more severe in this steep terrain if the forests were cleared or degr aded, and a permanent year round, clean water supply would be severely jeopardized. Therefore, ecosystem services of the Park are an important component of the biological value of the Park.

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86 Local Political, Economic and Social Considerations Established in 1982, PNP is the southernmost protected area in Ecuador and is located in the Provinces of Loja and Zamora Chinchipe. The latest management plan has divided the communities surrounding the Park into four distinct regions and identifies the principal m anagement issues for each region. 4 These regions and issues reflect historical, economic and political factors as well as issues of ethnicity, identity, cultural practices and integration into the national political and market system. The first region enc ompasses the northwestern section, from the city of Loja south to Yangana. It is the most densely populated region in the buffer zone, with approximately 44% of the total buffer zone population living here. The city of Loja is the largest human settlemen t in the buffer zone with 95,000 inhabitants. In terms of education, Loja is considered to offer the best educational opportunities in southern Ecuador. In addition to the numerous state schools, there are various private schools that are recognized for their excellence. Two universities, the Universidad Nacional de Loj a and Universidad Tcnica Particular de Loja offer higher educational opportunities. Throughout this region, mestizo farmers raise cattle and grow corn, sugar cane, coffee, and a variety of other crops for sale in Loja and for personal consumption. Loja is the economic clearinghouse for most products being grown in southern Ecuador. Census data reveal that this region is not experiencing population growth, but on the contrary, population is slightly declining. This is thought to reflect the inability of the region to support further agricultural activities due to a loss of soil productivity (INEFAN, 1997: i). 5 Hand in hand with its dominant economic role in the region is Loja's signific ant political power. In regard to the Park, this has meant that although a majority of PNP lies in

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87 Zamora-Chinchipe, Loja has enjoyed greater influence in its management. This is demonstrated by the fact it was not until 1995 that an administrative office was established in Zamora. Thus, for the first thirteen years of the Park's existence, the administration of the Park was handled exclusively in Loja. In regard to management issues and priorities, governmental entities and local stakeholders in this region are concerned with ensuring a permanent and sufficient water supply to the large urban areas in this region, along with developing sustainable tourism. Loja's current economic and political power can be linked directly to its historical roots. Loja was founded in 1548 by Alonso de Mercadillo on the main route connecting the audiencia of Quito with that of Lima. By the 1580s Loja was the third largest town in the audiencia (Newson, 1995: 243). It became the main supply point for Zamora and for numerous other Spanish towns to the east and south. So, from the very beginning Loja was strategically located, which helps explain why Loja is an economic and political hub in the southern region today. The second buffer zone region encompasses the northeastern section, including the city of Zamora. The region has a population of approximately 28,074, of which approximately 17,000 live in the city of Zamora. In contrast to Loja, and reflecting its lower elevation, Zamora is tropical, lush, and green. It has the feel of a small frontier town. However, the population is rising and as INEFAN (1997: ii) noted in the management plan, El crecimiento de la poblacin [de Zamora]…est relacionado con la importancia que est tomando la actividad minera en la economa de la zona, la misma que ha crecido desde una insignificante participacin del 0.1% en la PEA de 1974, al 3.2% en 1982 y 13% en 1990. Population growth in Zamora is related to the importance that mining is taking in the economy of the region, having increased from an insignificant 0.1% of the

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88 Economically Active Population (EAP) in the management plan of 1974, to 3.2% in 1982, to13% in 1990. Zamora is also home to several local mining federations and provides the entry point for illegal mining activit ies within the Park. In regard to education, the city of Zamora supports six elementary and six secondary schools. 6 In addition, most of the rural communities throughout this region have a small elementary school, usually with only one or two teachers. In these areas, schools from both the state and bilingual educational systems are found. As is true throughout the whole buffer zone, environmental education programs are not yet integrated within the curricula, but some schools do occasionally support f ieldtrips to PNP. Justicia noted (1992: 10) that relationships are strained between mestizo and indigenous communities in this region, as evidenced by the lack of integration and collaboration regarding education. A recently renovated highway connects Zam ora to Loja, but the road is still considered treacherous by locals, and huge mudslides are not uncommon. The cost of living in Zamora is reported to be one of the highest in the country (Justicia, 1992: 11). Highland Saraguro Indians have migrated from the north of Ecuador to this region and have founded small communities along the NE border of the Park, where they raise crops and livestock for their subsistence and for sale in Zamora and in Loja. Mestizo migrants from southern provinces arrived in this area during the extreme drought of the late 1970s. 7 The far eastern side of the Park is identified in the new management plan as Region Three. Accessible only by river, it is sparsely populated by Shuar Indians. 8 A total of six Shuar Centros border PN P on the southeastern side, with an estimated 8% (546 persons) of the total buffer zone population. Although home to a relatively small population, these

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89 Centros are linked to 23 regional associations and 263 Shuar communities through the Federacin de Ce ntros Shuar This organization was founded in 1964 and primarily works for Shuar land rights and economic sufficiency (Gennino, 1990). 9 Cultivating manioc and plantains along with hunting and fishing to meet their subsistence needs, the Shuar particip ate only marginally in the provincial economy. Sr. Miguel Chiriapo, Director of the Federacin Shuar in Zamora, explained that there is not much cattle ranching in this region, but rather an emphasis on logging for timber as the area has considerable quan tities of fine hardwoods. He stressed that it is mestizo colonists, rather than the Shuar, who are primarily involved in the extraction of timber. He then qualified the statement, noting that the individuals who log do so because hunting and fishing have declined and logging is the easiest way to make money. However, most timber from this region is sold as thick planks to intermediaries at a relatively low price, reproducing historical patterns of unequal power relations. Of specific interest to this re search, is that the Shuar Federation has been a pioneer in the field of bilingual and bicultural education using radio programming to reach the scattered Shuar communities. 10 As noted by Josse and Barragn (2001: 15), indigenous organizations in Ecuador ha ve focused on three strategies: the legal recognition of their territories, bilingual education, and the right to maintain their own forms of organization. They write: Los resultados ms notorios se han concretado en el sistema de educacin indgena int ercultural bilingue y en la legalizacin de buena parte de sus tierras y territories. The most notable results they have achieved are in the system of indigenous, intercultural, bilingual education and in the legalization of a good part of their lands and territories.

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90 Like in the other rural regions of the buffer zone, many of the small communities have their own primary schools, usually with only one or two teachers, who often come from the community itself. Shaime, the largest Shuar community in the bu ffer zone has a school with enrollment large enough to support four teachers. The final region, Region Four, contains the southern most communities, including El Porvenir del Carmen and Valladolid. This region is home to approximately 852 persons, or 11% of the buffer zone population, and for many colonists on this southern boundary of the Park, the legal (and illegal) timber industry provides a principal source of income. Small scale farming and ranching is also encroaching upon the Park. One of the pr iorities outlined in the new Plan is to settle disputes over Park boundaries and clearly demarcate the boundaries to avoid future problems. 11 This region is experiencing the highest population growth in the region, approximately 5.2% annually. Still, com bining all the rural regions together, the total human population in the buffer zone (outside of the urban areas) is reported to be only 7,356 persons (INEFAN, 1997: i). 12 It is valuable to examine the dynamics of power, knowledge, and resources within and between these groups. In terms of political and economic power, Region 1 is the dominant player. It contains the largest urban area in the buffer zone, whereas the other areas of the buffer zone are primarily rural. As described above, Loja acts as a clearinghouse for the agricultural products of the surrounding rural regions, as well as for timber and gold. In terms of political power and the Park, natural resource scientists, policy makers, and conservation organizations located in Loja play a dom inant role in shaping the discourse surrounding Park management. In contrast, the other regions surpass Region 1 in terms of

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91 natural resources. Gold is being exploited primarily in the Zamora Chinchipe region, while timber is being extracted throughout t he buffer zone. In terms of knowledge production and control, Loja also clearly dominates. Numerous regionally recognized high schools and two major universities of southern Ecuador are found in Loja. In contrast, a majority of the rural communities onl y have elementary schools. In addition, a majority of teachers are trained in Loja. Many of these teachers are from Loja and continue to live in Loja, even when they have teaching assignments in the rural areas. Clearly, the production and control of kn owledge is based in the urban area of Region 1. Examining these political and economic dynamics with the ecological contexts, it is interesting to recall that the buffer zone extends over two Provincias and numerous Parroquias. In addition, two differen t school systems operate in the buffer zone, as do private schools. Thus, there is a complexity of political administrative units which overlap and interact, and which do not correspond, coincide, or coordinate with the national administrative unit of "Pa rque Nacional Podocarpus." Examining the relationships between stakeholder groups, I found considerable tension between conservation organizations, and between these organizations (governmental and non governmental) and the general public as well. Many people in rural areas claimed the government was responsible for increasing hostilities, claiming that they ignored rural people, did not understand their needs, and/or simply disrespected them for being poor and trying to make a living. These tensions w ere often quite visible. For example, in 1997 I accompanied a team to the remote community of Loyola to participate in a community meeting addressing conflicts regarding the location of the Park boundary. 13 When we

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92 arrived an angry crowd of community memb ers greeted us. They openly shared their frustration with the Ministry of the Environment and the situation was quite volatile. In the end, we were allowed to stay in the community and progress was made toward starting a dialogue. Yet, when we returned to our car in Tapala (where the road ends and the trail begins to Loyola) we found the tires flattened, another indication of the hostilities in the region against those working for the protection of the Park. It is impossible to understand these incident s (which unfortunately were not isolated events, as I witnessed various others throughout my fieldwork) without understanding the broader national and international contexts. National and International Considerations The previous sections provided a sk etch of the local context. Yet, a political ecology analysis requires an examination of the articulation between this local context and the national and international political and economic spheres. The national context in which the above issues are situ ated is quite volatile. During the course of this study there were two coups d'tat various national general strikes, and the controversial dollarization of the Ecuadorian economy. In February 1997, President Abdal Bucaram was forced to flee the count ry only six months after his election. Later that year, Congress voted to dismiss the entire Supreme Court, creating another political crisis. In addition, the border conflict between Ecuador and Peru escalated into a full blown war during this period. 14 Although a settlement was finally reached on October 26 th 1998, the war took its toll on the economy. Compounded by the aftermath of El Nio and depressed oil market of 1997 98, Ecuador's economy plummeted. The banking sector collapsed early in 1999, w hich helped precipitate

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93 an unprecedented default on external loans later that year. Ecuador thus earned the dubious distinction of becoming the first country ever to default on its Brady bonds (restructured debt backed by the U.S. government). Hyperinfla tion resulted in a 70% depreciation of the currency throughout 1999, which eventually forced the government to dollarize the currency regime in 2000. The move stabilized the currency, but resulted in greater political instability and the coup in which mil itary forces removed President Mahuad from office. The new President, Gustavo Noboa, has been unable to complete negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and is finding it impossible to push through the structural adjustment reforms require d to make dollarization work in the long run. According to The Economist (Dec. 21, 2000), income per person is at 1980 levels, and over 400,000 Ecuadorians emigrated to seek work. One staff member of a national conservation organization spoke about the c risis in these terms, Las cosas en Ecuador estn terribles y en realidad parece muy difcil que se estabilizen, hay inestabilidad en todo sentido, social, econmica, poltica y en realidad nadie quiere contribuir. . no s hasta cuando continuar as ahora todos estamos afectados por la crisis, porque ahora es muy profunda, hay mucha violencia producto de la pobreza, el desempleo, pero vamos a ver como sigue todo. Things in Ecuador are terrible, and in reality, it appears that it will be very diffi cult for things to stabilize. There is instability in every sense, social, economic, political and in reality, no one wants to contribute. . I don't know how long we can continue like this. Right now, everyone is affected by the crisis, because right now it is very profound. There is a lot of violence, a product of poverty, unemployment, but we will see how it goes. Clearly, the national political and economic instability has had devastating repercussions in all sectors of society, and conservation efforts have not escaped unscathed. For example, Ecuador is dependent upon exports, (primarily oil, bananas and shrimp) for revenue, which has significant consequences for conservation efforts in the country. 15 International demands

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94 for timber and gold also take their toll, which is specifically relevant to PNP. For example, the $US Gold price remained consistently between $US 375 – 395 per ounce from 1994 to 1996 (http://www.the-privateer.com/gold5.html ).16 Miners in Ecuador commented on this stability, saying that although mining was difficult, it was sure to pay off. Yet, the global market crashed in 1997, and Ecuadorian production declined to 3,070 kg, from 13,000 kg in 1994 (http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/country/9511098.pdf ). Thus, people who had turned to small-scale artisan mining as a last resort during hard economic times found even this livelihood strategy seriously impacted by global fluctuations. In addition, the political whims of the (sometimes rapidly changing) national governments have had significant impact on conservation efforts in Ecuador. For example, the faltering national government in 1997 attempted to garner public support by publicly supporting the gold miners in PNP. In addition to the deteriorating political will to enforce conservation laws, funding has been cut and national strikes have shut offices. For example, I found the gate to the Ministry of the Environment office locked for over a week with a sign that read "El MAG y Ministerio del Ambiente respaldamos a la sesin permanente indefinida de brazos cados descretada por CONASEP [Confederacin Nacional de Servidores Pblicos] Adelante por Nuestros Derechos" (The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the Ministry of the Environment support the permanent and indefinite strike of the discredited laborers of CONASEP [National Confederation of Public Servants]. Onward for Our Rights). Thus, community-based conservation projects (in this case, environmental education projects) are constrained by these historical, cultural, socioeconomic, political, and ecological factors at diverse scales. Clearly, the management of

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95 Parque Nac ional Podocarpus is situated within a complex national context that to a large extent predetermines the success or failure of conservation measures in the region. In order to understand this context more fully, it is useful to examine the history of the f ield of conservation in Ecuador. According to the Ecuadorian conservation organization EcoCiencia (1994: 6), the first official conservation efforts in Ecuador occurred during the colonial era to protect the quinine forests of southern Ecuador, in the Pro vince of Loja. By providing a medical cure for malaria, quinine forests were of extreme importance to the maintenance of the colonial enterprise in Latin America as well as in tropical Africa and Asia. Likewise, throughout the 19 th century, there were e fforts to prevent uncontrolled logging in the valley of Guayas. Thus, early conservation efforts were focused at the landscape level, aimed to protect valuable natural resources and grounded in utilitarian arguments. By 1926, there was a shift to individ ual species protection when the government prohibited the hunting of herons in the coastal provinces in an attempt to protect their rapidly dwindling populations. In 1934 the government turned its attention to the Galapagos, and passed the first legislati on to protect the islands. 17 Then on July 4 th 1959 the government declared all areas of the Galapagos as a National Park, with the exception of the colonized areas. It was not until 1968 however that the administration of the Galapagos National Park Serv ice began and not until 1974 that the first Master Plan for the protection of the Park was published. In the 1970s, the Strategy for the Conservation of Wild Areas of Ecuador was elaborated, and in 1971, the Law of National Parks and Reserves was passed A decade later a Forestry Law integrated 18 areas (a totality of 41,115 km 2 approximately 15% of Ecuador's territory). By 1993, the preservation of the environment was officially

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96 recognized as a permanent national objective (Decreto #764 del 14 de m ayo de 1993). Interestingly, the armed forces are mandated with ensuring governmental compliance with national objectives, and military personal have suggested that the military should play a larger role in protecting Ecuador's biological diversity, whic h is considered the "la patria, or the patrimony of Ecuador (Colonel Hernandez, pers. com. 1998). Yet, as Wunder (2000) documented, tropical deforestation continues in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Like many other developing countries, Ecuador has witnessed a flurry of civil society action in recent years. In addition to the proliferation of local conservation organizations promoting environmental education in the buffer zone of PNP, national and international conservation groups have begun to exert their infl uence in Ecuador. For example, Fundacin Natura (FN), Ecuador's largest national conservation organization, and partner of the World Wildlife Fund, combines an environmental education focus with protection of threatened ecosystems. Funding for Park prot ection came from a debt for nature swap organized by the FN, WWF and The Nature Conservancy. Among its many projects, FN was involved in a thirteen year environmental education project, called Educacin para la Naturaleza (EDUNAT). This program included 60 broad environmental problems, but highlighted the environmental impact of petroleum, pollution due to pesticides, endangered species, noise pollution, importance of protected areas, and natural disasters (Encalada, 1995: 161). As mentioned previously, La Fundacin Ecuatoriana de Estudios Ecolgicas better known as EcoCiencia, is another key national conservation organization. Founded by biologists, this non profit organization is dedicated to scientific investigation, as well as to environmental educ ation. The inclusion of EE in their agenda illustrates the degree to which

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97 environmental education has become a central conservation strategy. In one of their publications, EcoCiencia (1994: 13) commented that, Las reas silvestres son laboratorios natur ales que deben integrarse activamente en el sistema educativo de nuestro pas. El desarrollo de programas educativos es una herramienta importante para generar en la poblacin un orgullo nacional basado en la apreciacin y valoracin de nuestros recursos naturales y culturales. Las reas protegidas son lugares ideales para crear conciencia sobre los problemas ambientales y modificar actitudes que permitan una amplia participacin de los individuos en las actividades de conservacin de la naturaleza. Wild erness areas are natural laboratories that should be actively integrated into our national educational system. The development of educational programs is an important tool for generating national pride based on the appreciation and valorization of our nat ural resources and cultures. Protected areas are ideal places for creating consciousness about environmental problems and modifying attitudes that will permit an expanded participation of individuals in the conservation of nature. Taking note of this flu rry of conservation activity, the government officially declared the 1990s as the "Decade for Ecodevelopment." Yet, for all its official mandates, communication between Ministries has been limited, which has had significant negative consequences for the management of Ecuador's natural resources. For example, in addition to INEFAN, the National Institute of Mining (INEMIN) is another critical player in the management of Ecuador's natural resources. Unfortunately, INEMIN and INEFAN have not had open dialo gue, so while INEFAN declared some areas, like PNP, to be National Parks, which prohibits mining, INEMIN was handing out mining concessions. This brief discussion gives an idea of the historical trajectory of environmental concerns in southern Ecuador. The next section focuses specifically on the main management issues facing the Park, illustrating how these ecological, political and economic contexts interact and influence environmental education in the buffer zone of PNP.

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98 Management Challenges for P arque Nacional Podocarpus A diverse array of issues, concerns, and conflicts are faced by an equally diverse array of stakeholders in the management of Parque Nacional Podocarpus. These stakeholders include the governmental Ministry for the Environment an d various other governmental entities such as Programa Regional de Desarrollo del Sur (PREDESUR). Non governmental organizations (NGOs) working for the protection of PNP include Fundacin Arcoiris (FAI), Fundacin Maquipacuna (FM), Fundacin Cientfica Sa n Francisco (FCSF), and Fundacin Colinas Verdes (FCV). In addition to these key organizations, there were a handful of smaller groups such as Fundacin Danta, Fundacin Podocarpus, and Fundacin Bioma that were active in 1996 and 1997. All of these grou ps have been active in environmental education to some extent. By 1999, Programa Podocarpus had arrived on the scene, bringing with it substantial external funding and a mission to facilitate the conservation of PNP. 18 Although these groups differ signif icantly in terms of size, funding, organizational structure and objectives, they have all incorporated environmental education into their strategies to promote the protection of PNP. These stakeholders, along with a variety of individuals living in the buf fer zone and national NGO and governmental representatives, participated in workshops designed to solicit stakeholder opinion regarding the key management issues facing PNP. 19 Within the new management plan, sixteen key issues of concern for the communiti es surrounding PNP were identified (1997: iii iv). These are listed in Table 4.2. Of these, gold mining, timber extraction and the expansion of the agricultural frontier are the most serious threats to the ecological integrity of the Park, and certainly t he most volatile management issues (Lpez and Valarezo, 1992; Valle, 1992).

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99 Table 4.2 Problems Identified in the Management Plan for PNP 1. Insufficient environmental action on the part of pertinent entities in the western portion of the buffer zone of PNP 2. Progressive environmental degradation of the waterways that serve as the water supply for the city of Loja 3. Intermediate zones between the urban areas of Loja and Zamora and the protected area lack management 4. Unplanned tourism in the areas of PNP access ible from Vilcabamba 5. No formal or clear recognition of the legal delineation of PNP with the properties located in the Cantn of Loja 6. Environmental deterioration of waterways on the western face of the mountain range that protects PNP 7. The Defense Committe e of PNP is weak 8. The creation of the Park has affected rural property, which remains unresolved. 9. New illegal occupation of miners in the sector of San Luis, in PNP 10. The interests of local miners, affected by the centralization of the administration of the S ector 11. INEFAN lacks resources to develop strategies for inter institutional support to strengthen protection for PNP 12. The human populations adjacent to PNP do not understand the purpose of the protected area 13. Conflicts over land tenure since the establishment of PNP 14. Inadequate use of natural resources in the southern portion of the buffer zone of PNP 15. Lack of attention to the basic social and infrastructure needs of the communities that border PNP 16. Lack of demarcation of the Park borders

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100 These activities have differential impacts in the various regions due to the diversity in ecosystems as well as the distinct historical and economic situations of the different regions around the Park. For example, Colby and Keating (1998: 1484) note that the upper montane reg ions (above 2600m) have not experienced many anthropogenic disturbances. In contrast, Fundacin Natura (1992) reports that the lower regions (below 2600m) have been nearly completely deforested by such activities as logging, highway construction, and the expansion of the agricultural frontier. The next section takes a detailed look at one of these issues that of gold mining. After examining the history of mining in the region, it is possible to examine the EE efforts designed to confront these challenge s. In this way, we begin to tease out the linkage (or disconnection) between environmental education and these main management issues. Gold Mining The extraction of gold from the southern region of Ecuador has a long history. The region of Loja emerged as the Spanish Audiencia's premiere mining region around the1560s when extensive veins of ore were discovered in Zaruma, north of the town of Loja (Newson, 1995: 234). The quality and quantity of the ore was quite variable and production costs high, yet mining flourished. However, in 1590 the mining industry collapsed when epidemics of smallpox, measles, and dysentery devastated the indigenous populations that the mining industry exploited for labor (Newson, 1995: 243). 20 The same story holds true for Zamora, which was considered to be one of the richest gold mining cities, alongside those of Nambija. Alluvial deposits of gold were also found further south, throughout the Shuar region and in the "hinterlands" of Loyola, and Vallodolid. Yet, once agai n,

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101 production slacked off due to severe population decline and by 1618 mining ceased (Newson, 1995: 291). Thus, mining in the region eventually stopped even though deposits had not been exhausted. The importance of gold did not resurface again until the 1980s when the international price of gold reached its all time high of $875 per troy ounce (Lucas, 1981). 21 Mining operations in Nambija resumed and large deposits were found in this southern Sierra region, making it the most important gold mining area in Ecuador. Reflecting the growing importance of mining to the national economy, the government established the Instituto Ecuatoriano de Minera (INEMIN) (Ecuadorian Institute of Mining) in 1985, and passed new laws to encourage foreign investment in the m ining industry. According to Buitron (1996: 6), the Ecuadorian government's stated goal was to increase the level of mining (of all minerals) from 1% of GDP to 10%. From 1992 to 1996 gold prices remained relatively stable, and by 1996 gold and silver exp orts exceeded $90 million, making these minerals the major non traditional exports of Ecuador (Velasco, 1996: 2). Velasco also noted that artisan miners are responsible for over 85% of Ecuador's gold production, and that in 1996 over 400 artisan miners r egistered, and over 1,800 applications for new exploration were filed. In addition, numerous international mining companies expressed interest in mining operations in Ecuador, which according to Velasco (1996:3) "indicated a very promising mining outlook for Ecuador." Yet, in 1997 global prices plummeted to an average of $US 331 and prices have yet to recover (Amey, 1998). The results of these fluctuations have included increased economic insecurity for small scale artisan miners and a decline in overal l production. Still, miners remain inside the Park and the tensions between miners and conservation organizations continue to worsen.

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102 This renewed national interest in the mining sector had (and continues to have) direct impacts for the management of PNP Of critical consequence to the management of protected areas such as PNP was the fact that the new mining law permitted mining inside protected areas if the metal was deemed to be of "strategic importance." In 1981 there was only one company with a con cession inside PNP of approximately 30,000 hectares (FAI, n.d.: 5). By 1989, INEMIN had granted mining concessions to various mining companies for over 95% of the interior of the Park (FAI, n.d.: 3). In April 1990, RTZ Mining Exploration Ltd. initiated e xploration on their 16,000 hectare concession in the heart of the Park, and the controversy heated up significantly. Cumbinamasa S.A. was another large international company that had field bases inside the Park, and Fundacin Arcoiris specifically targete d their activities to block them from gaining permits for exploration activities. In February 1992, numerous artisan miners invaded the sector of San Luis, which led Fundacin Arcoiris to initiate a more aggressive campaign to remove miners from the Par k. FAI worked in collaboration with INEFAN and the military in the establishment of a control post in the community of Romerillos Alto, which is situated closest to the Park border. The post was effective in diminishing the miners' supply lines (equipmen t and food) and FAI believes it contributed to the reduction of miners in the Park. They also collaborated with the internationally recognized environmental law organization, Corporacin de Defensa de la Vida (CORDAVI) (The Corporation in Defense of Life) in a denunciation in the Tribunal against the Director of INEMIN. 22 Still, La Cooperativa de Mineros San Luis and the Empresa Agrominera Curishiro remained active in the area.

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103 A direct result of this new invasion of the Park was the establishment of an inter institutional committee for the defense of PNP. This group included governmental and non governmental organizations and was set up to exert pressure on government authorities in order to defend the Park. Although a weak organization, this effort t o forge inter institutional collaboration established a new phase in management strategies for the Park. 23 Due to the pressure of Arcoiris, in collaboration with other groups, Cumbinamasa S.A. withdrew from the Park in 1993. Although this was considered a victory, the problem of gold mining within the Park still was not resolved. In fact, many argue that the problem was exacerbated, in that although the big companies pulled out, the artisan miners remained. In contrast to the mining companies that are la rge, unified and highly visible entities, artisan miners often work independently or in small, generally unorganized federations, which render them practically invisible. As one informant revealed, Es clara la desorganizacin que existe en este grupo de mineros informales. No hay como identificarles porque son pequenos, la gente olvidado. The disorganization that exists in this group of informal miners is clear. There is no way to identify them because they are the small forgotten people. Large mini ng companies have visible leaders that are easy to target in public campaigns, whereas artisan miners generally do not. Conservation organizations found that while they could easily make villains out of large international mining corporations, the task wa s more difficult with small scale national artisan miners trying to make ends meet in an unstable and deteriorating economy. Thus, enforcement and control of gold mining has literally become unfeasible. The politics of everyday resistance within an econo mic climate of increasing poverty, and a national government lacking resources and the political will to

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104 promote conservation has resulted in the almost continual presence of artisan miners within the Park. FAI was aware of the potential threat of artis an miners moving into the area if Cumbinamasa was removed. They went ahead with their efforts, believing it to be the best strategy for protecting PNP. In one report, they noted we have placed priority on this campaign especially after conversations wi th the artisan miners in San Luis and other visitors to the area who indicated that they would abandon the area as long as Cumbinamasa left the area. [Fundacin Arcoiris, 1993, original published in English] Yet, after the big companies left in February 1993, the number of artisan miners inside the Park swelled to over 800 (FAI, 1995a: 1). Negotiations proceeded slowly over the following year with the Ministry of Defense and the government, and resulted in the removal of the miners by military escort by March 1994. Yet once again, this was not a permanent solution. In their public statement, Fundacin Arcoiris documents perhaps one of the clearest examples of how national and international politics directly impact resource use, Lastimosamente, tras el estado de emergenica que ha vivido el pas por el conflicto blico con el Per, los soldados destacados en estos campamentos fueron removidos del sector, situacin que fue aprovechada por un grupo de mineros, para ingresar al sector. En menos de tres mese s, se han asentado en el sector alrededor de 500 persona. [Fundacin Arcoiris, 1995a: 2] Unfortunately, after the state of emergency that the country has experienced due to the bellicose conflict with Peru, the soldiers stationed in these camps [in PNP ] were removed, and a group of miners took advantage of the situation to enter into the sector [San Luis]. In less than three months, approximately 500 people had established themselves in the Park. The Inter institutional Committee facilitated the proc ess of negotiation, and a new agreement was signed in which the miners agreed to leave by September 30, 1995. Yet, the

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105 problem persisted. As of December 2000, new negotiations were under way to remove the miners once again. En la actualidad continan ing resando mineros al rea y el problema se agrava por el momento poltico que vive el pas, existiendo inclusive ofrecimiento de algunos candidatos para legalizar su permanencia en San Luis . El problema de la minera en San Luis se agrava por el poco in ters de las autoridades especialmente de Zamora Chinchipe por solucionar este problema en forma definitive. [Lpez, 1996: 2] In actuality, miners continue to enter into the area (PNP) and the problem is aggravated by the political atmosphere of the co untry, including the offers from various candidates to legalize the presence of miners in San Luis . The problem of mining in San Luis is aggravated by the lack of interest on the part of the authorities, especially in Zamora Chinchipe, to find a defin itive solution to this problem. Reactions to this issue have been varied. The Proyecto Minera sin Contaminacin (PMSC) (Mining without Contamination Project) 24 began publishing a monthly Boletin Minero with the objective of sharing information regardin g its efforts to minimize environmental contamination due to small scale mining in southern Ecuador. They highlight the problem of miners in PNP, writing, Lo Malo: La ltima invasin por parte de mineros artesanales a la zona de San Luis en el Parque Na cional Podocarpus, y la falta de polticas mecanismos y estrategias por parte de la Autoridades Estatales, para controlar y solucionar de forma sustentable los problemas en este importante Parque Nacional en las regin sur del Ecuador. [PMSC, 1996: 12] T he Bad: The last invasion of artesinal miners in the zone of San Luis en Podocarpus Nacional Park and the lack of political mechanisms and strategies on the part of the state authorities to control and find a sustainable solution to the problems in this im portant National Park in the southern region of Ecuador. In addition, there have been some efforts to educate those involved in mining. For example, CODIGEM sponsored a seminar on gold mining in Ecuador in 1996, which focused on reducing the use of merc ury in gold mining.

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106 One strikingly visible sign of the battle being waged over mining in PNP is found on the sign welcoming visitors to Zamora. In 1996, under the Mayor Sr. Hernan Valarezo, the sign read: "La Ilustre Municipalidad Bienvenidos a Zamora Ciudad Ecologica" (The Illustrious Municipality welcomes you to Zamora Ecological City). In 1997 the sign had been changed to read, "Bienvenidos a Zamora, su pueblo, la riqueza minera y atractivos naturales. Os Acogen." (Welcome to Zamora, your town of mineral wealth and natural attractions. Welcome). The signs illustrated more than a change in mayors. They reflected identity politics. Zamora was home to miners and they were proud of it. This public display can be interpreted as an indication of fa iled attempts to resolve the conflict between miners and environmental activists. Residents saw it as an indicator that tensions were still high and the conflict over mining nowhere near settled. This discussion on the management challenges facing Parque Nacional Podocarpus, with the focus specifically on gold mining, leads to the question, "What is being done to confront these challenges?" As discussed previously, environmental education programs are one strategy that is being widely used in the buffer z one of the Park. Therefore, the next section examines the educational efforts of the key stakeholders. Environmental Educational Efforts Responding to these Challenges Both governmental and non governmental organizations turned to environmental educati on as one strategy for dealing with these management challenges in PNP. Therefore, this section first provides some background on the evolution of education in Ecuador (in the broadest of terms) in order to situate current educational policy and practices in historical

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107 perspective. Then, I narrow the focus to describe some of the environmental educational programs promoted both by the government and conservation organizations in the region Background: A brief history of education in Ecuador Formal educa tion in Latin America is built upon a colonial European model. 25 As Arnove et al. (1987: 117) comment, Education from its inception in the Spanish and Portuguese conquests of the New World was integrally tied to the extension and consolidation of elite po wer. . Gender and race were for centuries bars to education, as was lower class status. Issues of power, access, race, class, and gender continue to be relevant today in discussions regarding education (Arnove et al., 1999). Throughout Latin America in the decades following World War II, there was an increase in universal primary education and a growing concern for developing educational systems responsive to the general population. 26 In Ecuador, both the Inter American Foundation and USAID provided funding for literacy programs based on the philosophy and methodology of Freire (Black, 1991: 190). Growth and reform characterized the 1970s and early 1980s. Then the debt crisis hit, which had a profoundly chilling effect on educational reform, as exp enditures were dramatically reduced. In Ecuador, total governmental expenditures on education were reduced almost in half, from 33.3% in 1980 to 17.5% in 1991. According to Arnove et al. (1999: 317), the percentage of the GNP spent on education went fro m 5.6% in 1980 to 3.4% in 1995. They also noted that, The implementation of structural adjustment policies to liberalize the economies of Latin America and integrate them more tightly into the world capitalist system has provoked a number of crises throu ghout the region. In diminishing the role of the state in the provision of basic social services part of the cost cutting policies recommended by the World Bank and the IMF the social safety net provided the most marginalized populations has been effectiv ely removed. [1999: 324]

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108 Under these conditions, rural schools were particularly hard hit. Arnove et al. (1987: 119) commented, Historically, their [rural peoples'] interests have been poorly served by educational systems. Rural areas have the highest il literacy rates. . They also have fewer primary schools, inadequate school resources, and often no form of secondary or higher education at all. The debt crisis and subsequent structural adjustment policies thus exacerbated the situation already exist ent in the rural areas. Today, many administrators and teachers argue that the results of these severe setbacks experienced in the 1980s and early 1990s are clearly evidenced by the drastic measures needed now to modernize Ecuador's schools. In Ecuador, national public education is currently under the direction of the Ministerio de Educacin y Cultura (MEC). The educational structure begins with kinder a one year program similar to kindergarten, followed by escuela primaria which consists of six years, and is equivalent to elementary school in the U.S. Then students move into colegio which is the equivalent to junior and high school in the U.S., and it too consists of six years. Attendance is tuition free and compulsory for ages 6 through 14, althou gh enforcement is quite variable. According to the U.S. State Department statistics for 1997, only approximately 33% of rural students actually complete sixth grade. The number is around 76% for urban areas. Still, government efforts to improve this sit uation are evidenced by the 4.4% increase in annual enrollment in primary schools, which is greater than the population growth rate. In addition, an autonomous system of bilingual schools operates throughout Ecuador, and both national and bilingual schoo ls are found within the buffer zone of PNP. Within the buffer zone, two distinct indigenous languages are found in addition to Spanish. The Saraguros, in the Canton Yacuambi, speak Quichua, and the Shuaras in

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109 Canton Nangaritza, speak Shuar. Although my r esearch did not address cross cultural issues explicitly, during my research I did have the opportunity to observe classes in both Quichua and Shuar schools, and to interact with their teachers and students. Sr. Miguel Chiriapo, Director of Bilingual Educ ation in Zamora, explained that each bilingual school was in the process of conducting an evaluation of their schools and preparing their own plan and educational materials. He emphasized that bilingual curricula are adapted and developed from the "Modelo de Educacin Bilingue" (Model of Bilingual Education). The bilingual teachers reiterated this, stressing that bilingual schools are not subject to the national Curricular Reform system but rather develop and apply their own model. Chiriapo commented tha t this ensured that the materials were relevant to their students' specific situation and environment. The bilingual teachers in the region had not personally participated in the elaboration of the model, yet they had a strong sense of ownership in the mo del. This is noteworthy, especially in contrast to the strong lack of ownership many rural teachers feel in regard to the national Curricular Reform, which is discussed in detail later. I believe this reflects the strength of the indigenous movement in Ecuador, which is internationally recognized as an organized and powerful social movement. The sense of ownership in the bilingual educational system illustrated the power behind ethnic identity issues. Given this sense of pride, I was surprised to find t hat native language instruction was limited to approximately only one hour a day, only three days a week. Rather than being infused throughout the curriculum, (i.e., using the indigenous language to teach the other subjects) native languages were taught a s a separate subject, just as French and Spanish are taught in U.S. schools. When asked how effective this system was, Chiriapo admitted that "Hay alumnos que no manejan los dos idiomas" (There are students who do not speak both

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110 languages). 27 In my own f ield observations, supported later by interviews, I found that bilingual teachers were not using the indigenous tongue as the primary teaching language. Students did not speak Shuar at the one school I had the opportunity to visit, indicating that there a re more than a few students who are not bilingual in these schools. As briefly mentioned above, the Shuar were pioneers in the field of bilingual and bicultural education. The innovative "Radio Shuar" broadcasts primary and secondary educational programs along with programs addressing issues of cultural relevance, to isolated Shuar communities throughout Ecuador (Gennino, 1990). Within my study site, in the Upper Nangraritza region there are ten communities, each with their own school. Within these sch ools a total of eighteen teachers, which Sr. Chiriapo identified as "authentic bilinguals," worked with about 600 students. Most of these schools are very small, with only one or two teachers. Teachers in these indigenous communities oftentimes come from the community itself, and normally they continue living in the communities in which they teach, although there are some that commute from other communities. Administrators, supervisors, and teachers all commented that one of the biggest challenges they f ace is the fact that parents do not support these schools, and thus do not send their children. The current economic situation exacerbates the situation, for these families find it difficult to save money for school materials and do not consider them a pr iority. With this understanding of the general context of education in Ecuador, it is possible to narrow the discussion to examine some of the environmental educational programs promoted by governmental and conservation organizations in the region By ex amining these programs, an understanding emerges of how EE in being used in the buffer zone.

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111 Governmental efforts: Ministerio del Ambiente (MMA ) As a National Park, PNP is currently under the protection and management of the Ministerio del Ambiente, the national Ministry of the Environment (previously INEFAN). 28 The 1981 Forestry, Conservation of Natural Areas and Wildlife Law established conservation norms for Ecuador, and mandated to INEFAN the administration, conservation, and use of State forests, na tural areas and wildlife (EcoCiencia, 1994: 10). 29 Within this system, the management of PNP is the direct responsibility of the two Park Managers located in the regional offices in the Provincial capitals of Loja and Zamora. The office in Loja is officia lly in charge of "la zona alta," or the "highland zone" of Regions 1 and 4, whereas the office in Zamora is responsible for "la zona baja," or the "lowland zone" of Region 2 and 3. It was not until 1995 that this second post was created in Zamora, reflect ing growing administrative needs of the Park. These offices are directly responsible for the maintenance of Park infrastructure and the creation and enforcement of a management plan. Park infrastructure includes the field stations located in Cajanuma (Re gion 1) and Bombuscaro (Region 2), along with their environmental education centers and accompanying trails. While environmental education is only one facet of the Ministry of the Environment's many responsibilities, providing environmental education pro grams for primary and secondary schools is an integral part of their long term strategy for defusing the difficult management issues they face. Their stated objective is to motivate students' interest in conservation. The curricula of the in school prog rams I was invited to observe in 1996 and 1997 consisted of a short lecture and a video, followed by unstructured discussion. As rural

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112 schools tend to be small, it was common for all grade levels to attend the program at one time, which lasted approximate ly an hour. In 1999 the MMA was in the process of disseminating an educational booklet entitled "Ecoenigmas" to local schools in the buffer zone of PNP. As of October 1999, forty five schools had received the booklet. A short informal evaluation of the materials was being conducted, in which teachers were asked if they found the materials useful or if they had any problems with them. Educators within the Ministry were aware of the vital role of pedagogical practices and they expressed frustration that teachers were not using the environment to teach about the environment. For example, teachers would draw a tree on the chalkboard when trees were right outside the classroom, or teach about the properties of water without having the kids experience it th emselves (taste it, touch, smell, observe). Based on their own interactions with children, these educators argued that this abstract approach is not as powerful as an experiential approach. Unfortunately, I was unable to observe how the new MMA educatio nal programs incorporated this philosophy, for they were not visiting schools when I was there in 1999. A description of their educational programs, materials, and infrastructure follows. When logistics permit, the MMA educational program uses a two day approach, where the first day consists of in class activities and the second day incorporates a field trip to the Park. The program was previously based exclusively in the Loja office, and thus reached children in Region 1 primarily, with Park visits to Cajanuma field station. In practice, however, a majority of the programs do not include the visit to the Park.

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113 Students who do visit the Park through environmental education programs generally receive a short lecture, play an ecological game on the pav ed parking lot in front of the station, and then take a short walk in the Park. The short lectures that I observed in 1996 and 1997 lasted approximately 15 to 20 minutes and briefly discussed the Park's ecological role in watershed maintenance and the bio logical diversity of the Park. These talks were followed by a short question and answer period. Although educators discussed experiential learning in interviews, it was not being integrated into the curricula at that time. For example, the lectures surp risingly did not take advantage of the materials in the classroom. Sketches of spectacled bears, tapirs, monkeys, ants, and the endangered white throated parrot decorated one wall. A poster of the bird family Cracidae and a map of Ecuador's protected are as covered another. A huge, floor to ceiling relief map of the Park provided a unique and useful three dimensional guide to the Park. The dramatic altitude differences found within the Park were also illustrated by an impressive cross sectional map. Qui nua and romerillo, two economically valuable plants from PNP were highlighted, and a few herbarium samples sat in a wooden case on one side. Another case contained bird specimens, including the incredible sword billed hummingbird. Local rocks were displa yed, alongside a discussion of local geology. A series of high quality drawings lined the back wall depicting agricultural burning, factories, desertification, and deforestation. A blackboard sat unused. Finally, at the door, there was a poster entitled "Parque Nacional Podocarpus its destruction" with stunning photographs of the destruction caused by the gold mining activities at San Luis. After the informal lecture, students were taken on a short hike. Two small trails, Oso de Anteojos (400 m) and B osque Nublado (700 m) were designed with environmental

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114 education in mind and provided easy access to the cloud forests of PNP. The shorter trail was dotted with interactive wooden signposts. These ten signs discussed the ecological role of the Park, the biological diversity found in the Park or the threats to the Park, and provided focal points for discussion on the trail. For example, one sign posed the question "Cual es el unico oso de america latina?" and provided the responses "El oso de anteojos" and "El oso esta en peligro de extincin" (What is the only bear of Latin America? The spectacled bear. The spectacled bear is in danger of extinction). 30 In addition to these two trails there are two other main trails. The Mirador trail (3.5 km) is a challenging hike and provides spectacular views of the surrounding valleys, including Loja. Although too long and difficult for younger children, this trail would be ideal for programs for high school and college students. 31 The longest trail from Cajanu ma is to Las Lagunas del Compadre and has been a popular camping site for local high school and college students as well as international tourists. This 14 km hike is ranked as difficult, and the climate can be extreme in these high altitude pramo habita ts. This brief description of the educational programs and infrastructure of the Ministry of Environment provides some insight into the how environmental education was being promoted in PNP by the Ministry of the Environment. In addition to this facilit y being used by educators from the MMA, it is also available for the other groups in the region who conduct environmental education programs in the Park, such as Fundacin Arcoiris. However, as educational visits to the Park are not always coordinated wit h the Park staff, groups may arrive to find the Educational Center locked. In these instances, the talks either occur outside (weather permitting) or in the small lobby of the main building, which is not really equipped to handle this. Still, educational messages

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115 are found everywhere. The sign on the front of this building reads "Esta tierra no es algo que nos han llegado de nuestros padres. Es algo que nos han prestado nuestros hijos." (This land is not something that we received from our parents. It is something borrowed from our children). Homemade signs of popular Chief Seattle quotes cover the lobby walls as well. 32 Another sign informs the public that by protecting the spectacled bear and its habitat that they are guaranteeing their own survival ("Al proteger el Oso Andino y conservar los bosques donde viven, estamos garantizando nuestra propia supervivencia.") Scattered around are posters with photos of orchids, the countryside, and announcements for environmental events, such as Arbor Day, w hich features a drawing of two indigenous children planting trees. 33 While the Ministry of the Environment is officially mandated with promoting the conservation of PNP, a variety of local non governmental conservation organizations are active in environm ental education efforts geared at promoting the importance of protecting the Park. The following section briefly discusses several of these organizations and their activities, including Fundacin Maquipacuna in Zamora, and Colinas Verdes in San Pedro de V ilcabamba, and then goes into a detailed analysis of Fundacin Ecolgica Arcoiris in Loja. Non governmental organization efforts Fundacin Maquipucuna (FM) Founded in 1987 with the goal of helping to preserve threatened Ecuadorian ecosystems, Fundaci n Maquipucuna focuses on community agroforestry projects, environmental education, and scientific investigations that contribute to the sustainable use of natural resources. Based in Zamora, this conservation organization

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116 primarily works in the northeaste rn communities, although the group participates in regional committees that are designed to coordinate and strengthen the activities of the various groups working for the protection of PNP. 34 Fundacin Maquipucuna has been involved with the Proyecto Agrof orestal Zamora (PAZ), which is an excellent example of how education has been integrated into conservation strategies. This project, begun in August 1988, was designed to mitigate the impacts of colonization on the northeast side of the Park through exten sion and environmental education programs, coupled with participatory community forestry projects. 35 Finding that educational materials largely cater to urban populations in other regions of Ecuador, the project designed didactic materials specifically for the rural communities located in the buffer zone. These materials were used in environmental education presentations and agroforestry workshops in the region (Justicia, 1992). In addition, FM organized and facilitated a three day workshop in 1996 entitl ed, Seminario Taller de Educacin Ambiental (Environmental Education Workshop), in which elementary and secondary teachers in the northeastern region participated in designing new environmental education curriculum for the communities located in the northe ast buffer zone of PNP. 36 Strikingly, the discussions during the workshop avoided the volatile issues surrounding the management of the Park, such as the expanding agricultural frontier, gold mining and logging, and instead focused on issues such as globa l warming, ozone depletion, and the threat of nuclear war. Fundacin Colinas Verdes (FCV) Fundacin Colinas Verdes is another active conservation organization, based in San Pedro de Vilcabamba on the western side of the

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117 Park. While they do not have a formal environmental education program, they have promoted environmental essay and art contests in local schools. In addition, they have created an innovative environmental exchange program between students from the Galapagos and students living near PNP Fundacin Cientifica San Francisco (FCSF) This foundation focuses primarily on conducting biological and ecological research. In 1999, twenty five Germans were working in collaboration with Ecuadorian counterparts at the FCSF research station. Rese arch projects addressed a wide variety of biological and ecological themes, including: regeneration, processes of succession, vegetation structures, climate, soil erosion, cloud forest bats, and hummingbirds and their food plants. In addition to research and like the other organizations in the region, they have integrated environmental education as one of their primary activities. However, unlike the other organizations, which focus primarily on local conservation issues, FCSF is part of the internation al environmental education program entitled Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE). This program, initiated in 1994 by Al Gore (then the Vice President of the United States), is a worldwide network of students, teachers, and sc ientists in over 10,000 schools in more than 95 countries. The program engages students in collecting primary ecological data regarding meteorological, water, and soil conditions, with the goals of enhancing environmental awareness of individuals througho ut the world, contributing to the scientific understanding of the Earth, and helping all students reach higher levels of achievement in science and mathematics. Using the Internet, students send their data to the GLOBE Student Data Archive, which is then used by scientists and other

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118 students in research. The program integrates computers and the World Wide Web into classroom activities and gets students involved in hands on science. 37 GLOBE came to Ecuador in 1996, when the Ministry of Education signed a formal agreement and delegated the Corporacin Oikos as the coordinator of the national program and FCSF as the coordinator for southern Ecuador. Currently four schools in Loja and one in Zamora are participating. 38 While this program is clearly grounded in a concern for developing environmental awareness, ecological systems are studied without reference to local conservation issues. Thus, while the program may provide the scientific background needed to understand conservation issues, the GLOBE program itself does not engage students in addressing the specific management challenges facing PNP. 39 Fundacin Ecolgica Arcoiris (FAI) Founded in 1989 by a group of young activists, FAI seeks to promote the conservation of the biological diversity of PNP and t he forests of southern Ecuador. In their mission statement, they identified four main strategies for reaching this goal: environmental education, scientific investigation, community development, and public action. According to one of their pamphlets, the ir education programs have been designed con el objetivo de fomentar una conciencia conservacionista en la poblacin local y conseguir su apoyo en la proteccin del PNP y otras reas silvestres. with the objective of developing a conservation conscious ness in the local population and securing their help in the protection of PNP and other wild areas. Although they had recently begun working with adults, 90% of their educational effort focused on children, in which they visited schools, gave a small in formal talk, and showed a video. If the school was small enough, they would talk to all grades at once. Initially school visits were restricted to an hour or so, but realizing the necessity of increased exposure to EE

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119 messages, they were trying to spend several hours at each school and trying to return for multiple visits. The first visit to a school normally consisted of a lecture accompanied by a video, generally focusing on the biological diversity of the Park. The videos shown in almost every progra m included a catalog of the Park's biodiversity, including footage of mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, and plants. Subsequent visits addressed issues of garbage and recycling, and/or the development of a school garden. In addition, they also invited sc hools to participate in puppet shows, expositions, and parades. The objective of taking students to the Park, whether they be elementary, secondary, or university students was expressed as "que las conozcan el parque" (that they know the Park). The seven general themes that were identified as mandatory topics of discussion included: birds, solid waste, water, biodiversity, habitats, Park statistics, and the benefits and threats to the Park. Within each theme, certain facts were identified so that all gui des would provide a similar program. For example, within the theme of birds, students were given the numbers of species found in the Park, and how they play an important ecological role as seed dispersers, pollinators, and biological control for insects. Within the theme of habitats they discussed how small pools of water provide habitat for amphibians, which are good indicator species of the health of the environment. Park statistics included the date the Park was established, its size, location, and ma nagement. Similar to the format followed by INEFAN and the MMA, Arcoiris employed a two day educational strategy. The first day was spent in the classroom, and the second day was a field trip to the Park. Approximately 3,000 sixth graders visited the Pa rk in 1995 and received a short lecture, played a few ecological games, and walked a trail. At the end of the program, children were awarded a certificate proclaiming "Grandioso Exito!" (Magnificent

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120 Success!). According to staff and my own observations o ver four years, the education program has not changed significantly since its inception. However, since 1996 Arcoiris' program has been limited to in school programs due to concerns over liability and safety issues (the road to the Park is slightly treache rous, and buses in Ecuador are notorious for rolling off these types of roads). Facilitating the development of school gardens has become a major component of Arcoiris' educational program in recent years. This new feature of their educational program i s designed to provide a hands on experience for the children giving them direct experience with applying basic ecological concepts and illustrating natural ways of farming. During my research, I had the opportunity to visit the gardens of the primary scho ols located in Quillollaco and Yamburara. It was during one of these visits that I learned that contrary to program goals of teaching natural, organic farming methods, the garden was requiring significant input of insecticides. Unfortunately, no formal e valuation of the garden component has been conducted, so it is difficult to determine what impact this component might be having, or how it might be contributing to the long term conservation of local natural resources. However, preliminary observations a nd discussions with local teachers indicate that there is potential for improvement. Overall program evaluation appears to be absent. When I probed about follow up evaluations, one staff member in the educational department commented that "We have no way of knowing if any of the key concepts or facts are discussed later in class, or incorporated into lessons." In general, I found that these informal programs were started by young enthusiastic conservationists with a strong conviction that education was necessary for establishing long term protection of the Park. At this point, pedagogical theory and

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121 methods were not the concern, and evaluations were not included in the design of the program. As the programs mature, there is interest in doing more scien tific evaluations of their efforts, including pre and post testing of their various programs. Hopefully, these measures will be adopted in future work and will help to guide these programs so that they become more successful in engaging students in envir onmental problem solving. In response to the issue of gold mining, FAI put forth a proposal that included several strategies, including: the removal of the miners from the Park; reinstalling the military in Romerillos Alto and San Luis to prevent further invasions; imposing sanctions against those entering the Park (such as suspending their citizenship rights); and fortifying environmental education activities (FAI, 1995a: 5). While it is clear that most efforts have aimed for the physical removal of the miners through the direct intervention of the government and military, FAI and other conservation groups have spent considerable effort developing educational and public relations campaigns to increase public pressure. Arcoiris has developed some innovativ e and fun games, including an environmental "PNP Bingo" and a board game that takes players around the Park. In "PNP Bingo," the squares are illustrated with drawings of items related to the Park. Although no specific criteria were used to decide what el ements to include in the game, and they were not arranged in any particular order, I categorized the elements into three main themes: management challenges facing PNP, biodiversity, and conservation. The management challenges included fires, mercury, colo nists, erosion, and deforestation. The various times I observed children playing this game, the "mercury" square, illustrated with the grim reaper, always drew comments from the children and rough housing among the boys. From these limited observations, I would argue that the grim reaper was an effective way to get the

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122 attention of the children, although I never observed the facilitators developing this theme further. The second theme I found within the game related to biodiversity. Seven of the sixteen squares related to wildlife, including the romerillo tree, mushrooms and rabbits (both found twice on the board), reptiles, and deer. It is interesting that the spectacled bear does not appear in this game even though it has been the charismatic species f eatured in educational materials, used to capture the imagination of local children. The third theme related to conservation in a broad sense, with three squares that included the refuge, visitors, and Park guards. In terms of materials related specifica lly to addressing the threat of gold mining to the park, FAI produced a video "El Herencia del Oro" (The Inheritance of Gold), which is a standard feature for the video component of their in classroom programs. They also published a document entitled "Po docarpus National Park: A Protected Natural Area Threatened by Mining" in June 1992. Arcoiris began as an activist group and thus fomenting public action has been an important focus. While the majority of FAI's educational activities focus on school age children, informal educational activities are a critical component of their strategy to promote conservation in PNP. These activities have included publishing informational documents, organizing protests and parades, lobbying and pursuing legal mechanism s particularly in regard to the gold mining activities within the Park. I had the opportunity to observe Arcoiris as it organized a parade for "Environment Day" (June 5, 1997), which provided a perfect illustration of this popular public action/educatio nal strategy (see Figure 4.1). As one Parade organizer commented,

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123 Los desfiles son una de las mejores activitidades para involucrar los estudientes, y tambin atraer la atencin de la gente de Loja. Parades are one of the best ways to get students invo lved and to get the town's attention. Ten schools were invited to participate in this parade. 40 The parade itself began in the Plaza of San Sebastian and meandered through town until it reached the Plaza de Armas, approximately 30 minutes later. Once in the Plaza, teachers lined up the students in precision rows in front of the Municipal government building. Waving green flags, the students shouted chants about saving the environment. Banners pronouncing it to be "Environment Day," protesting nuclear wa r and the greenhouse effect were held high. Figure 4.1 Children marching in the "Environment Day" Parade, June 5, 1997 Unfortunately, the mayor did not address the students as had been hoped, and after approximately fifteen minutes of chanting and waiting, the organization of the event broke

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124 down and teachers gradually took their students back to school without any formal closing ceremony. Many teachers were angry, and many children disappointed. However, a small delegation of students presented a letter to the mayor. From an educational perspective, it was clear that many children did not fully understand what the parade was about. For example, several classes had opted for costumes, although the costumes did not appear to be related to the them e of the parade. Informal conversations with over fifty children throughout this event revealed that the objective and meaning of the parade had not been successfully conveyed. This may simply reflect that the parade was organized only a few days before it occurred, which did not give teachers or educators from Arcoiris sufficient time to do any pre parade preparation activities. Thus, while the objectives of getting children involved and getting the attention of the general public were met, parade organ izers hoped to improve the quality of the learning experience in the future. This description provides a sketch of how Arcoiris was using public campaigns in conjunction with their EE program to meet their goals, and thus helps us understand the role of E E in promoting conservation in the buffer zone of PNP. In addition to parades and other educational activities, Arcoiris is also involved with community development projects, research, and public action activities. Community development projects have been carried out with the intent of offering economic alternatives to communities located near protected areas. Establishing tree nurseries and apiaries are just two examples of community projects. The research component includes biological investigations of the Podocarpus the mountain tapir, and a monitoring project of local birds. Arcoiris has collaborated with various regional and international organizations, including: the Inter Institutional Committee for the Protection of PNP; the Programa de

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125 Bosques Andinos (PROBONO); Fundacin Natura ; World Wildlife Fund; and the Nature Conservancy Park's in Peril Program. They have received global recognition for their work, including the "Global 500" award and the National Award "Planeta Azul." They have been a key participant in The Nature Conservancy's Parks in Peril Program and throughout all these experiences have matured into a significant presence for the protection of the Park. Conclusion In this chapter, I described and analyzed the complexities of nat ural resource use and management in and around Parque Nacional Podocarpus (PNP) using a political ecology framework. Examining the ecological context revealed that, although PNP is a relatively small area, it contains a diverse set of ecosystems and speci es. Exploring the cultural context revealed that an equally diverse human population surrounds PNP. I then briefly mentioned the national and international context in which the management of PNP is situated. Logically, the differences between the four r egions of the buffer zone are an artifact of the diversity in both the ecological and social contexts. Differences in economically valuable resources have led to differing patterns of human settlement, migration, and access to markets. Therefore, environ mental education programs need to be sensitive to these differences, and curricula need to be adapted to meet these differing needs. As Orr (1991: 11) notes, Conservation education is not just about biology, it is equally about the deeper causes of bioti c impoverishment that have to do in one way or another with political behavior, institutions, and philosophies. By looking at the broader contexts (ecological, political, economic and social), natural resource use patterns and management issues facing Par que Nacional Podocarpus became

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126 readily visible. I highlighted the issue of gold mining, as it has been a volatile management issue for the Park. Once the management issues were identified, I examined the environmental education strategies of key stakehol ders, including the Ministry of the Environment and various local conservation organizations. I highlighted the programs of Fundacin Arcoiris and how they employed educational programs to confront the management issues facing the Park. Overall, I found t hat environmental education programs promoted by the Ministry of the Environment and local NGOs in the region have the shared goal of promoting the protection of Parque Nacional Podocarpus. Likewise, these environmental education programs generally follow ed a similar template, consisting of a short guest lecture from the Ministry or the NGO, which presented a variety of ecological information followed by a video. Generally, this information was somewhat technical, and not tailored for the audience. The s ame program was offered to all grade levels and to children from diverse ethnic and class backgrounds. Those promoting environmental education identified several weaknesses of their programs. First, EE programs were not developed in collaboration with l ocal teachers, nor were they designed to be integrated with the Reform. Second, teachers reported that the EE programs had not successfully engaged students in critical thinking about the management challenges facing the Park, nor helped them develop skil ls in creating and evaluating alternatives. Thus, the lack of engagement of faculty and students at the local level in the development of these environmental education programs was viewed as a significant barrier. In addition, the lack of clearly defined and measurable objectives has meant that the focus of educational programs has often wandered from the stated goal of protecting the Park. This

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127 linked with the fact that most programs have lacked comprehensive evaluation. As one administrator noted, No estoy seguro si los programas de educacin ambiental hecho por las varias Fundacines tienen efecto, o si pueden contribuir al proceso de desarrollo sostentable en la regin sur del Ecuador. Ahorita no hay un proceso de evaluacin, entonces no hay datos s obre esto. I am not sure if the environmental education programs of the various Foundations are effective, or if they can contribute much to promoting sustainable development in the southern region of Ecuador. Right now there is no evaluation process, so therefore there is no data on this. While some teachers dismissed environmental education completely, others stressed that these failures were not due to the futility of environmental education, but to the manner in which it has been employed. One te acher argued that the current failures were the result of the fact that many educational programs in the region were not facilitated by educators trained in the theory and methods of pedagogy but rather by biologists and others who did not have the requisi te educational expertise and experience to do so successfully. In addition, public relations issues are always complicated and need to be carefully considered. For example, although Fundacin Arcoiris is an internationally recognized and reputable organ ization, several teachers commented that representatives of FAI had come and offered to give talks but then never returned ("Vienen dos personas de Arcoiris, ofrecen charlas y nunca vuelven desaparacidos"). While it is impossible to keep everyone pleased 100% of the time, it is valuable to be aware of these dynamics and how they might impact the final overall success of environmental educational programs. This introductory description and analysis of local environmental education programs provides a beginn ing point for discussion of how education is being used and how it might

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128 be strengthened to promote conservation in the buffer zone. The next chapters develop the discussion further as students, teachers and educators add their perspectives. Notes 1 These include 1) bosque muy hmedo Pre Montano (bmh PM), 2)bosque muy hmedo Montano Bajo (bmh MB), 3) bosque pluvial Montano (bp M), 4) bosque muy hmedo Montano (bmh M), and 5) bosque hmedo Montano Bajo (bh MB). 2 These communities include "sistemas lacustres, herbazal arbustivo, matorral arbustivo o arbustal enano (dwarf shrubs), bosque nublado medio, bosque de chaparro, and bosque denso alto." For more information about these communities, including ele vation ranges and species, please see the CD ROM, "Sistema de Informacin Parque Nacional Podocarpus" produced by the Centro de Informtica Agropecuaria (CINFA) and available through Programa Podocarpus or Fundacin Arcoiris. 3 Hagsater (1996) reportin g for the Orchid Specialist Group, noted that the Orchid Action Plan was completed in 1996 at the World Orchid Conference held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. For more information on orchids and their conservation status, see this document and look for updates from the Orchid Specialist Group in the IUCN Newsletter of the Species Survival Commission. 4 Various GIS layers (slopes, relief, soils, vegetation, and agricultural aptitudes) are included in the management plan and are also available on the CD ROM Sistema de Informacin Parque Nacional Podocarpus" produced by CINFA and available through Programa Podocarpus or Fundacin Arcoiris. 5 For more detailed information, see Espinosa et al. (1992) and Bewley (1998). 6 These schools include the elementary schools of: "Nios Eloy Alfaro", "Juan Wisner", "Nias Imaculada","Nias Amazonas","Simon Bolivar","Luis Philipe" and the secondary schools of "San Francisco", "12 de Febrero","Seoritas Madre Bernarda","Seoritas Amazonas","Luis Philipe Borja" and the sec ondary distance school which meets on Saturdays for the students who live too far from town to come to school daily. 7 For more information on this region, see Centro Andino de Tecnologa Rural (1996) and Justicia (1992). 8 Please note that in histo rical documents the people who self identify as Muraiya Shuara or Achuara Shuara were called "Jvaros." This Spanish term has no meaning within the Shuar language and has been rejected by the Shuar as pejorative (Whitten 1981: 131).

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129 9 The Federacin emp loys their small fleet of small engine planes and their own trained surveyors to demarcate their lands. 10 For more information on the Shuar, contact the Centro de Documentacin e Investigacin Shuar (CEDISH), in Gaulaquiza, Morona Santiago, Ecuador. T his Center is part of the Shuar Bilingual and Intercultural Institute and has audiovisual and bibliographic information on the Shuar and the Amazon. In Quito, the Centro de Documentacin e Informacin de los Movimientos Sociales del Ecuador (CEDIME) also has an extensive bibliography on the Amazon and the impacts of policy on this region. They are also a member of the Confederacin de Nacionalidades Indgenas de la Amazonia Ecuatoriana (CONFENIAE). 11 I had the opportunity in 1996 to accompany members of Fundacin Arcoiris and INEFAN park guards to the town of Loyola where a community meeting was planned in order to work on demarcation. It was an incredibly volatile (and even potentially dangerous) situation. 12 All census data are taken from the most recent management plan (INEFAN, 1997). 13 The team included several Park guards and members of Arcoiris and myself. To get to Loyola, we left at dawn and drove to Tapala where the road ended, and hiked the remainder of the way in, arriving at sunset. Th ere is no road, no electricity and no services in Loyola, although there is a primary school. 14 See Hernandez (1997) for a detailed personal description of the conflict. 15 For more information on the impacts of oil exploration in Ecuador see, Kimberl ing (1991), Avelln (1998), and Amazonia por la Vida (1993). For insight into the industry perspective, see (1993) "1990s bright for post OPEC Ecuador," Oil and Gas Journal. 91(12):56. See also, (1992) "Exploration and development at crossroads in Ecuado r." Oil and Gas Journal 90(27): 66 70 and (1992) "Environmental concerns gaining importance in industry operations." Oil and Gas Journal. 90(27): 46 51. 16 See also Amey (1998) at http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/gold/300798.pdf and http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/gold/#pubs for a complete listing of USGS publications regarding minerals. Also on the web are London Fix Historical gold charts, wh ich provide archived gold prices. 17 The Galapagos archipelago consists of thirteen major islands, six minor islands and approximately 40 smaller rock formations and reefs which spread out over 17,000 square miles in the Pacific Ocean, 600 miles from m ainland Ecuador. The Islands were claimed by Ecuador in 1832. For more information, see EcoCiencia (1994), and also http://www.galapagos.com/history.htm and http://www.galapagosonline.com/Background_Information/History/Timeline.htm

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130 18 Their primary objective is stated as "El PP tiene como objetivo el apoyar la conservacin del PNP y el desarollo sustaentable de su zone de amortiguamiento con la participacin activa de los actores sociales involucrados, contribuyendo as al mejoramiento y bienestar de la poblacin asentada en el rea." 19 Through the generous invitation of Fundacin Natura, who was sponsoring these workshops, I was able to participate in several of these workshops in 1996. 20 Newson (1995:244) calculates that the Loja region suffered the highest depopulation ratio for the sierra, reporting that the population was reduced by 89.6 percent by t he 1590s. He comments, "with mining taking an unusually high toll between 1560 1590" 21 In 1971, the United States suspended the convertability of dollars to gold, and in 1975 public sales of gold stocks began. The price of gold went from $38 per ounce in 1972 to the all time high of $850 per ounce in 1980. The prices remained relatively stable during the period of 1992 to 1996, but 1997 prices plummeted to around $US 318. (Amey, minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/gold/300798.pdf). 22 CORDAVI advocates for the compliance of environmental regulations in the public interest. Their offices are located in Quito, Ecuador. For more information, contact the Directors Byron Real and Marcela Enriquez at elaw @cordavi.org.ec 23 For example, Dr. Eugenio Bayancela conducted an evaluation of the inter institutional situation as part of the planning process for the development of a macro plan to promote collaboration and activities for the sustainable management of PNP (PMSC, 1996: 6). 24 PMSC is a non profit initiative funded by the Swiss government and administered by the Fundacin CENDA (Centro de Desarrollo Comunitario y Conservacin Ambiental) in Loja, Ecuador. 25 While not the focus of this study, the his tory of education in Ecuador is interesting. Missionaries and the Church played a significant role in the establishment of educational facilities throughout Latin America. Taylor argues (1981: 652) that the four main instruments of missionary control were the introduction of nucleated settlements, formal education, cattle ranching, and manufactured goods. Nucleating settlements served various functions, including the efficient imposition of formal Christian education. These impositions had repercussions t hroughout their culture. This study looked specifically at Achuar and Shuar communities, of present day southern Ecuador and northern Peru. 26 See Arnove et al. (1987, 1999) for general overviews of education in Latin America, relying primarily on aggrega ted data for Latin America as a whole. 27 Educators throughout the region, both within the national and bilingual system, discussed a very publicly damaging and embarrassing moment for bilingual education,

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131 when it was discovered at a public ceremony that the National Director was not bilingual himself. 28 The Ministry of the Environment (Ministerio del Ambiente) created in October 1996, absorbed the Ecuadorian Institute of Forestry, Natural Areas and Wildlife (Instituto Ecuatoriano Forestal y de Areas Naturales y Vida Silvestre (INEFAN) in January 1999 (Ministerio del Ambiente et al., 2001: 232). Previously, INEFAN had been created in 1992, after a reorganization process gave broader responsibilities to the previous Direction Nacional Forestal 29 T here are seven different categories of management outlined in the Ley Forestal y de Conservacin de Areas Naturales y Vida Silvestre. These include: Parque Nacional, Reserva Ecolgica, Refugio de Vida Silvestre, Reserva Biolgica, Area nacional Recreacio nal, Reserva de Produccin Faunstica and Area de Caza y Pesca. Following the U.S. model, no consumptive use of resources is permitted in national parks, and thus, this designation affords the greatest legal protection available. 30 Other signs ask: "Q ue es un bosque nublado?" (What is a cloud forest?); "Cuales son los beneficios del bosque?" (What are the benefits of a forest?); and "Cual es la planta mas famoso del Parque?" (What is the most famous plant of the Park?) 31 However, impacts would nee d to be carefully monitored, as the effects of erosion are already visible on the steep descent, and have made it necessary for Park guards to lay down wood. 32 For example: "El error nuestro es pensar que la naturaleza es de nosotros, cuando en realidad, nosostros somos parte de ella. No hemos heredada la tierra de nuestros abuelos, si no que la hemos tomada prestada de nuestros hijos" (Our error is thinking that the earth belongs to us, when in reality we belong to the earth. We have not inherited the land from our grandparents, rather we have borrowed it from our children). Another says, "y solo recin cuando el ltimo rbol sea talado, el ltimo ro envenenado, el ltimo pez capturado, van ustedes entonces a comprobar que el dinero no sirve para nada (and only when the last tree has been felled, the last river polluted and the last fish caught, will you understand that money isn't worth anything). 33 In addition to having an educational center, this facility is also designed to provide lodging for tourists, although Park guards agree that tourists generally prefer to camp in the areas around the Lakes. 34 The communities where Fundacin Maquipucuna focuses their efforts include Zamora, Bombuscaro, Jamboe Alto y Bajo, Numbami, Sacantza, La Pituca, R omerillos Alto y Bajo. 35 PAZ began informally in 1988 through the assistance of Peace Corp volunteeers, assisted by the Distrito Forestal de Zamora Chincipe (MAG). PAZ was later funded by

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132 World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 1990 1991, and by the British Embas sy in 1991 1992. It was also included in the Plan de Accin Forestal del Ecuador (PAFE) as a priority project in 1990. 36 At the invitation of Fundacin Maquipacuna, I had the opportunity to attend this workshop, which was held 6/25/97 thru 6/27/97, in Zamora. 37 For more information, see http://www.globe.gov/ 38 These include the Instituto Iberoamericano San Agustin, Instituto Tecnico Superior Beatriz Cueva, Instituto Tecnico Bernardo Valdivieso (in Loja), and the Instituto Tecnico San Francisco in Zamora. 39 In 1999, I had the opportunity to collaborate with FCSF, and particularly Lic. Ruth Espinosa, who provided invaluable assistance in the development of the final teacher survey, as well as assisted me in th e field. I am deeply grateful for her help. 40 Of the ten schools, three were located in the rural areas of Region 1, outside of Loja, including Quillollaco, which is one of the schools in my sample.

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133 CHAPTER 5 THE PERSPECTIVES OF CHILDREN, PART I: SURVEY RESPONSES Introduction This chapter explores the perspectives of the children I worked with in the buffer zone of Parque Nacional Podocarpus (PNP). Using games, interviews, surveys, and drawin g activities, I asked them to share their lives with me. I inquired about their schools and teachers and I observed how they were participating in their own education, and specifically in environmental education programs. I asked them broad, open ended q uestions about their families, their daily lives and Parque Nacional Podocarpus. My objective was to examine student knowledge and attitudes regarding the local conservation issues that are discussed in environmental education programs, which then contri buted to the analysis of the role of local environmental education in promoting conservation. Student responses suggested that the educational programs are having a positive impact in the region, in that they are introducing the Park and ideas about conse rvation to the children, but also that there is room for improvement. What follows below is a description of these interactions and findings. I begin with background information regarding the schools in the sample and an overview of the academic context looking at various standards outlined in the Curricular Reform. The discussion then focuses on the survey findings. I conclude by highlighting some of the themes that arose during discussions with educators regarding the survey findings. Chapter 6 the n examines the results from the drawing exercises.

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134 Methods The Schools in the Sample As described in Chapter 3, I began with a five page survey designed to provide information regarding student knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. The survey was adminis tered in June 1997 to a total of sixty students from four schools, which were randomly chosen from the continuum of those that had received multiple environmental education programs to those that had never participated in any environmental education progra m (see Figure 5.1). The four elementary schools were located in four different communities in the buffer zone of PNP, in the Province of Loja. In my sample, students from the school "Enrique Aguirre Bustamante" in Quillollaco had received the most exposu re to environmental education programs. They were participating in a school garden project, and had visited PNP on a field trip, both of which were sponsored by Arcoiris. The establishment of the garden, along with the close proximity to Loja, meant that this school received regular visits by FAI staff. This small rural school had 78 students in total, and I worked with the eleven students who comprised the fifth and sixth grades. Next on the continuum was the school "Julian de R. Pizarro" in Yamburara. Students here were also participating in Arcoiris' garden project and had received several EE programs, but they had never been to the Park on any organized environmental education program. This school was located close to the town of Vilcabamba, and ha d 63 students. Here I worked with the fourteen students in the fifth and sixth grade. Next was the school "9 de Octubre" in San Pedro de Vilcabamba, which was both a primary and secondary school. Students in San Pedro had received visits by Arcoiris, but

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135 did not have a garden and had not gone to the Park on any Arcoiris program. However, the conservation organization, Fundacin Colinas Verdes, was located across from the school. Although Colinas Verdes was not visiting schools as was Arcoiris, they had sponsored art contests regarding the environment in San Pedro and were an active and visible organization in the community. In this school I worked with the twenty three students in the sixth grade. Finally, students at "Teodoro Wolf" in Taxiche had not received any environmental education programs through anyone, at anytime. Like the other schools, this was a small rural school and I worked with the twelve children who comprised the fifth and sixth grades. Quillollaco > Yamburara > San Pedro > Taxiche EE programs EE programs EE programs No EE Garden Garden No garden No garden Visited PNP Not visited PNP Not visited PNP Not visited PNP Figure 5.1 The Continuum of Schools in the Sample Academic Context Before examini ng the research findings, it is valuable to understand what is expected of these children, in terms of geographical and ecological knowledge, at the national level. Within the Ecuadorian Curricular Reform, geography is taught within social studies, which is introduced in the fourth grade. 1 The general objective is that students develop a respect for the biological and cultural diversity of Ecuador. Spatial relationships and temporal phenomena, along with social interrelationships are emphasized. Specifi cally relevant to this research, students are introduced to maps in the fourth grade, including information

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136 about the different political divisions of space, such as the Parroquia and Province. In the fifth grade, students learn about maps and their vario us elements in general. They are also introduced to the map of Ecuador and its different regions and cultures. In the sixth grade students are exposed to the geography of the planet earth and discuss its movements, seasons, and geography. They also disc uss maps this time introducing the concepts of parallels, meridians, longitude, latitude, and time zones. 2 In terms of natural science, students in the fourth grade are introduced to the plant and animal kingdoms. Vertebrates, invertebrates, animals use ful to humans, and the most important local plants and animals are all introduced. In addition, the characteristics of water and the importance of water to humans are taught. In the fifth grade, these lessons are reinforced and the most important local p lants and animals are again discussed. In the sixth grade, the concept of food chains is taught among other themes. This quick sketch illustrates that although the survey was designed to reflect the educational goals of local environmental education pro grams, the questions were within the scope of national educational standards. Understanding these educational goals helps contextualize the findings presented in the next two chapters, which deal specifically with student knowledge of their local surround ings, which includes Parque Nacional Podocarpus. Research Findings Demographic Data The children in my sample ranged in age from nine years to fifteen years, with an average age of twelve years. As the table below illustrates, girls comprised only 38. 3 % (23/60) of my overall sample, while boys were 61.7 % (37/60). Administrators noted that

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137 while official registration does not show this disparity between girls and boys, this imbalance is often observed in the classroom. The skewed distribution of gir ls to boys is not surprising, given the unequal access girls have historically had to education, which is often reflected in literacy rates. For example, UNESCO (1995) reported that globally, the illiterate population, ages 15+ is comprised of 64% women a nd 36% men. The statistics for Latin America and the Caribbean reveal that 17% of women (age 15+) and 14% of men were classified as illiterate in 1990 (Population Reference Bureau, 1995). In Ecuador, despite compulsory education for both girls and boys a ge six to fourteen, adult illiteracy for 2000 was estimated as 10.5% for women and 6.9% for men (UN, 2001). Table 5.1 Sex Ratio of Children in Sample Quillollaco Yamburara San Pedro Taxiche Total Girls 5 (45%) 4 (29%) 9 (39%) 5 (42%) 23 (38%) Boys 6 (55%) 10 (71%) 14 (61%) 7 (58%) 37 (62%) Total 11 14 23 12 60 (100%) Etemyzian (2000) pointed out that a wide range of variables could hinder the incorporation of girls into the educa tional system. For example, direct and indirect costs of schooling coupled with poverty in rural areas often make it unfeasible for families to spare their daughters. Powerful social constraints may also be operating. Many families will not send their d aughters to school if they feel the school is located too far away from the home, or if there is inequitable treatment of girls in the classroom. Some families may not perceive the benefit of educating their daughters. On the contrary, there may be real costs for girls as their physical security may be at risk. Illiteracy within households is also another variable to examine. Those wishing to use environmental education to promote conservation should be cognizant of this potential imbalance, particularl y if their programs address natural resource

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138 use behaviors that are gender differentiated. 3 An important point to recognize is that the factors influencing access to education are culturally defined and vary across culture, rather than being biologically determined and universal. 4 I next looked at residency status. An overwhelming majority of students (96.7%) were born in the buffer zone of the Park, with only two students (3.3%) coming from different regions of Ecuador. Likewise, most students had li ved their whole lives in the town where they were currently going to school (71% in Yamburara, 78% in San Pedro, and 75% in Taxiche). At first glance Quillollaco appeared to be a bit of an anomaly, with only 45% reporting having lived there their whole l ife. However, follow up discussions revealed that this was due to the close proximity to Loja, where many students had lived for some portion of their lives. This was true in the other schools as well; those who had not lived their whole life in their pr esent community had come from nearby areas, all of which were still in the buffer zone of PNP. This residency information was important for it helped to establish that a lack of knowledge regarding the region and the Park did not stem from being new to t he area. In addition to determining residency, I also asked about their parents' occupations. Coinciding with national statistics that found 42% of the country's population is involved with agriculture, 48.3% of the children identified agriculture as thei r father's work. Adding in the two students who named agronomy, and the one who specifically named cattle ranching, the total involved increased to 58%. This was true within each individual school as well, except for Quillollaco, where the majority of st udents reported that their fathers were involved with sacando arena" or riverbed mining for the cement business. Follow up interviews indicated however that families in Quillollaco were also involved in

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139 agriculture. Including agriculture, students ide ntified thirteen occupations for their fathers. Table 5.2 provides the details below. In regards to the occupations of their mothers, students identified a total of eight occupations. While students tended to identify one primary occupation for their f athers, they tended to include a variety of jobs (often not mutually exclusive) for their mothers. For example, students listed haceres domesticos ", which included everything from generic "housework", to sewing, laundry, and ironing. (i.e., en casa, arre gla la casa, cosinando, lavando y aplanchando ). Some included the various phrases for housewife dama de casa, ama de casa, duea de casa in their description of haceres domesticos ." Cooking was the second most common response, and some students ment ioned that their mothers earned income from cooking and sewing. Following these, agriculture was the third most reported category. The results are summarized in Table 5.3. As with the residency information, it was useful to verify that my sample consiste d primarily of students who came from an agricultural background. This helped to establish that a lack of knowledge regarding the region and the Park did not stem from limited opportunities to experience the natural world. As discussed earlier, research has shown that nearly three quarters of children in the United States are unaware of basic ecological relationships since they grow up in cities or suburbs of large metropolitan areas that offer limited opportunities to experience the natural world (Cole, 1992). Clearly, this is not the case in this situation.

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140 Table 5.2 Father's Occupation as Indicated by Children Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Agriculture/Agronomy/Cattle 1 11 13 7 32 Riverbed Mining, Sand 7 0 0 1 8 Milling Sugarcane 0 0 3 1 4 Do not know 2 0 0 1 3 Bricklayer/masonry 0 1 0 1 2 Business 0 0 2 0 2 Harvesting firewood 1 0 1 0 2 Private Property Guard 0 0 2 0 2 Mechanic 0 0 2 0 2 Adventures 0 0 0 1 1 Taxi Driver 0 1 0 0 1 Doctor 0 1 0 0 1 Total 11 14 23 12 60 Table 5.3 Mother's Occupation as Indicated by Children Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) House work 11 4 11 4 30 Cook 0 3 7 3 13 Agriculture/ Livestock 0 6 2 3 11 Work in a local business 0 0 1 1 2 Seamstress 0 0 1 1 2 Engineer 0 1 0 0 1 Hairdresser 0 0 0 1 1 Do not know 0 0 1 0 1 Total 11 14 23 13 61 a a Please note that answers include multiple responses, so the total responses are greater than the s ample size.

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141 Parque Nacional Podocarpus The next questions on the survey were designed to gain a proxy measure of student knowledge regarding the Park. They focused on key themes and specific content found consistently within Arcoiris' environmental ed ucation programs, such as the size of the Park, biodiversity, and water resources. The questions were modeled to some extent after the exercise "Prueba tu Conocimiento (Test your Understanding) that Arcoiris developed in their educational booklet "Descub riendo el Parque Nacional Podocarpus" (1994: 10). Their short fill in the blank post test had nine questions, in which students were asked to identify the provinces where the Park was located, the size of the Park, and other questions addressing biodiver sity. I expanded this in the 1997 survey to gain a more in depth picture. While baseline information from which to measure and compare was non existent, these questions provided a snapshot of students' knowledge of the issues that educators themselves co nsidered important to include in their EE programs. The first question began simply by asking if the students had ever heard of Parque Nacional Podocarpus. During pre testing I had learned that it was necessary to begin with this initial screening, since students would dutifully fill out the entire survey regarding the Park, even if they had never heard of it before. This turned out to be critical, since 15% (9/60) of the students in the sample had never heard of PNP. Significantly, all nine of these st udents were from the school in Taxiche, which had never received any environmental education programs. 5 Although a small sample size, this information indicates that environmental education programs are playing an important role in introducing children to the Park.

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142 The next question sought to identify how they had learned about the Park. The answers clearly illustrate the critical role of educators in creating awareness of the Park, as 40% named Fundacin Arcoiris and another 33.3% listed their teache rs as the first people to introduce them to the Park. In reality, it is hard to distinguish between these two sources, since many students commented that their teachers began talking about PNP in relation to an upcoming visit from Arcoiris. Some teachers agreed that they had only included PNP in their curriculum due to Arcoiris, which confirms the valuable role the NGO is playing in publicizing PNP in the buffer zone. Only four students, (6.7%) mentioned a family member. In light of other discussions wi th residents that suggest that more males had visited the Park, it was surprising that three of these four students mentioned that a female family member (mother, sister) had taught them about the Park whereas only one mentioned a male family member. In a ddition, two girls (3.3%) mentioned learning about PNP from the radio. Both of these girls were from Taxiche, and had not received any EE programs. One student (1.7%) mentioned the newspaper. This question was not applicable to the 15% (9/60) of the stu dents that had not heard of the Park. Table 5.4 Children's Responses to How They Learned about PNP Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Fundacin Arcoiris 5 (45%) 14 (100%) 15 (65%) 0 ----34 (57%) Teacher 5 (45%) 0 ----5 (22%) 0 ----10 (17%0 Not applicable 0 ----0 ----0 ----9 (75%) 9 (15%) Dad/Mom/Sister 1 ( 9%) 0 ----2 ( 9%) 1 ( 8%) 4 ( 7%) Radio 0 ----0 ----0 ----2 (17%) 2 ( 3%) Newspaper 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 ( 2%) Total 11 14 23 12 60

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143 The next series of questio ns related to specific content from the EE programs. The first open ended question asked "In which Provinces is PNP located?" since this information had been consistently included in local educational programs. For example, in Arcoiris' newsletter on Par que Nacional Podocarpus in June 1992, the first page provided overview statistics on the Park, including its location, date founded, size, and vegetation zones. In 1994, their educational booklet entitled Descubriendo el Parque Nacional Podocarpus also be gan with a map of the Park and information on the location and size of the Park. In their most recent publication, Manual Prctico de Educacin Ambiental the unit on PNP also began with an introduction to the Park, including that it is located in Loja an d Zamora Chinchipe (1999: 31). In addition to the written materials, 100% of the educational programs I observed in classrooms mentioned the Provinces in which the Park is located. This emphasis on geographical location was clearly a priority in local pr ograms. One environmental educator commented that it was important that students understand that the Park is located "in their backyard" and that its existence is directly relevant to their lives. Another educator commented that it was important that stud ents know that the Park is in both Loja and Zamora Chinchipe because this helps them understand that it is a large area, and one with diverse habitats and many different plants and animals. Teachers in the schools agreed. One explained, "Esta aqu el Par que, en nuestro Provincia. Entonces, es muy importante para nosotros, para la vida de todos aqu" (The Park is here, in our Province. Therefore, it is very important for us, for the life of everyone here). Another commented that it was critical that stud ents develop an understanding that they live near a National Park so that they could be responsible citizens and do their part to help protect this National heritage.

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144 Looking at the survey however, it appeared that students did not have a good sense of whe re the Park is located. Overall, 45 % (27/60) said they did not know in what provinces PNP was located, and only 23.3 % (14/60) answered correctly, listing both "Loja and Zamora Chinchipe." Given that the sample was taken exclusively from Loja, I expecte d that a greater percentage would be able to name that the Park was located in their Province of Loja, but only 30 % listed Loja exclusively. Conversely, only 1 student (1.7 %) mentioned Zamora Chinchipe exclusively. The breakdown for each school is as f ollows: Table 5.5 The Location of PNP as Indicated by Children Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Do not know 4 (36%) 5 (36%) 7 (30%) 11 (92%) 27 (45%) Loja 3 (27%) 5 (36%) 9 (39%) 1 (8%) 18 (30%) Loja & Zamora Chinchipe 4 (36%) 4 (29%) 6 (26%) 0 ----14 (23%) Zamora Chinchipe 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 (2%) Total 11 14 23 12 60 As the goal was t o understand if the EE programs were having an impact on student knowledge, it was useful to look at the data from the first three schools (Quillolloco, Yamburara, and San Pedro) in comparison to the results from Taxiche. As these numbers reveal, there wa s a difference between the schools that had received EE and the one that had not. Given the small sample sizes, running further statistical tests to determine the level of significance of these differences was not recommended. Follow up interviews and gro up discussions with these children further supported the conclusion that these children lacked a clear concept that the Park was within a 15 30 minute bus ride from their schools. Thus, even the 23% who knew that the Park was located in Loja and Zamora Ch inchipe were not able to tell me where the Park was in relation to

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145 their school or home. I probed further in the group discussion, asking if I could walk to the Park from their school? Laughing at the apparent absurdness of the question, they responded w ith a resounding "No." I pushed further, asking "Can I get there on a bus? How would I go if I had a car? How long would it take?" Their silence supported the survey answers they did not know. Surprisingly, even the students from Quillollaco who had vi sited the Park with Arcoiris were not exactly clear where the Park was in relation to their school, and only four students knew that there was a Park entrance on the road to Vilcabamba. Thus, the findings from this small sample suggest that the objective of having students recognize the proximity and thus the relevance of the Park to their lives was not being met. Still, the results illustrate that the programs were having some positive impact. In Taxiche, where the children had not received any environm ental education, the percentage of students who said they did not know where the Park was located jumped to 92%. The next question on the survey asked students to identify the size of PNP. Again, I included this question since this information was consis tently part of both Arcoiris' written materials and classroom curricula. The fact that the Park covers 146,280 hectares was included in virtually all environmental education materials and was repeatedly mentioned in the introduction to classroom programs. While some educators (including those involved in curricula development) commented that memorization of such numbers is not important, these facts were consistently included in all educational materials and curricula, and therefore provided an opportuni ty to observe if this information had "stuck." Unsurprisingly, 65% said they did not know the size of the Park, and not a single student responded with the specific quantitative information (146,280 hectares) provided in

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146 the educational materials and pr ograms. However, 16.7% of the students (all from San Pedro de Vilcabamba) did respond with qualitative descriptions, saying the Park was mediano, grande, or bien grande (medium, big, or very big). Why these children, and none others, used qualitative des criptions is not clear. However, about half the children in Quillollaco and two in San Pedro (11.7% of the total sample) provided a specific number to this question, suggesting that they had been exposed to this information. In Quillollaco, answers inclu ded: 146, 146 meters, 146 km, 146,000, 146,000 km. In San Pedro answers included: 184,000 squared hectares and 184,000 kilometers (see Table 5.6). Table 5.6 The Size of PNP as Indicated by Children Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23 ) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Do not know 6 (55%) 14 (100%) 10 (43%) 12 (100%) 42 (70%) Big ("grande") 0 ----0 ----8 (35%) 0 ----8 (13%) Other 146 m, km, etc. 5 (45%) 0 ----2 ( 9%) 0 ----7 (12%) Very big ("bien grande") 0 ----0 ----2 ( 9%) 0 ----2 ( 3%) Medium ("mediano") 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 ( 2%) Total 11 14 23 12 60 The confusion regarding measurements caught my attention. First, it further substantiates the literature that rote memorization of facts is an ineffective long term learning strategy. Second, it suggests that it might be useful for the children to work with and explore the concept of scale and measurement rather than be required to memorize a number. For example, students could investigate scale by measuring the size of their classroom and determining how many classrooms are inside the Park, or measuring the distance between their homes and the school and comparing this to how far the Park is from their school. By using experiential learning techniques to examine the relative sizes of

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147 things in their everyday world, students could develop their own understanding of the Park's dimensions. In addition, it becomes possible to explore the relative sizes of habitats needed by the various animals that live in the Park, thus helping student understand the importance of having large protected areas. Se veral educators agreed that the point of teaching children the size of the Park was so that they would be able to relate this information to ecological concepts like carrying capacity. However, during my fieldwork, only one student from Quillollaco made the connection that a bigger Park would allow more animals to live there. The survey next probed to see if students had an understanding of the important ecological functions of the Park, such as watershed protection. This was an important question, as Arcoiris had placed an emphasis on the role of PNP in watershed protection in both their literature and educational programs. For example, the environmental slogan "El Agua es La Vida" (Water is Life) figured prominently in their programs. Likewise, in their pamphlet entitled "Podocarpus, Recurso Hidrico" (Podocarpus, Water Resource), they began by stating, Una de las razones por las que se cre el Parque Nacional Podocarpus el 15 de diciembre de 1982, fue la de proteger las partes altas de las cuatro c uencas hidrogrficas ms importantes que existen dentro de esta rea: la del Catamayo, Zamora, Chinchipe y Nangaritza. One of the reasons for the creation of Parque Nacional Podocarpus on December 15, 1982, was to protect the headwaters of the four most important river valleys that exist in the area, the Catamayo, Zamora, Chinchipe and Nangaritza. As this illustrates, one clear objective of environmental education programs in the region was to foster an understanding among buffer zone residents that thei r water supply originated in the Park, and that the Park provided a critical ecological service by protecting those watersheds. Environmental educators (and not just from FAI) consistently identified

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148 developing this awareness as an important strategy for changing people's perceptions of the Park, and providing an incentive for people to support the existence of the Park. Therefore, I incorporated a question specifically asking students if they knew why PNP was established. The findings are summarized in Table 5.7. From the survey findings, it appears that a majority of students (63.3%) did not understand the reasons why PNP was established. None directly mentioned the benefit of watershed protection as taught in the EE programs, and only a few answers m entioned humans. For example, one student said that the Park was established for the men who "pasan por alla" (spend time there). When I inquired who the men were and what they do, I was only told that "Hay Seores que viven arriba en casitas" (There a re men who live in little houses up in the Park). There was no clear understanding of who these men were, or what they were doing in the Park. Another student mentioned that the Park was established "para los animales, plantas y gente" (for the animals, plants and people). Yet, when questioned further how the Park was for the people, the answer did not include an understanding of the Park's role in providing water to their communities. Table 5.7 Why PNP was Established as Indicated by Children Quil lollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Do not know 7 (64%) 14 (100%) 16 (70%) 10 (83%) 47 (78%) Protect animals, plants, trees 3 (27%) 0 ----3 (13%) 1 ( 8%) 7 (12%) Protect animal s found there 1 ( 9%) 0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----2 ( 3%) Protect cascarilla plant 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 ( 2%) For animals, plants, humans 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 ( 2%) To enjoy ("para divertirse") 0 ----0 ----0 ----1 ( 8%) 1 ( 2%) For men living in the Park 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 ( 2%) Total 11 14 23 12 60

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149 Of course, the Park was established for a variety of reasons, not solely for watershed protection. Some of these reasons listed in the INEFAN literature and in the management plan include the protection of the Podocarpus tree, as well as other sp ecies of flora and fauna. Yet, only 18.3% of the students mentioned protecting plants and/or animals, and no one mentioned the unique conifer Podocarpus The next question asked, "Why does the Park have the name "Podocarpus?" in order to see if the studen ts had an understanding that the Park was named after the unique tree known locally as romerillo (and scientifically as Podocarpus sp.), which is the only conifer native to Ecuador. As with all the questions, this question was derived directly from local educational materials and programs. The naming of the Park after this tree is mentioned in the environmental games, videos, newsletters and other educational materials developed by Arcoiris, and was a fact consistently mentioned in the classroom. 6 For e xample, their most recent educational materials (1999: 34) included the following description: El rbol de romerillo o podocarpus: Arbol que dio nombre al Parque, es la nica confera nativa del Ecuador, tambin se lo conoce como rbol centenario porque vive cientos de aos, su crecimiento es lento y, sin embargo, alcanza alturas de 40 a 45 metros y dimetros de hasta 2.5 y 3 metros. Su madera es extremadamente fina, lo cual lo pone en peligro de desaparecer debido a la excesiva tala para la extraccin d e madera. The romerillo or podocarpus tree: Tree that gave its name to the Park, it is the only conifer native to Ecuador. It is also known as the century tree because it lives hundreds of years. Its growth is very slow, although it can reach up to 40 to 45 meters and diameters up to 2.5 to 3 meters. Its wood is extremely fine, which puts it in danger of disappearing due to excessive harvesting for the extraction of wood. Yet, despite this focus on the origin of the name of the Park, only 8.3% were ab le to identify that the Park was named after the Podocarpus tree. An overwhelming majority of the students (65%) said they did not know. Only one student in Yamburara knew it was

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150 named after a tree, and four of the students at San Pedro de Vilcabamba nam ed the romerillo tree specifically. Interestingly, two students mentioned el romerillo but also added other plants as the source of the Park's name, indicating that they did not have a clear understanding of the origin of the Park's name. Consistent wit h previous results, no students in Taxiche knew the origin of the Park's name. The results are listed in Table 5.8. Table 5.8 Why the Park Is Named "Podocarpus" as Indicated by Children Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=1 2) Total (n=60) Do not know 11 (100%) 12 (86%) 13 (57%) 12 (100%) 48 (80%) After a tree (romerillo) 0 ----1 ( 7%) 4 (17%) 0 ----5 ( 8%) For plants & animals 0 ----1 ( 7%) 3 (13%) 0 ----4 ( 7%) For romerillo other plants 0 ----0 ----2 ( 9%) 0 ----2 ( 3%) For doves and plants 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 ( 2%) Total 11 14 23 12 60 Looking at these results, it is e vident that knowledge regarding the Park's name did not correspond with the intensity of environmental education programs received at the schools. In fact, 100% of the students who had visited the Park did not know the origin of the name of the Park. How ever, after accompanying several groups to the Park, I realized that neither the Cajanuma nor Bombuscaro trails have any Podocarpus trees nearby to use as a focal point for educational activities. 7 Park biodiversity The high biological diversity found within PNP is another key theme within the environmental education programs in the region. For example, Arcoiris used a spectacled bear and a parrot to narrate their educational booklet "Descubriendo el Parque. Their

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151 board game entitled "Conozca el Parq ue Nacional Podocarpus" included various animals and plants, including the bearded guan, parrot, butterfly, toucan, ocelot, snake, spectacled bear, tapir, orchid, and cinchona. In addition, pictures of a walking stick, vulture, frog, and owl decorated the board. In their most recent Manual Prctico de Educacin Ambiental Parque Nacional Podocarpus there are descriptions of the highland tundra and tropical forest habitats found in the Park, along with specific descriptions of the Podocarpus and the cincho na tree, epiphytes, orchids, bromeliads, and tree ferns. Fauna biodiversity is introduced with: La diversidad de ecosistemas, permite la variada existencia de animales como insectos, aves, anfibios, reptiles, peces, mamferos, etc., que ayudan a mantener el equilibrio ecolgico del Parque y la Regin Sur. Adems son atractivos tursticos. [1999: 35] The diversity of ecosystems permits the existence of a variety of animals, like insects, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, mammals, etc. that help maintain the ecological equilibrium of the Park and southern region. In addition, they are tourist attractions. Then there is a discussion of these different animals, including an in depth discussion on birds, a description of the spectacled bear and the ecolo gical role of amphibians, reptiles, and insects (1999: 36). In addition, these animals made appearances during classroom discussions and activities such as the Arcoiris puppet show. Reflecting the emphasis placed on biodiversity (and charismatic specie s such as the spectacled bear) in environmental education programs in the region, the next section of the survey was designed to get an understanding of student knowledge of the animals and plants of the Park. Students were first asked to name the animals that lived in the Park. 8 To analyze the results, I began by grouping student responses into the categories of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, domestic animals, exotic animals, and unidentified

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152 animals. 9 Then I calculated the total n umber of species listed within each category. I found that students were able to identify a total of twelve mammals, twelve birds, four reptiles, three insects, two amphibians and one generic "fish." Mammals included the spectacled bear, tapir, monkey, d eer, ocelot, jaguar, fox, puma, armadillo, peccary, rat and squirrel. Birds included the macaw, parrot, parakeet, dove, turkey, hawk, condor, hummingbird, tanager, woodpecker, and toucan as well as the generic "bird." The four reptiles named were lizards snakes, iguanas, and turtles. The three insects named included butterflies, crickets, and cockroaches. In addition, fourteen domesticated animals and six exotic species showed up in their lists of animals found in the Park, as well as three species I w as unable to identify. Table 5.9 Number and Percentage of Students Including the Category Listed Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Mammals 10 (90%) 14 (100%) 17 (74%) 1 (8.3%) 42 (70%) Birds 9 (82%) 14 (100%) 13 (57%) 0 ----36 (60%) Fish 0 ----3 (21%) 5 (22%) 0 ----8 (13%) Reptiles 5 (45%) 7 (50%) 6 (26%) 0 ----18 (30%) Amphibians 0 ----0 ----3 (13%) 0 ----3 (5%) Insects 6 (55%) 2 (14%) 2 (23%) 0 ----10 (17%) Domesticated Animals 1 (9%) 6 (43%) 11 (48%) 2 (17%) 20 (33%) Exotics 0 ----6 (43%) 5 (22%) 0 ----11 (18%) Unidentified 7 (64%) 1 (7%) 0 ----0 ----8 (13%) Total 11 14 23 12 60 Looking at these findings, the tendency for Taxiche students to be less knowledgeable stands out. While students who had receive d EE included a diversity of taxa, the students from Taxiche only mentioned mammals and domesticated animals. Yet, the results from the other schools do not mirror the exposure levels to environmental education. The students with the greatest exposure to Arcoiris' environmental education programs were not

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153 necessarily able to identify a greater number of taxa. Children in Quillollaco did not include any fish or amphibians in their responses, while children in Yamburara omitted only amphibians. It was the students in San Pedro who included all taxa and did not include any exotics. While 70% of the students were able to name mammals and 60% identified birds, only three students (5%), all from San Pedro de Vilcabamba, named toads or frogs as residents of the Park. Insects did not fare much better. Overall, only ten students (17%) mentioned insects in their lists, and they only named butterflies, crickets and cockroaches. Given the high biological diversity of insects and the relative ease in which inse cts can be observed, this caught my attention. This is one area in which the program could easily be strengthened, if the learning objective is to have students develop an appreciation of biological diversity. Follow up discussions revealed that children cognitively associated "animals" with warm cuddly mammals, the "charismatic megafauna." Thus, these results are partially an artifact of survey language. Yet, identifying this cognitive tendency is valuable, in that it illustrates the need for programs to emphasize the diversity within the whole of the animal kingdom, as well as the fact that most biological diversity is found within insects and plants. This is key for developing an understanding of ecological principles, such as food webs. Not surprisi ngly, students were able to name more domesticated animals than wild ones. A total of fourteen different domesticated animals were named, which is the highest number of species reported in any category. It is worth noting that students from Quillollaco ( who had visited the Park) did the best in terms of recognizing that domesticated animals do not live in the Park. In contrast, the students from Taxiche (who had not received any EE, nor visited the Park) named more domesticated animals than wild species.

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154 Table 5.10 Animals Living in the Park as Identified by Children Category English Quillollaco Yamburara San Pedro Taxiche Total % Name (n=11) (n=14) (n=23) (n=12) (n=60) Mammals spectacled bear 8 14 16 0 38 63.3% monkey 3 11 11 0 25 41.7% tapir 7 10 2 0 19 31.7% puma 4 6 3 0 13 21.7% jaguar 0 5 4 1 10 16.7% deer 5 2 0 0 7 11.7% ocelot 0 6 1 0 7 11.7% fox 0 6 1 0 7 11.7% armadillo 2 0 1 0 3 5.0% squirrel 0 1 2 0 3 5.0% rat 0 2 0 0 2 3.3% peccary 0 1 0 0 1 1.7% B irds parrot 0 2 10 0 12 20.0% birds 1 5 4 0 10 16.7% condor 0 6 2 0 8 13.3% guan 4 1 2 0 7 11.7% hummingbird 5 0 1 0 6 10.0% toucan 5 0 1 0 6 10.0% dove 0 1 3 0 4 6.7% parakeet 0 1 2 0 3 5.0% tanager 3 0 0 0 3 5.0% hawk 0 1 1 0 2 3.3% macaw 0 1 0 0 1 1.7% woodpecker 1 0 0 0 1 1.7% Fish fish 0 3 5 0 8 13.3% Reptiles snake 5 6 5 0 16 26.7% caiman 0 3 0 0 3 5.0% iguana 0 2 0 0 2 3.3% turtle 0 1 0 0 1 1.7% Amphibians butterfly 6 1 0 0 7 11.7% cricket 0 0 2 0 2 3.3 % Insects frog 0 0 2 0 2 3.3% toad 0 0 2 0 2 3.3% roach 0 1 0 0 1 1.7% Domesticated burro 0 2 7 2 11 18.3% Animals cow 0 3 6 0 9 15.0% dog 0 0 7 0 7 11.7%

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155 Table 5.10 continued Category English Quillollaco Yamburara San Pedro Taxiche Total % Name (n=11) (n=14) (n=23) (n=12) (n=60) Domesticated pig 1 1 5 0 7 11.7% Animals (cont.) goat 0 3 3 0 6 10.0% horse 0 3 2 1 6 10.0% chicken 0 0 3 1 4 6.7% rabbit 1 0 3 0 4 6.7% llama 0 3 0 0 3 5.0% bull 0 1 1 0 2 3.3% cat 0 0 2 0 2 3.3% guinea pig 0 0 2 0 2 3.3% bees 0 0 1 0 1 1.7% duck 0 0 0 1 1 1.7% Exotic Species lion 0 5 3 0 8 13.3% ostrich 0 3 0 0 3 5.0% cobra 0 1 1 0 2 3.3% giraffe 0 2 0 0 2 3.3% crocodile 0 1 0 0 1 1.7% elephant 0 1 0 0 1 1.7% pen guin 0 0 1 0 1 1.7% Unidentified tumulle 5 1 0 0 6 10.0% torcasa 6 0 0 0 6 10.0% otro 3 0 0 0 3 5.0% Total Entries 75 129 130 6 340 Average 6.8 9.2 5.7 0.5 5.7 In addition to domesticated animals, exotic species also made their appearan ce in the list of animals living in the Park. In total, eleven students (18.3%) included exotic species on their list, which included the lion, giraffe, zebra, elephant, crocodile, ostrich, penguin, and cobra. Given the dearth of texts that discuss local flora and fauna, their appearance here is not surprising, although somewhat discouraging. The average number of species reported by students for each category is reported in Table 5.11. Mammals were the most commonly reported group, with students namin g an

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156 average of 2.3 mammals. The highest number of mammals reported by a student from Yamburara who named eight different species. Looking at the differences between schools, the results did not mirror the exposure level to Arcoiris' EE programs, but did show a clear difference between those that had exposure to their programs versus those with none. Students in Quillollaco did not score much above the average (2.6), while Yamburara had the highest average (4.6). Students in San Pedro only named an aver age of 1.8 mammals, while the average plunged to 0.1 in Taxiche. Table 5.11 Average Number of Animals Reported by Children Quillollaco Yamburara San Pedro Taxiche Total (n=11) (n=14) (n=23) (n=12) (n=60) Mammals 2.6 4.6 1.8 0.1 2.25 Birds 1.6 1.3 1.1 0 1.03 Fish 0 0.21 0.22 0 0.13 Reptiles 0.45 0.86 0.22 0 0.37 Amphibians 0 0 0.17 0 0.07 Insects 0.55 0.14 0.09 0 0.17 Domesticated Animals 0.18 1.14 1.78 0.42 1.07 Exotics 0 0.9 0.22 0 0.30 Unidentified 1.36 0.36 0.13 0 0.30 Following m ammals, students reported an average of 1.07 domesticated animals, making this the second most reported category. Following closely behind was the category of birds, with an average of 1.03 birds reported by students. Educators who had emphasized biolog ical diversity in their programs were dismayed by these results. However, when you look at these findings from another perspective that of the average number of total animals named by one student the numbers increase. Students were able to name an avera ge of 5.7 animals that live in the Park. In Quillollaco, the average was higher at 6.8 animals, whereas in Yamburara students performed the best,

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157 naming an average of 9.2 animals. The average in San Pedro matched the overall average at 5.7 animals. In T axiche, the average was only 0.5, once again suggesting that environmental education is having a positive impact in the region. Yet, it stood out that the children who had visited the Park did not necessarily have the highest average in each category, nor did they necessarily even include all groups (i.e., no student from Quillollaco named amphibians). Overall, there was a lack of correlation between exposure to the EE programs and knowledge levels. This contradicted the expectation that the children who had visited the Park would be able to name the greatest diversity of taxa. These findings suggest that taking the children to the Park does not necessarily result in children with greater knowledge about the Park. Importantly, the lack of correlation be tween exposure to EE and knowledge suggested that something more is needed than just "exposure" to information about the Park. This led to examining the educational programs in terms of pedagogy, which is discussed in upcoming chapters. Discussion with e ducators led to agreement that although the Park provides a rich environment for learning, learning does not happen without a good curriculum and meaningful facilitation. I next calculated an index of knowledge, which controls for the differing sample size s and thus permits a comparison between the schools. The index was developed by transforming each cell of Table 5.10 into a fraction, and adding within each category. 10 For example, in Quillollaco, in the category of mammals, eight of the eleven students named the spectacled bear, three named the monkey, etc. Therefore I added 8/11 + 3/11 + .0/11 = 29/132 = .21969 = 21.97 (see Table 5.12).

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158 Table 5.12 Index of Children's Awareness/Knowledge of PNP's Fauna Category Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14 ) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Mammals 29/132= 21.97 64/168= 38.1 41/276= 14.86 1/144= 0.69 135/720= 22.1 Birds 19/132= 14.39 17/168= 10.12 24/276= 8.70 0/144= 0 60/720= 8.33 Fish 0/11= 0 3/14= 21.43 5/23= 21.74 0/12= 0 8/60= 13. 33 Reptiles 5/44= 11.36 12/56= 21.43 5/92= 5.43 0/48= 0 22/240= 9.17 Amphibians 0/22= 0 0/28= 0 4/46= 8.70 0/24= 0 4/120= 3.33 Insects 6/33= 18.18 2/42= 4.76 2/69= 2.90 0/36= 0 10/180= 5.56 Domesticated 2/154= 1.30 16/196= 8.16 41/322= 12.73 5 /168= 2.98 64/840= 7.62 Exotics 0/77= 0 10/98= 10.20 5/161= 3.11 0/84= 0 15/420= 3.57 Unidentified 14/33= 42.42 1/42= 2.38 0/69= 0 0/36= 0 15/180= 8.33 These standardized scores reveal that the students who had received environmental education ha d a greater knowledge of animals that live in the Park than those who had not. For example, scores for the three schools that had received EE in regards to mammals were: 21.97 (Quillollaco), 38.1 (Yamburara) and 14.86 (San Pedro de Vilcabamba), in compari son to the 0.69 for Taxiche. The same pattern was seen for birds, where students who had received EE were able to name 14.39 (Quillollaco), 10.12 (Yamburara) and 8.70 (San Pedro

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159 de Vilcabamba) whereas students from Taxiche were unable to name any. The c ategory of fish was an anomaly as was the category of amphibians, as no difference was found between the school with the most exposure to EE and the school with none. The only category where the scores mirrored the level of exposure to environmental educa tion was insects, in which Quillollaco scored 18.18, Yamburara scored 4.76, San Pedro de Vilcabamba scored 2.90 and Taxiche scored zero. The next biodiversity question dealt with plants. Given the extraordinary biological diversity of plants in the Par k, and the fact that environmental education programs stressed biological diversity, the next question asked students to name the plants that were found in the Park. Following the format of the previous question regarding animals, I asked students to list the plants found in the Park. Just as with the previous question regarding animals, the answers provided insight into several key aspects of student knowledge. First, it demonstrated the most commonly known plants and secondly, students' ability to dist inguish between domesticated plants and wild plants (see Table 5.13). Several things stand out in this table. First, more students named the romerillo tree (which gave its name to the Park) than any other plant species. Thus, although students had not yet fully made the connection between this tree and the name of the Park, there is a foundation from which to build. Second, the top three species named ( romerillo, cascarilla and orquidios ) were all featured extensively in environmental education program s, suggesting that these programs were having a positive impact, even if a small one. This relationship warrants further study, as again there was no direct correlation between the amount of exposure to environmental education and the children's ability t o name plants found in PNP.

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160 Table 5.13 Plants Found in the Park as Indicated by Students Category English Quillollaco Yamburara San Pedro Taxiche Total % Name (n=11) (n=14) (n=23) (n=12) (n=51) Wild Species podocarpus 4 9 6 0 19 37% quinine 2 8 6 0 16 31% orchid 1 10 5 0 16 31% ceder 1 2 2 0 5 10% cat's claw 0 5 0 0 5 10% pine 0 1 0 2 3 6% mushroom 0 0 2 0 2 4% fern 0 1 0 0 1 2% moss 0 1 0 0 1 2% palm 0 0 1 0 1 2% Domesticated eucalyptus 0 5 3 0 8 16% Species limon 0 0 4 1 5 10% orange 0 1 2 1 4 8% grapefruit 0 0 4 0 4 8% cotton 0 1 1 0 2 4% ficus 0 0 2 0 2 4% alizo 0 1 0 0 1 2% coffee 0 0 1 0 1 2% sugar cane 0 1 0 0 1 2% chirimoya 0 1 0 0 1 2% pear 0 0 1 0 1 2% manioc 0 0 1 0 1 2% Flowers rose 0 1 3 0 4 8% caramelo 0 0 1 0 1 2% carnation 0 1 0 0 1 2% dalias 0 0 1 0 1 2% Medicinal mint 0 1 4 0 5 10% Plants plantain 0 0 2 0 2 4% chobel 0 0 1 0 1 2% camomille 0 0 1 0 1 2% mortio 0 0 1 0 1 2% wormseed 0 0 1 0 1 2% ru e 0 0 1 0 1 2% elder 0 0 1 0 1 2% lemon grass 0 0 1 0 1 2% Other other 4 3 16 0 23 45% do not know 6 0 1 1 8 16% AVERAGES: 1.64 3.79 3.30 0.42 2.53 4%

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161 Water resources The next set of questions in the survey focused on the water resources of the Park. Due to the emphasis on the importance of water and watershed management in the environmental education programs in the buffer zone, these questions regarding water provided critical feedback to educators regarding their programs. For example, one educational pamphlet on the water resources of the Park stressed: No es una exageracin cuando mencionamos que el aqua de la que viven hombres, animales, y plantas de Loja y Zamora Chinchipe es el agua que los bosques del Parque Nacional Podocarpus ge neran. [Fundacin Arcoiris, n.d.] It is not an exaggeration when we say that the water that humans, animals and plants in Loja and Zamora Chinchipe need to live is the water that the forests of Podocarpus National Park generate. In another educationa l booklet regarding the Park, it states: La zona urbana de Loja recibe el 100% del agua de los ros que nacen en el Parque, y la cuidad de Zamora recibe casi toda su agua de los ros del Parque. Adems, las comunidades de los alrededores del Parque usan sta agua para regar sus zonas agrcolas. [Fundacin Arcoiris, 1994: 7] The urban area of Loja receives 100% of its water supply from rivers that originate in the Park, and the city of Zamora receives almost all of its water from rivers from the Park. In addition, the communities located around the Park use this water to irrigate their crops. In addition to the written materials, I observed environmental educators consistently remarking in their lectures "Existe un sinnmero de ros en PNP" (There are innumerable rivers in PNP). Therefore, this section began with the simple question, "Are there rivers in PNP?" Overall, 82% said yes. The remaining 18% were two students from Taxiche who responded that there are no rivers in PNP, and the other nine who did not know. Once again, this clearly suggests that children who have been exposed to EE have more knowledge about the Park than those who have not had any EE (see Table 5.14).

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162 Next I asked the question: "Who uses these rivers?" What stood out in the re sponses was that not one student responded that they themselves, or their family, used the water, and a few students respond that "no one" uses the rivers. However, the answers did include the more generic categories of "animals," "plants," and "people" a nd the more specific "care takers" and "miners." Thus, there is a nascent understanding that humans and other species use water from the Park, a foundation from which the programs can build. Interestingly, not one student mentioned fish, although as we w ill see in Chapter 6, a large number of students drew fish in the rivers in their pictures of the Park. Follow up discussions with children revealed that the word "use" implied the removal of water from its source, and thus fish were not considered water "users." See Table 5.15 below. When asked what the rivers are used for, the number one response was "drinking," although only 32% of the students responded this way. As this was a central theme in local EE programs, the findings suggests that the inform ation had not yet been connected sufficiently to the children's own lives. The responses are listed in Table 5.16. The next question asked "Are there lakes in PNP?" Overall, 66.7% said yes. Again, the pattern was clear: children who had received EE d id better than those who had not. Although most students did not respond to the question about who uses these lakes, those who did included animals, fish, tourists, people, miners, fishermen and caretakers in their responses. Interestingly, seven student s responded that no one uses the lakes. When pressed to explain, one student, wary and curious of my motives, warned me, Para que puede usar una laguna? Que quiere hacer Seora? Las lagunas estan muy lejos y bien arriba. En las montaas. Es bien fro arr iba, Seora, gente han morida arriba por el fro. Por eso las lagunas estan dejadas, no tocadas. Las lagunas son parte de la naturaleza, no son usados.

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163 Table 5.14 Children's Perceptions Regarding the Existence of Rivers in the Park Quillollaco (n =11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Yes 11 (100%) 14 (100%) 23 (100%) 1 ( 8%) 49 (82%) No 0 ----0 ----0 ----2 (17%) 2 ( 3%) Do not know 0 ---0 ----0 ----9 (75%) 9 (15%) Total 11 14 23 12 60 Table 5.15 Children's Perceptions of Who Uses the Rivers of PNP Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) People 6 (55%) 6 (43%) 11 (48%) 1 (8%) 24 (40%) Animals 1 ( 9%) 7 (50%) 11 (48%) 0 ----19 (32%) Plants 0 ----3 (21%) 3 (13%) 0 ----6 (10%) Do not know 3 (27%) 0 ----3 (13%) 0 ----6 (10%) No one 1 ( 9%) 4 (29%) 0 ----0 ----5 ( 8%) Miners 0 ----2 (14%) 1 ( 4%) 0 ----3 ( 5% ) Caretakers 0 ----0 ----2 ( 9%) 0 ----2 ( 3%) Table 5.16 Children's Perceptions of the Different Uses for Rivers Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Drinking 4 (36%) 5 (36%) 10 (43%) 0 ----19 (32%) Bathing 2 (18%) 0 ----4 (17%) 1 ( 8%) 7 (12%) Watering plants 1 ( 9%) 2 (14%) 4 (17%) 0 ----7 (12%) Do not know 3 (27%) 0 ----3 (13%) 0 ----6 (10%) Mining gold 1 ( 9%) 2 (14%) 3 (13%) 0 ----6 (10%) Living ( "para vivir") 1 ( 9%) 1 ( 7%) 3 (13%) 0 ----5 ( 9%) There is no use 1 ( 9%) 4 (29%) 0 ----0 ----5 ( 9%) Washing clothes 2 (18%) 0 ----0 ----0 ----2 ( 3%) Cooking 0 ----1 ( 7%) 0 ----0 ----1 ( 2%)

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164 What can you use a lake for? What do you want to do, ma'am? The lakes are very far and high up in the mountains. It is really cold up there ma'am. People have died up there it is so cold. The lakes aren't used, they are just part of nature. They aren't used. This is interesting due to the reported large number of high school and college students, often the older siblings of these students, who trek specifically to the Lagunas del Compadre in large organized camping trips. Again, this indicates a limitation of the survey language and/or reflects different definitions of the concept of "use." Table 5.17 Children's Perceptions Regarding the Existence of Lakes in the Park Quillollaco (n=11 ) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Yes 11 (100%) 10 (71%) 18 (78%) 1 ( 8%) 40 (67%) No 0 ----4 (29%) 5 (22%) 2 (17%) 11 (18%) Do not know 0 ----0 ----0 ----9 (75%) 9 (15%) Total 11 14 23 12 60 Table 5.18 Children's Perceptions of Who Uses the Lakes of PNP Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Animals 1 ( 9%) 4 (29%) 2 ( 9%) 1 ( 8%) 8 (13%) Fish 0 ----2 (14%) 5 (22%) 0 ----7 (12%) No one 6 (55%) 0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----7 (12%) Do not know 1 ( 9%) 2 (14%) 3 (13%) 0 ----6 (10%) Tourists 4 (36%) 0 ----2 ( 9%) 0 ----6 (10%) People 1 ( 9%) 3 (21%) 1 ( 4%) 0 ----5 ( 9% ) Miners 0 ----0 ----3 (13%) 0 ----3 ( 5%) Fishermen 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 ( 2%) Park guards 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 ( 2%)

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165 Table 5.19 Children's Perception of the Different Uses for Lakes Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Living ( "para vivir") 0 ----4 (29%) 5 (2 2%) 1 ( 8%) 10 (17%) Do not know 1 ( 9%) 2 (14%) 4 (17%) 0 ----7 (12%) There is no use 6 (55%) 0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----7 (12%) Tourism 4 (36%) 1 ( 7%) 2 ( 9%) 0 ----7 (12%) Watering plants 1 ( 9%) 2 (14%) 1 ( 4%) 0 ----4 ( 7%) Mining gold 0 ----0 ----3 (13%) 0 ----3 ( 5%) Bathing 0 ----0 ----2 ( 9%) 0 ----2 ( 3%) Drinking 0 ----0 ----2 ( 9%) 0 ----2 ( 3%) Fishing 0 ----0 ----2 ( 9%) 0 ----2 ( 3%) Swimming 0 ----1 ( 7%) 0 ----0 ----1 ( 2%) Human relationships with the Park The next question addressed general resource use, asking: "Does your family use anything that comes from the Park?" This ques tion served as another opportunity for students to discuss the water resources of the Park, but also to include other resources, such as timber, fodder, game meat, medicinal plants, etc. Overall, 50% of the students responded yes, that their family does u se something that comes from the Park. Looking at the breakdown within individual schools, in all schools except Taxiche, over half the students claimed that they use something from the Park. The number one item mentioned was lumber, followed by water an d animals. In addition, ornamental plants and orchids were mentioned. I kept these categories separate since ornamental plants can also include plants other than orchids, although orchids are the prize ornamental plant in the region. It was also interes ting to find that only nine students (15%) mentioned water, in contrast to the 24 students (40%) who mentioned that people use rivers in the previous question. Again, this seemed to support the analysis that students had not yet internalized the informati on to develop an understanding of how they themselves were part of the ecosystem and how they

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166 interacted with their environment. In other words, generic "people" use rivers, but their own personal connection to the resources of the Park was not fully unde rstood. Table 5.20 Children's Perception of Park Resources Used by Their Families Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Lumber 0 ----7 (50%) 3 (13%) 1 ( 8%) 11 (18%) Water 4 (36%) 0 ----5 (22%) 0 ----9 (15%) Animals 4 (36%) 1 ( 7%) 2 ( 9%) 0 ----7 (12%) Ornamental plants 2 (18%) 1 ( 7%) 1 ( 4%) 0 ----4 ( 7 %) Orchids 1 ( 9%) 0 ----2 ( 9%) 0 ----3 ( 5%) Medicinal plants 1 ( 9%) 1 ( 7%) 1 ( 4%) 0 ----3 ( 5%) Food plants 1 ( 9%) 0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----2 ( 3%) Other 0 ----1 ( 7%) 1 ( 4%) 0 ----2 ( 3%) Nature 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 ( 2%) Fish 0 ----0 ----0 ----0 ----0 ----The next questions asked about activities that you can and cannot do in the Park. Overall, students identified more than twenty different activities they believed to be allowed in the Park (see Table 5.21). I have lumped some of the responses together, such as the category of "observar/conocer" (observing/getting to know), which included observing animals, plants, the highland lakes, rivers and vegetation. Although very similar, I separated out "studying pl ants and animals" from the general category of "observation" due to the explanations provided by students during our discussions after the survey. It is interesting to note that students did not name any of the activities (permitted or not) listed in an Arcoiris educational pamphlet about PNP. 11 Either the students were not receiving the pamphlets, or the children never read them once they received them, or the children were not retaining this information. This suggests problems with this method of disse mination of information. In addition, many of the activities students listed as permissible are activities strictly prohibited in the Park, such as logging and killing animals.

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167 Table 5.21 Children's Perceptions of Activities Permitted in the Park Qui llollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Observe 4 (36%) 2 (14%) 6 (26%) 1 ( 8%) 13 (22%) Nothing 0 ----7 (50%) 1 ( 4%) 0 ----8 (13%) Wash gold 0 ----1 ( 7%) 6 (26%) 0 ----7 (12%) Do not know 2 (18%) 0 ----4 (17%) 1 ( 8%) 7 (12%) Take care of the Park 3 (27%) 1 ( 7%) 2 ( 9%) 0 ----6 (10%) Other 1 ( 9%) 0 ----5 (22%) 0 ----6 (10%) Photography 0 ----3 (21%) 1 ( 4%) 0 ----4 ( 7%) Study animals/plants 3 (27%) 0 ----0 ----0 ----3 ( 5%) Play/joke/fool around 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 2 (17%) 3 ( 5%) Breathe healthy air 0 ----0 ----2 ( 9%) 0 ----2 ( 3%) Walk/hike 0 ----2 (14%) 0 ----0 ----2 ( 3%) Logging 0 ----1 ( 7%) 0 ----0 ----1 ( 2%) Kill animals 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 ( 2%) Feed animals 0 ----1 ( 7%) 0 ----0 ----1 ( 2%) See mines and houses 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 ( 2%) Bathe 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 ( 2%) Conversely, when students were asked what activities are not permitted in the Park, they were able to identify a total of thirteen activities. The number one response was that it was not permitted to kill animals in the Park (35/60 or 58.33%), or destroy plants (17/60 or 28.3%). Importantly, the main management challenges, such as logging, uncontrolled expansion of the agricultural frontier (by burning forests) and gold mining, were mentioned by a few students who had received EE (see Table 5.22). Something that stood out was how students tended to name more activities that were not allowed in PNP, rather than permissible activities. For example, comparing the top ranking activities in each catego ry, 58% of the students were able to identify that you are not allowed to kill animals in the Park, whereas only 22% were able to name observation as an activity that is permissible. In addition, 13% of the students said that you could not do

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168 anything in the Park. This is a critical reflection, that the messages the children are receiving regarding the Park are primarily negative. As the literature notes, this type of teaching strategy is prone to elicit opposition and might warrant reconsideration. T able 5.22 Children's Perceptions of Activities Not Permitted in the Park Quillollaco (n =11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Kill animals 9 (82%) 10 (71%) 15 (65%) 1 ( 8%) 35 (58%) Destroy plants 3 (27%) 5 (36%) 8 (35%) 1 ( 8%) 17 (28%) Cut trees 3 (27%) 9 (64%) 4 (17%) 0 ----16 (27%) Burn forests 4 (36%) 3 (21%) 5 (22%) 0 ----12 (20%) Other 0 ----3 (21%) 2 ( 9%) 1 ( 8%) 6 (10%) Contaminate the water 0 ----2 (14%) 2 ( 9%) 0 ----4 ( 7%) Contaminate the air 0 ----0 ----3 (13%) 0 ----3 ( 5 %) Do not know 0 ----0 ----2 ( 9%) 1 ( 8%) 3 ( 5%) Bother animals 0 ----0 ----2 ( 9%) 0 ----2 ( 3%) Gold mine 0 ----0 ----2 ( 9% ) 0 ----2 ( 3%) Throw garbage 1 ( 9%) 0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----2 ( 3%) Take bird nests 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 ( 2%) Throw out mercury 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 ( 2%) Use a gun or machete 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 ( 2%) Legal aspects The next questions asked about laws protecting the Park. A total of 65% of the students correctly identified that there are laws that regulate human activity in the Park (see Table 5.23). This question acted as a proxy to measure students' understanding of the Park as a separate political/administrative area, and one that it is a protected area distinct from their communities. Looking at the distinctions between schools, the results strictly followed the continuum of exposure to EE, with 100% of the students in Quillollaco, 71.4% in Yamburara, 65% in San Pedr o, and 25% in Taxiche recognizing that there are special laws governing activity inside the Park.

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169 The next question asked was who was in charge of enforcing these laws and protecting the Park? The idea was to see if students had an understanding of the role of the government in the protection of the country's natural heritage. Combining the answers that mentioned Park guards and the one response that mentioned INEFAN directly, only 31.4% of the students correctly identified that INEFAN was mandated with the protection of the Park and the enforcement of the laws protecting it (see Table 5.24) Table 5.23 Children's Perceptions of the Existence of Laws Protecting PNP Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Yes 11 (100%) 10 (71%) 15 (65%) 3 (25%) 39 (65%) No 0 ----4 (29%) 8 (35%) 0 ----12 (20%) Do not know 0 ----0 ----0 ----9 (75%) 9 (15%) To tal 11 14 23 12 60 Table 5.24 Children's Perceptions of Who Protects the Park and Enforces the Laws Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Do not know 5 (46%) 9 (64%) 9 (39%) 11 (92%) 34 (57%) Park guards 4 (36%) 4 (29%) 6 (26%) 1 (8%) 15 (25%) Police/Military/Government 0 ----1 (7%) 3 (13%) 0 ----4 (7%) Other 0 ----0 ----4 (17%) 0 ----4 (7%) Arcoiris 2 (18%) 0 ----0 ---0 ----2 (3%) INEFAN & Colinas Verdes 0 ----0 ----1 (4%) 0 ----1 (2%) Total 11 14 23 12 60 Regardless of their ability to identify the specific institution responsible for the management of the Park, 78.3% of the students were aware that there were conservation groups working for the protection of the animals, plants and other resources of the Park (see Table 5.25). While there was no major difference betwe en the three schools that had various exposure to environmental education programs, (Quillollaco 100%; Yamburara 92.9%; San Pedro

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170 91.3%), there was a noticeable difference between these schools and Taxiche, where only 16.7% of the students said that there were groups working for the conservation of the Park. When asked to name these conservation groups, students from the schools with more contact with Fundacin Arcoiris unsurprisingly named Fundacin Arcoiris. In Quillollaco, 72.7% named Arcoiris, and in Yamburara 71.4% named Arcoiris or the individuals working for Arcoiris. I purposefully kept the categories of "Arcoiris" and "Individuals working for Arcoiris" separate because I think this signifies an important point: these educators have spent enough time in these schools to establish rapport with the children. They have developed friendships with the children and developed trust, which provides a solid foundation from which they can introduce the complex and often controversial issues surrounding the protection of PNP. However, this distinction also warrants further investigation, for it might suggest that students are unaware of the organizations for which these individuals work, or the larger environmental movement in which they are part. Table 5.25 Children's Perceptions of Whether Groups are Working for the Protection of PNP Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Yes 11 (100%) 13 (93%) 21 (91%) 2 (17%) 47 (78%) No 0 ----1 ( 7%) 2 ( 9%) 1 ( 8%) 4 ( 7%) Do not know 0 ----0 ----0 ----9 (75%) 9 (15%) Total 11 14 23 12 60

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171 Table 5.26 Children's Perception o f Who Works for the Protection of the Park Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Do not know 2 (18%) 1 ( 7%) 14 (61%) 11 (92%) 28 (47%) Fundacin Arcoiris 8 (73%) 5 (36%) 1 ( 4%) 0 ----14 (23%) Individuals working with FAI 1 (9%) 5 (36%) 0 ----0 ----6 (10%) People ("los personas") 0 ----3 (21%) 1 ( 4%) 0 ----4 ( 7%) Park guards ("los cuidadores") 0 ---0 ----3 (13%) 0 ----3 ( 5%) INEFAN and Colinas Verdes 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 ( 2%) INEFAN and park guards 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 ( 2%) Park guards and visitors ("los cuidadores y visitantes") 0 ----0 ----0 ----1 ( 8%) 1 ( 2%) People who destroy the Park "La gente que destruyen PNP" 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 ( 2%) Unreadable answer 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 ( 2%) Total 11 14 23 12 60 Personal experiences in the Park One of the main tenets discussed earlier was the ability for children to learn through personal d iscovery. Therefore, I was interested in how many children had visited the Park, both with EE programs as well as on their own. I knew that the eleven children from Quillollaco had visited the Park with Arcoiris. In the surveys I learned that three stud ents from Yamburara had visited the Park with an older sibling, who had gone previously with Fundacin Arcoiris. Two students from San Pedro had visited the Park with their families, whereas none had visited from Taxiche. Taken together, only sixteen stu dents had visited the Park, and of that total, fourteen had visited due to Fundacin Arcoiris. The above findings illustrate the valuable role EE programs were playing in getting local children to the Park. This is particularly true given that most fami lies interviewed were unaware of the Park, or simply did not consider hiking in the forest an activity for locals. Many noted that international tourists came to hike and camp, but responded that

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172 they themselves had never visited the Park. When asked why this was, many residents from Loja noted that they preferred to spend their weekends in the Malacatos and Vilcabamba valleys, often going to enjoy the more favorable weather. In contrast, the Park was considered (and rightly so) to be cold and often inho spitable. My informal interviews with those sharing taxis with me always, without fail, indicated that the Park was cold, and one had to be well prepared to go up there. Management issues The survey next explored human environment relationships and manag ement issues. With the environmental education programs focusing on the negative impacts humans are having in the Park, and with the management plan speaking of "threats," I felt it was necessary to follow suit, and ask students to identify "conflicts" in the Park. Although I was reluctant to reinforce the language that speaks of human environment relations only in terms of conflict, this question accurately reflected the message that students had been receiving. Thus, asking about conflicts provided an idea of the impact of the educational programs, and whether or not the message in the current environmental education programs was being received. Again, without baseline information from which to measure and compare, it was impossible to say anything def initive about the impact of the programs, yet we did get a snapshot of students' awareness and knowledge levels in 1997. When looking at the survey findings, the first thing that stood out was that a majority of students (58.3%) were not able to mention a single management issue or conflict. In addition, four students explicitly responded that there were no conflicts in the Park. Only six students identified mining as a problem, which was surprising and disheartening to Arcoiris staff, given the attenti on Arcoiris had given to gold mining in the Park. Likewise,

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173 only two students mentioned logging which was another key management issue. Small percentages of students also mentioned the killing of animals, the destruction of plants, fires, and water and a ir contamination as problems in the Park. As with the other results, what stood out was that the students who had not received any EE were unable to name any of these issues. Table 5.27 summarizes the responses. Table 5.27 Children's Perceptions of N atural Resource Management Conflicts Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Do not know 9 (82%) 13 (93%) 12 (52%) 1 ( 8%) 35 (58%) Mining 2 (18%) 0 ----4 ( 17%) 0 ---6 (10%) Killing of animals 0 ----0 ----6 (26%) 0 ----6 (10%) Destruction of plants 0 ----0 ----4 (17%) 0 ----4 ( 7%) Fires 2 (18%) 0 ----2 ( 9%) 0 ----4 ( 7%) There are none 0 ----1 ( 7%) 2 ( 9%) 1 ( 8%) 4 ( 7%) Water contamination 0 ----0 ----3 (13%) 0 ----3 ( 5%) Other 1 ( 9%) 0 ----1 ( 4%) 1 ( 8%) 3 ( 5%) Air contamination 0 ----0 ----2 ( 9%) 0 ----2 ( 3%) Logging 0 ----0 ----2 ( 9%) 0 ----2 ( 3%) Fumigating 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 ( 2%) Littering 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 ( 2%) The next two questions continued in the same vein, but this time the questions were close ended, and specificall y addressed deforestation and mining, which were two topics highlighted in the EE programs as particularly damaging activities to the Park. When asked directly if they thought deforestation was a problem in PNP, 61.7% of the children said yes (see Table 5 .28). Interestingly, the school with the lowest percentage responding "yes" was Quillollaco, where all the students had visited the Park. At first this seems counter intuitive. Yet, when one considers that visits to the Park were restricted to Cajanuma, where the forest

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174 was intact, rather than to the southern region where logging was particularly heavy, or to the heart of the Park, where gold mining was occurring, it was not a surprising result. Yet, the deforestation on the road up to the Cajanuma sta tion was extensive, and could have provided an opportunity to compare and contrast land uses. The stark contrast between the Park and the surrounding landscape provided a fabulous but untapped opportunity for local educators. The close proximity could pe rmit immediate comparing and contrasting of water, soil, biodiversity, runoff, etc. Building on and complementing the message boards that tell students how the forests act as a sponge, they could conduct simple experiments that would provide a concrete il lustration of these ecological concepts. Table 5.28 Children's Perception of Whether Deforestation Is a Problem? Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Yes 6 (55%) 12 (86%) 18 (78%) 1 ( 8%) 37 (62%) No 5 (45%) 2 (14%) 5 (22%) 2 (17%) 14 (23%) Do not know 0 ----0 ----0 ----9 (75%) 9 (15%) Total 11 14 23 12 60 The next series of questions addres sed gold mining. These questions were particularly important, as Arcoiris had focused extensively on the threats of gold mining to the Park in both their educational and public action campaigns. In fact, they had been so active in this issue that they ha d received local, national and even international recognition for their efforts opposing gold mining in the Park. Beyond working in the political sphere, their efforts had included producing a video entitled La Herencia del Oro ", which they used in schoo ls, which focused on gold mining and the dangers of mercury. Their educational materials and games always mentioned mining and the negative consequences of using mercury. In addition, as discussed above, the self test that Arcoiris developed within their

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175 educational packet on PNP (Nov. 1994) included the following fill in the blank question: El [mercurio] causa graves intoxicaciones y deformaciones en los recin nacidos." ([ Mercury] causes grave intoxication and birth defects in newborns). Therefore, asking questions regarding gold mining and mercury provided a good indicator of the level of impact the programs were having, as this issue was a clear priority within the organization, and had been emphasized in their educational programs. Arcoiris staff members agreed and actually requested that further questions addressing gold mining be included. The first question regarding gold mining was a simple yes/no question, asking students if they thought gold mining was a problem in the Park. The results i ndicated that more children believed it was a problem than did not, in the schools that had received EE (see Table 5.29). Once again, the clear distinction between schools that had received EE and the school that hadn't is apparent. Table 5.29 Childre n's Perceptions on Whether Gold Mining Is a Problem Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Yes 7 (64%) 10 (71%) 17 (74%) 1 (8%) 35 (58%) No 4 (36%) 4 (29%) 6 (26%) 2 (17%) 16 (27%) Do not know 0 ----0 ----0 ----9 (75%) 9 (15%) Total 11 14 23 12 60 Following the gold mining question, I asked students if they knew what substances were used in gold mining. With the educational programs focusing on the dangers of mercury, I expected to find students reciting mercury. Yet, only eight (16%) students were able to identify mercury as the substance that miners use in the extraction of gold. In con trast, a majority of students (78%) were unable to identify any substance used by miners. However, one student from San Pedro mentioned both dynamite and mercury, and another

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176 mentioned washing plates, which illustrated a greater understanding of the minin g process than anticipated. Following the pattern, the students in Taxiche were unable to name any substance used in gold mining. I next sought to see if students understood the biological and ecological consequences of the use of mercury in gold mining. Overall, students were able to name eight consequences of gold mining, including: extinction of vegetation; destruction of the Park; killing of animals; contamination of rivers; contamination of air; lung problems; health problems; and death. Although t his list is comprehensive, 78% of the students (40/60) were unable to name any effects of mining, while 22% (11/60) were able to name just one effect. As seen previously, there was not a clear correlation between exposure to EE and student knowledge. Th e students from Quillollaco, who had visited the Park, did not "out perform" the students who had not visited the Park, as not one student was able to discuss the impacts of gold mining. Again, these findings hint at the potential role of experiential lea rning. In these EE programs students were not gaining direct experiential knowledge of the impacts of gold mining. Future research into how these types of experiences might influence the children living in the buffer zone would be valuable. Table 5.30 Children's Perceptions of the Effects of Gold Mining Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Do not know 11 (100%) 9 (64%) 17 (74%) 12 (100%) 49 (82%) Destroys/contaminates PNP 0 ----2 ( 14%) 3 (13%) 0 ----5 (8%) Destroys/contaminates rivers 0 ----0 ----2 ( 7%) 0 ----2 (3%) Contaminates air 0 ----2 (14%) 0 ----0 ----2 (3%) Kills animals and life/ pl ants 0 ----1 (7%) 2 ( 7%) 0 ----3 (3%) Affects the lungs 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 (2%) Makes people sick 0 ----0 ----1 ( 4%) 0 ----1 (2%)

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177 To conc lude this examination of the survey results, two clear trends emerge from the findings. First, the students who had received environmental education from Arcoiris were more knowledgeable about the Park than students who had not. They knew more about the animals and plants that are found in the Park as well as the management issues, while most of the students who had not received any EE had never even heard of the Park. Unfortunately, the small sample sizes in this study make it difficult to gauge the sig nificance of these differences. Nonetheless, they suggest that the EE programs are having a positive impact in the region on student knowledge. Second, there was not a clear correlation between exposure to local environmental education programs and knowl edge levels about the Park. This suggests that some other variables are at work, and that more research is needed to tease out the exact linkages. Having now developed a sense of student knowledge about Parque Nacional Podocarpus, the next section relat es some of the discussions that emerged as I shared the above information with educators in the buffer zone of PNP. Discussion The information gathered in the surveys was shared with various educators and staff members of Arcoiris, including those who ha d been involved with designing the environmental education programs, and particularly with those who had provided input regarding the design of the survey. 12 Although lacking baseline data from which to compare, educators were able to look at this informa tion and get a feel for the knowledge levels of students with whom they had worked. We used this information to explore how environmental education programs were being used to promote conservation and how they

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178 might be strengthened. In these discussions, several key themes repeatedly surfaced which related to the political ecology and engaged pedagogy concerns raised throughout this study. These are shared below. Equity Issues: Universal Access to Education In our discussions, educators invariably m entioned their belief that education is the most logical long term investment for national development, and that the government was failing in its responsibility to provide universal education in Ecuador. Educators agreed that there was a clear urban rura l bias, with higher and more regular attendance witnessed in urban areas. They noted that rural families were often unable to afford to send their children to school, especially in these hard times, on two fronts. First, they did not have the cash to pro vide school supplies, and second, they could not spare their children who were needed to help support the family. After giving them space to air their frustrations and anger, we often moved into an analysis of what could be done at the local level to imp rove the situation, assuming that the national situation was not going to change dramatically anytime soon. This led to discussing how the educators from conservation organizations could ensure that their programs were accessible to all. We agreed that t he efforts of local conservation organizations and of the government to provide materials and educational programs, including field trips to the Park, were important. Therefore, we brainstormed on ways to reach the entire population of the buffer zone and came up with ideas such as street theater and puppet shows. I inquired if they might take advantage of the huge influx of people for the Fiestas of Loja to stage some street theater, or have an informal parade. 13 These

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179 solutions mesh with recommendations from educators working internationally. For example, the Netherlands Development Assistance program (1997: 2) noted that, anyone concerned with the gender gap and other problems in education should continuously be aware of all the options beyond the prim ary school . consider supplementary or alternative approaches in various non formal settings. We also discussed that access to education is only the first step, and considered the schema of the four A's: access (getting in); attainment (staying in); a chievement (actually learning something useful); and accomplishment (deriving psycho social and socio economic benefits from it all), developed by Netherlands Development Assistance (1997: 3). It was generally agreed that this was a particularly useful sc hema for guiding environmental educational programs as it explicitly included socio economic benefits in the definition of accomplishments. Quality Issues: Content A more narrowly focused issue that surfaced was the specific role and importance of the va rious facts (i.e., Park size, location, history, etc.) that were included in the EE programs. NGO education staff and teachers both expressed that these facts were basic knowledge that children should know. As no one in my sample had ever questioned how this information related to the goal of promoting conservation in the region, the discussion was generally rich. For example, one educator commented, Es bien claro que el Podocarpus es un smbolo importante, de la riqueza de nuestra pais, de nuestra reg in. El Podocarpus es la nica confera nativa del Ecuador, y crece aqu, en nuestra regin. Por eso tenemos el Parque, y los nios tienen que entenderlo. Es nuestra responsabilidad a protegir este rbol. Como pueden hacerlo si no saben nada sobre el p arque ni rboles ni plantas ni nada? It is very clear that the Podocarpus tree is an important symbol of the biological diversity of our country, of our region. The Podocarpus is the only conifer

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180 native to Ecuador and it grows here, in our region. This is why we have the Park, and the children must understand this. It is our responsibility to protect this tree. How can they do it if they don't know anything about the Park, about the trees, the plants, nothing? Another mentioned, "Es importante que los nios desarollan un conocimiento sobre el Parque, y las plantas y animales que viven adentro de los limites del Parque." (It is important that the children develop knowledge about the Park, and the plants and animals that live inside the limits of the Pa rk). However, the discussions with children, teachers, and park managers illustrated that memorizing these facts without making linkages to ecological processes and the importance of conservation was insufficient for promoting the conservation goals of t he programs. As these programs were based on limited contact with the children, this finding reiterates the need to carefully link content with objectives. We then discussed how these facts might be transformed and articulated as learning objectives to promote conservation goals. This often led to discussions regarding the lack of EE materials and teacher training, which is discussed further in Chapter 7. It also led to looking at the content of EE programs through the political ecology lens. By doin g so, we recognized that local EE programs often discussed the serious negative ecological impacts of deforestation and mining, without addressing the political, economic, and social factors, across scales, which lead to these behaviors. In addition, the fact that many of the children came from logging or mining families was not acknowledged in the EE programs being offered. This placed the student in an exceedingly difficult situation, for they are taught not to question the authority of their parents or their teachers. Thus, "cognitive dissonance" may be created if their personal understanding of logging or mining activities (and the tangible benefits money for food or household items for their families) and the information

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181 presented in EE programs are in conflict. Thus, the EE message might be lost, or worse, resistance to the conservation message might be strengthened. Quality Issues: Methods Another major theme that arose in discussions with teachers concerned the impact of active experiential lear ning. Although I do not have data that compare the impact of participatory approaches vs. traditional approaches, educators and parents alike agreed that the traditional approach is not sufficient, and many expressed sincere frustration at the current sta te of affairs. However, their words and actions (which are shared in Chapter 7) hinted at a possible remedy. When asked about the Park, students and teachers alike began their descriptions by referring to knowledge gained through interactive experientia l learning. This suggested that the methods used in these environmental education programs were of critical importance, and that what they were learning about the Park and conservation (and what they were retaining as long term knowledge) was influenced b y how they were learning it. This finding was not surprising, as other research has found similar results. For example, in Brazil, it was found that training programs in gender, community participation, and natural resource management were more effective due to experiential learning techniques (Muirragui and Anderson, 1995). Pedagogical Philosophy and the Conceptualization of the Child The discussion regarding experiential learning often led to rich discussions of pedagogical philosophy in general, and how different theories start with different

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182 understandings of "the child." While some philosophies believe that children must be carefully guided in their learning, as was the case with the English primary school system for many decades, others start wit h the foundation that children are competent to guide their own learning process, as is the case with the Italian Reggio Emilia approach. 14 Thus, as logical as it may seem to include children's perspectives regarding their own education, it is still a som ewhat novel approach. As the discussion with teachers in Chapter 7 will illustrate, it is often challenging enough just to get teacher input into curriculum development, let alone children's perspectives. Thus, my research with children, documenting thei r opinions and perspectives on the issues that directly concerned them, ventured into a realm with which many adults were uncomfortable or flat out disagreed. Children are generally considered to be incapable of participating or deciding what is best and thus, are often marginal to the decisions that affect their lives. However, experience has proved that children can be powerful allies in conservation efforts. For example, Kinsman (1991) notes children were the motivating force behind the Bosque Eterno de los Nios (Eternal Forest of the Children) in Monteverde, Costa Rica. While wisdom does come with age and experience, children do have intelligence, creativity, imagination, energy, and passion. I argue that it would be wise to tap into these assets i n our quest for the most equitable and powerful way to challenge and change environmentally unsound behaviors. So how do we encourage this transformation of how environmental education is being implemented? What is needed to change the underlying pedago gical philosophies and methods used in the buffer zone of PNP and in Ecuador? The answer lies within the larger political, economic and social contexts that structure educational practices in Ecuador. As discussed in Chapter 4, the political and economic instability in Ecuador has resulted in

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183 declining wages and conditions for educators and massive general strikes. Teachers were fighting just to receive their regular paychecks. In this atmosphere of job insecurity there were no incentives to improve edu cational practices. In fact, educators agreed that the dire state of the educational system in Ecuador was discouraging potential teachers from joining the profession. Likewise, funding for updating teacher training programs was non existent. Educators agreed, that without making these fundamental changes in the curricula that produce teachers, any change in how teachers taught their classes would be slow. Thus, we recognize that environmental education is taking place within a broader economic, politi cal context that shapes and influences its practice. Conclusion This chapter took a detailed look at the results of the 1997 survey that was administered to sixty students in four schools in the buffer zone of PNP. The heart of the survey contained questions regarding Parque Nacional Podocarpus and related directly to the main topics and facts presented in the environmental education programs of Fundacin Arcoiris. I was interested in identifying students' knowledge levels and attitudes regarding lo cal conservation issues that were discussed in local environmental education programs. While it is difficult to measure these variables, especially as education is a long term strategy, I worked in collaboration with Fundacin Arcoiris to develop a survey that would at least provide us a starting point for measuring the impacts of their educational programs. Although lacking baseline data from which to measure and compare, this survey provided a snap shot of student's awareness and knowledge of issues in PNP in 1997. As no substantive evaluation of the impact of the various environmental education programs had

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184 ever been conducted in the buffer zone, this modest beginning provided some indication of students' understandings of the Park's resources. Resul ts suggested that the EE programs were playing an important role in introducing students to Parque Nacional Podocarpus. However, the lack of correlation between exposure to EE and knowledge suggested that something more was needed than just "exposure" to information about the Park. This leads to examining the educational programs in terms of pedagogy, which will be discussed in upcoming chapters. Notes 1 Within the Curricular Reform, social studies also i ncludes history, civics, sociology, economics, geology, anthropology and political science. 2 For comparison, it is useful to recognize that in the United States there is debate over the use of educational standards and standardized testing. However, g eography standards are in use and are currently set by each individual state. The McRel Standards, which are considered to be some of the most widely used geography standards in the United States, include six major themes: The world in spatial terms; Pla ces and regions; Physical systems; Human systems; Environment and society; and Uses of geography. Within these major categories are a total of eighteen individual standards, each of which is divided into specific elements for each grade level. For more i nformation, see http://www.mcrel.org/compendium/Standard.asp?SubjectID=8 3 Exchange between the fields of environmental education and girls' education has been minimal. It is well recognized in the field of education that educating girls improves maternal and child health, increases women's status, lowers fertility rates and supports economic development (Friedman,1992; Sweetman, 1998). Those working in the field of girls' educat ion look at several key indicators to understand the influence and impact of gender in this sector. For example, disaggregating standard statistics, such as gross enrollment, retention, repetition and completion rates, was an important first step to under standing gender dynamics in education. Tracking attendance rates for girls, boys and teachers, and the percentage of female teachers, is also useful. Examining participation by quantifying the number of times girls vs. boys are called on to answer a ques tion and conversely, the number of times girls vs. boys ask questions also highlights gender relations inside the classroom. This relates to the more qualitative indicators of the quality of feedback students receive from teachers, and group work dynamics

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185 4 For interesting discussion on the sex vs. culture debate, see Paulson (1997). 5 I released these nine students from the tedious task of responding "do not know" to the following series of questions, assuming that if they had never heard of the Par k, their answers for the questions regarding the Park would be "do not know." While the others filled out the survey I asked them to draw "su medio" (your environment). 6 Examples include the game "Parque Nacional Podocarpus BINGO" which includes a sq uare with romerillo In addition, in "Descubriendo el Parque Nacional Podocarpus" (November 1994: 6), we find the following: "En el Parque hay rboles, plantas medicinales y ornamentales como: Romerillo o Podocarpus, que ha dado el nombre al Parque, Orqu deas, flores muy bonitas; Cascarilla o Cinchona, planta medicinal" (In the Park there are trees, medicinal plants and ornamental plants like: Romerillo or Podocarpus, that has given its name to the Park, orchids with beautiful flowers and Cascarilla or ci nchona, medicinal plant) 7 In fact, it appears that most students in the Loja region, even those who have visited the Park, have never seen a Podocarpus tree. Likewise, over my three field seasons I never saw a mature Podocarpus tree. However, I hear d stories of three ancient Podocarpus trees being poached on the north side of the Park, on the road to Zamora, and I did see a sapling in the remote town of Loyola in 1996. 8 In addition, the survey asked who uses these animals and for what purpose. Du e to time limitations and the fact that many students found this format confusing, many did not complete this second part of the question. Thus, due to quantity and quality issues, I have decided not to use this part of the data. This holds true for the following question that used the same format regarding plants. 9 These categories follow the general groupings used by educators. Please note that bees were counted as domesticated animals, as the one student who listed bees was referring to the nearby bee keeping project in Sacapo. This community development project was sponsored by Arcoiris. 10 Another way to calculate the denominator is to take the maximum number of species named by the children for each category and multiply by the sample size for each school. For example, twelve species of mammals were named by the children collectively. Thus the denominator for Quillollaco mammals is 12 x 11= 132, the denominator for Yamburara mammals is 12 x 14= 168, the denominator for San Pedro mammals is 12 x 23= 276 and the denominator for Taxiche schools is 12 x 12= 144, etc. 11 The permitted items included: wear appropriate clothing; stay with the group; take garbage back to the city; and stay on marked trails. The activities not permitted included: co llecting plants and insects; writing on tree trunks; collecting moss; collecting flowers and orchids; eating wild fruits; making campfires.

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186 12 It was not always possible to share the results with those with whom I had originally collaborated, as some of the educators had moved from Loja before I returned in 1999. 13 These parades were conceptualized as informal and voluntary, in contrast to the current parades, which were formal and mandatory. The idea was to have the students design and organize it t hemselves, with the guidance of teachers. When approached with this idea, some students suggested that they might dress up like animals from the Park. I shared my experience in an Earth Day parade in which we created a group river (adapting the Chinese d ragon costume) using sheets with holes where participants popped through wearing masks of fish and other river creatures. 14 See Button and Provenzo, Jr (1983) for more information on the history of education, specifically in the United States.

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187 CHAPTER 6 THE PERSPECTIVES OF CHILDREN, PART II: VISUAL REPRESENTATIONS OF THE PARK Introduction This chapter analyzes the visual representations the children made of Parque Nacional Podocarpus. These drawings (also referred to as maps) complemente d the survey by giving students an opportunity to express their knowledge of PNP in a visual format. The main objective was to obtain further insight into their knowledge of the Park. Specifically, I was interested in whether or not their drawings would reflect the key ecological relationships and issues discussed in local environmental education programs. Therefore, the instructions to the children were intentionally general, allowing them to choose how they wanted to represent PNP. I then talked with them about what they had created in order to understand the intention behind each drawing. By seeking to gain an understanding of how children conceptualize their environment, I am responding to Blaikie's (1995) call for "a more politically aware underst anding of the plurality of points of view regarding the environment." Perhaps in a manner not anticipated by him, I have nonetheless sought to expand our understanding of "the plurality of points of view" by documenting and including children's perspectiv es regarding conservation. As environmental education in the buffer zone currently focuses almost exclusively on children, it is only logical to consider their standpoint and evaluate the impact these programs are having on how children conceptualize the Park and conservation.

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188 Methods The Advantages and Disadvantages of Mapping Mapping offers a unique way to gather information and offers many advantages over the more traditional methods (see Table 6.1). First, it is flexible tool that can be used to add ress many different types of questions concerning the geographic ordering of space. For example, power relations and land tenure issues can be readily included, as can gender differentiated resource use patterns (Rocheleau, 1995). Maps can be used to ide ntify conflicting claims to resources, and as a way to facilitate resolution of these conflicts. A map can help identify potential constraints to a certain conservation or development project, for example by illustrating where natural resources are locate d in relation to communities and markets. Likewise, maps can become a focal point for discussion of previously hidden issues, thus facilitating awareness within a community and/or between different stakeholder groups. In addition, social network mapping can help identify how labor and resources are exchanged between communities, as well as the most important items of exchange and which community members are excluded from the network (Weller Molongua and Knapp, 1995). In addition, it is a unique tool th at can address the geographic ordering of space, over time. Maps can explicitly include information regarding how the landscape was organized previously, providing a visual representation of an historical timeline. Rocheleau and Ross (1995) discuss "land scape/lifescape mapping" and provide this description:

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189 Landscape embodies rural people's ideas and actions over time, in space, in relation to each other and to the natural environment. It is a kind of signature in spatial terms that integrates the infl uence of the past. Likewise, maps can be used to gain insight into people's hopes for the future (Stronza, 1995). Thus, maps are seen to represent more than just a "snap shot" of time, but to embody the fluid construction of the landscape. As Rocheleau (1994: 16) notes, Mapping of past, present, and possible future landscapes is yet another way that research programs can collaborate with rural people to document, analyze, and predict ecological and land use change. Maps and sketches facilitate discussi ons of topics ranging from biodiversity to food production to water management. Indigenous peoples, ethnic minorities and others who are struggling to defend their land rights have adopted mapping as a powerful tool for defending their territories (Roche leau et al., 1995; Denniston, 1994). In addition to the broad potential applications of mapping, the tool itself is innovative in that it gives people the freedom to choose what information they believe is important to share. Thus, it provides an altern ative to the power dynamics inherent in interviews and surveys in which the anthropologist asks, guides, and determines the rules of the conversation. Of specific relevance to this study, various researchers have used mapping/drawing exercises with childre n to gain insight into their perceptions of their world. For example, Eguiguren (1996) used mapping with children to gain insight into how they understood their landscape, particularly la montaa where they lived. She writes, Los dibujos de los nios of recen un interesante campo para el anlisis de sus percepciones sobre la montaa. Cabe sealar que las imagines (dibujos) son un lenguaje o discurso que "habla" de las ideas o conceptos que tienen sus creadores y de los significados que tienen las cosas o hechos impresos en la imagen. . Es decir, lo que los nios perciben y relaten en sus dibujos, son los significados que para ellos tiene la montaa. [Eguiguren, 1996: 1]

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190 Children's drawings offer an interesting field for the analysis of their percep tions of the mountain. It is possible to say that the images (drawings) are a language or speech that "speaks" of the ideas or concepts that their creators have and the meanings of the things or printed items in the image. . That is to say, what the c hildren perceive and relate in their drawings is the meaning that the mountain has for them. In addition, the Canadian National Committee for the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction has encouraged children to share their understanding and experiences of disasters through their drawings. Likewise, children's drawings have been used to detect child abuse (Cantlay, 1996) and children have been encouraged to draw in various art therapy programs designed to help children suffering from eating d isorders, sexual abuse and violence. For example, the Human Rights Watch used art therapy with children from Chechnya, producing a website entitled "The War Through My Eyes: Children's Drawings of Chechnya." These and other project and studies (e.g. DiLe o, 1983; Levick, 1998; Hagwood, 1994; Pierson Ellingson, 1999) have contributed to our understanding of how to interpret and analyze children's drawings. 1 However, as with all tools, mapping has its disadvantages (see Table 6.2). Being aware of these iss ues gives the researcher an opportunity to think strategically on how to avoid these problems and/or compensate using other complementary tools. Perhaps the first challenge is the considerable amount of time required to implement this tool. Not only do p articipants need sufficient time to complete the activity, but there can also be significant preparation and debriefing time constraints. Another challenge comes with subsequent analysis. It may be hard to understand symbols, or interpret the meanings be hind a picture. The only way to reduce this problem is to increase the amount of time dedicated to debriefing after the activity, in which the participants provide detailed descriptions of their

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191 drawing. Likewise, drawings are subject to various interpr etations. It may be difficult for an outsider to interpret the maps if they do not conform to their notions of how a map should look. In addition, when working with group maps, the issue of scale can prove difficult to negotiate. Poats recommended facil itating a preliminary discussion so that participants come to agreement regarding the borders for the map before they begin (pers. comm., 1996). It is also critical to keep the objectives of the activity clearly in mind when facilitating a mapping exercis e, as it is easy to get lost in the fun of this tool. Researchers must have a clear understanding of why they are employing this method, and they must keep this prominently in mind throughout the process. Those using this tool should also recognize that informants, even children, may not be comfortable drawing. I discovered this personally during this study. Based on my previous experiences working with children in Peru and in the United States, I had assumed that the mapping activities would be a less threatening way to interact with the children than the survey, and would give the children a fun way to share their understanding of PNP with me. However, it became clear that this was not necessarily true for all children. Some students were visibly he sitant to engage in the activity, concerned that their drawing would be "incorrect." As mentioned previously, this led students to seek help from their textbooks (in the form of images to trace) or from one another, working together to decide how they sho uld proceed. Thus, I discovered that when seeking individual drawings, it may be difficult to keep students from working together and/or copying from one another, particularly in classrooms where the desks and benches are constructed for two or more stud ents. Regardless of the time I spent building rapport with the children, and irrespective of my assurances that there

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192 Table 6.1 Advantages of Mapping Innovative way to initiate dialogue and focus a discussion, an "attention getter" Appropriate for tho se who are not accustomed to writing or for pre literate populations Provides a creative way for participants to express themselves Can ensure all participants are given an opportunity to share their perspectives Appropriate for all age levels Can capture significant amounts of information on one map Can include visual representations of power (boundaries, land ownership) Can include ecological and cultural components including gender relationships such as access and control over natural resources, interac tions with the market, etc. Can incorporate elements of time and space (i.e., historical vs. current land use maps) Can incorporate people's hopes for the future Results can be more spontaneous, not as manipulated as answers to a survey might be Maps esca pe the power dynamics inherent in interviews and surveys End product offers a tangible representation of the landscape which can be presented to the whole community for discussion and used in conflict resolution Table 6.2 Disadvantages of Mapping Tak es significant amount of time preparation, implementing, debriefing Easy to lose sight of the objective of the activity, resulting in non useable information It may be difficult to analyze the results, especially if quantitative information is desired Maps are open to various interpretations and may be difficult for an outsider to interpret Some may not like to draw, may not feel comfortable expressing themselves this way Some adults may feel the exercise is childish, insulting Some might prefer to take act ivity home, or do it in privacy without spectators

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193 were no "right" or "wrong" answers (drawings in this case), several drawings were carbon copies of one another. This suggests a lack of confidence and uneasiness working alone. My observations in the c lassroom suggested that this problem may be more common with girls than with boys. For example, one girl kept showing me her drawing and asking, "Est bien?" (Is it OK?). I kept reassuring her that it was very beautiful, but her yearning for approval was never abated. I found this in every school. Another issue is that informants may simply not have the information you are seeking. For example, in maps aimed at gaining insight into community resource use, participants may not know the extent of resou rce use by others. This problem can easily be avoided through preliminary research, and the manner in which objectives are defined. For example, in my research I was not trying to develop an understanding of the biodiversity of the Park itself, but rathe r children's knowledge and perception of the biodiversity of the Park. Interpreting and Understanding the Children's Maps Having been introduced to the potential of mapping, I was interested in seeing how it might be adapted to gain an understanding of h ow children in the buffer zone of the Park understood their landscape. Therefore, the final question in the survey asked them to draw Parque Nacional Podocarpus. I provided a blank sheet of paper, markers and colored pencils and let the children draw. A s they finished and came up to turn in their work, I asked them to explain their pictures, which as mentioned before, was critical for identifying all the elements in the drawings as well as for understanding their intentions. I then analyzed the drawin gs by asking four principal questions that reflected the key ecological relationships and issues discussed in local environmental education

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194 programs. The questions were how did the students portray 1) local topography; 2) the water cycle; 3) biological d iversity; and 4) human interaction with the Park. The specific elements looked for in each category were directly derived from the environmental educational objectives and materials. For example, the steep nature of the local terrain and the subsequent dangers of erosion if deforestation continued had been stressed in local EE. Therefore, I looked to see if the landscape was depicted as flat, with rolling hills, or with steep mountains. In regards to the water cycle, the elements that were prominent in local environmental education programs included rivers, lakes, clouds, rain and rainbows. Therefore, I looked for these elements in their drawings. Likewise, a major focus of EE programs had been on the biological diversity of the Park. Therefore, I lo oked for illustrations of biological diversity in both the animal and plant kingdoms. This included looking for the presence of local mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects as well as local flora. I also noted whether or not domesticated animals or exotic species were considered to be part of the PNP landscape. The next consideration was how students portrayed their relationship with PNP. A major focus of the environmental education programs had been to stress the benefits of the Park to communities in the buffer zone. Therefore, I looked for indications of this relationship. Environmental education programs were specifically interested in developing a conservation consciousness in the local population, which included instilling an aw areness that activities such as hunting, fishing, logging and mining were not allowed in the Park, whereas hiking, bird watching and photography were. Therefore, I looked to see if any of these activities were depicted.

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195 In addition, I was interested in analyzing the drawings from a gendered political ecology perspective. As noted previously, mapping has been found to be a useful gender analysis tool. While this was not directly related to any specific element within the environmental education programs, I was curious to see if the children would reveal any information regarding gender roles and relationships. In addition, I looked to see if the political and economic instability of the country would show up in their drawings, or any other elements regarding the local political and economic context, such as the conflicts surrounding gold mining and logging. Finally, I considered the location and size of the elements in the pictures. According to Eguiguren (1996), "El tamao de los diversos elementos y la proporcin que guardan con el conjunto, tambin permite comprender la importancia dada cada uno por los nios" (The size of the diverse elements and their proportion to the whole also permits understanding of the importance given to each item by the children). Therefore, I took note of the relative sizes of the objects found in the drawings. The next section shares their drawings and discusses these various elements. Research Findings Topography As discussed in Chapter 4, steep mountains characterize the region, which are susceptible to high rates of erosion. Environmental education programs had focused on this theme, discussing how erosion would be even more severe if the forests were cleared, and how their water supply would be jeopardized. Therefore, I looked for elements that would indicate a sense of this relationship. The drawings were scaled on a 1 to 3 scale, based on

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196 whether they illustrated a flat, rolling, or mountainous landscape. Table 6.3 gives an overview of the findings, and Figure s 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 and 6.4 provide examples of these different representations. Table 6.3 Portrayal of Elements of Topography Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n=60) Flat 0 ----0 ----3 (13%) 9 (75%) 12 (20%) Rolling Hills 8 (73%) 4 (29%) 13 (57%) 2 (17%) 27 (45%) Steep Mtns. 3 (27%) 10 (71%) 7 (30%) 1 (8%) 21 (35%) Total 11 14 23 12 60 (100%) Alt hough these children all lived within visual range of steep mountains, only 35% included them within their drawings. The largest percentage (45%) pictured rolling hills, and 20% did not depict any element of topography at all. Mirroring the pattern foun d in the survey findings, the majority of students who did not include any elements of topography were from Taxiche, where they had not received any environmental education. However, it must be noted that the differences found in the drawings may be influ enced by the fact that the community of Taxiche is located in a small plain (although mountains are in visual range), while the other communities are located nestled in hillsides. In regards to relative size, many students began their drawings with these topographical features, which then provided the structure for their drawing. In a majority of the drawings, mountains and hills were the single largest item in the drawing, often taking up more than half the picture. Thirty four of the drawings placed th ese hills or mountains in the background, although interestingly, they were also found in the foreground and middle ground.

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197 Figure 6.1 Example of Flat Landscape (Taxiche) Figure 6.2. Example of Rolling Landscape (San Pedro de Vilcabamba)

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198 Fig ure 6.3. Example of Steep Landscape (Yamburara)

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199 Figure 6.4. Example of Steep Landscape (San Pedro de Vilcabamba)

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200 Water The buffer zone communities are dependent upon the rivers that flow from PNP for their water supply and environmental education programs have stressed this point. They also focused on the critical importance of the Park for watershed maintenance. For example, Arcoiris in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and USAID produced a glossy color poster that read, "El bosque es ag ua, el agua es vida." (The forest is water, water is life). This poster hung inside many classrooms in the buffer zone, and was one indicator that Arcoiris had been working in that school regarding water issues. With all this emphasis on water, I was cu rious to see how the children would portray water in their drawings. I first looked for the presence of rivers and lakes, and then for key elements in the water cycle, such as clouds and rainfall, since these are discussed in their lessons. I specificall y looked to see if the drawings included humans using the water from the rivers for irrigation, for washing, for cooking, cleaning, or other domestic uses as indicators of an understanding of their personal relationship with the Park's water resources. Ta ble 6.4 summarizes the findings. Table 6.4 Portrayal of Elements of the Water Cycle Water Cycle Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n= 60) River 8 (73%) 11 (79%) 20 (87%) 2 (17%) 41 (68%) Clouds 5 (45%) 8 (57%) 19 (83%) 3 (25%) 35 (58%) Lake 9 (82%) 9 (64%) 12 (52%) 0 ----30 (50%) Rain 0 ----2 (14%) 12 (52%) 0 ----14 (23%) Rainbow 0 ----6 (43%) 4 (17%) 0 ----10 (17%) Humans Using Water 0 ----0 ----1 (4%) 0 ----1 (2%)

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201 Once again, a majority of the stud ents who had received environmental education programs (39/48, or 81%) included a river in their drawings of PNP. This stood in stark contrast to Taxiche, where only 2 students (17%) included a river. As all communities are located close to rivers that flow from PNP, these results suggested that the programs might be having a positive influence in this area. Without a doubt, rivers were the most central element of a majority of the drawings done by students who had received EE. In both Quillollaco a nd Yamburara, rivers were drawn vertically, from the top of the picture to bottom. In contrast, students from San Pedro de Vilcabamba tended to place rivers in the foreground, running horizontally, although several also had rivers drawn from top to bottom Examining the pictures, the placement of the rivers in relation to their homes is worth mentioning, for some students drew rivers flowing from the Park and close to their homes, whereas others kept the rivers within the boundaries of the Park (See Figur e 6.5 and 6.6). One educator suggested that this might indicate an awareness of the dependence of buffer zone communities on the Park's water resources. In addition to looking for rivers, I noted whether or not the drawings included lakes. As mentioned previously, the Park is famous for its highland lakes, which are a favorite destination of older students and adults (both locals and tourists). Therefore, I expected a rather high percentage to include lakes, and indeed 50% did. As above, a large perce ntage of students (63%, 30/48) who had received some environmental education included lakes in their drawings. As with the rivers, the location of the lake within their drawings, which were often drawn downhill from the mountains, was noteworthy. Only a few students illustrated highland lakes as a source for the rivers flowing from the Park (although not all

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202 rivers flowing from PNP originate from a lake). Several educators reviewing the drawings noted this "misconception" and made note to address this in future lesson plans. In addition, 63% of the students included clouds and 27% included rain. I included rainbows in this analysis out of curiosity, since Fundacin Arcoiris (who sponsored the environmental education programs) translates into "Rainbow F oundation." Their rainbow symbol is found throughout the region and is associated with conservation, not to mention the fact that rainbows are frequently seen over the mountain ridges of PNP, and that is why Fundacin Arcoiris took this name. However, on ly ten students (20%) included rainbows in their drawings, although all ten were from schools having received EE from Fundacin Arcoiris. Critically, only one student illustrated a human using the water from PNP, and that was for fishing Although stude nts were asked to draw the Park, many students included their homes and fields in their pictures. Yet, daily domestic and agricultural uses of water were conspicuously absent. Water tubing for household consumption, washing, or cooking did not appear, no r did irrigation canals. This suggests that students might not have a clear understanding of their personal relationship with the Park's water resources, or that these relationships are not highly visible to the children. This supports the survey finding s, in which not one student responded that they themselves, or their family, used the water from the Park. However, although no student depicted their relationship with the Park's rivers, we must recall that in the survey, 32% of the students responded th at rivers are used for drinking, which illustrates some awareness of these relationships.

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203 Figure 6.5. Example of River, Confined to Park (San Pedro de Vilcabamba) Figure 6.6 Example of River, Flowing Out of Park (San Pedro de Vilcababma)

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204 Figure 6.7 Example of Water Cycle River Flowing from Park (Quillollaco)

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205 Biological Diversity As outlined previously, the environmental education programs repeatedly discussed the extraordinary biodiversity of the Park. Due to this focus, I was interes ted to see how the children would portray the biological diversity of PNP in their drawings. In their surveys, they had named a variety of flora and fauna (including a total of twelve mammals, eleven birds, four reptiles, three insects, two amphibians and one generic "fish" species). Therefore, I first looked for the presence of flora and fauna. As in the analysis of the surveys, I next looked to see how many different taxa were included within each drawing. I found that some students captured the biol ogical diversity of the Park marvelously, drawings plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, etc. (i.e., Figure 6.7). However, a majority of students did not (see Table 6.5). In contrast to the survey, where mammals were the most frequently named residents of t he Park, only three students included mammals in their drawings. Thus, while 63% named spectacled bears on the survey, only one student included a bear in their drawing. The other two mammals that appeared included a deer in one, and a deer and a jaguar in the other. Thus, although students named tapirs, monkeys, ocelots, fox, pumas, armadillos, peccaries, rats and squirrels as animals that lived in the Park, none of these animals made appearances in their drawings. The same pattern followed with the ot her creatures, whereby the animals listed in the survey did not appear in the drawings and vice versa. For example, more students (22%) included fish within their drawings, than mentioned them in the survey (13%). I believe this discrepancy between the fi ndings can be attributed to two factors. First, I believe this reflects a lack of artistic confidence, as well as a lack of experience in artistic expression, rather than a lack of knowledge. Artistic skill is needed to draw these

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206 animals, and students i n general demonstrated uneasiness with free drawing. For example, during pre testing I found that students would often search their textbooks for images to trace when asked to draw. Teachers often encouraged this further, insisting that their students be precise and accurate in their drawings. Second, it is possible that a majority of these students have never seen these animals personally and thus do not know what they look like. Lacking first hand experience, as well as images in their textbooks, woul d make it extremely difficult for them to draw these animals. This might also explain why fewer exotic species (such as the elephants, giraffes and penguins mentioned in the survey) show up in the drawings. Table 6.5 Portrayal of Biological Diversity B iodiversity Quillollaco (n=11) Yamburara (n=14) San Pedro (n=23) Taxiche (n=12) Total (n= 60) Trees 10 (91%) 13 (93%) 21 (91%) 3 (25%) 47 (78%) Birds 6 (55%) 8 (57%) 18 (78%) 1 (8%) 3 3 (55%) Grassland 6 (55%) 10 (71%) 14 (61%) 0 ----30 (50%) Fish 4 (36%) 3 (21%) 14 (61%) 1 (8%) 22 (37%) Flowers 1 (9%) 11 (79%) 4 (17%) 0 ----16 (27%) Reptiles 0 ----4 (29%) 1 (4%) 0 ----5 (8%) Insects 1 (9%) 1 (7%) 2 (9%) 0 ----4 (7%) Mammals 1 (9%) 1 (7%) 1 (4%) 0 ----3 (5%) In addition, I compared these results to the survey findings in regards to the uses of the Park's biodiversity. In the survey, half of the students indicated that their fami ly relied upon resources, primarily timber, that came from the Park. In the drawings we find that students included more trees in their drawing than any other element of biodiversity.

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207 Figure 6.8 Example of Biodiversity (Yamburara)

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208 Figure 6.9 E xample of Biodiversity (San Pedro de Vilcabamba) Figure 6.10 Example of Biodiversity (Quillollaco)

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209 Human Relationships with the Park Next, I analyzed the drawings to see how students depicted human interaction with these biological resources throug h hunting, fishing, photography, observation, etc. As mentioned previously, the management plan was specifically concerned with protecting the Park in order to provide recreational opportunities to local residents, and the environmental education programs were explicitly interested in developing a conservation consciousness in local school children. This included instilling an awareness that activities such as hunting, fishing, logging, and mining were not allowed in the Park, whereas hiking, birdwatching and photography were. However, I found that while 85% of the students included human made objects, only a very few depicted how humans interact with their environment I was particularly interested to see if the children who had visited the Park would include specific elements of the Park, such as the ranger stations, Park guards, the educational center and the trails, with which they had gained first hand experience. However, this was not the case. Throughout the drawings from all schools I found de pictions of their homes and fields, complete with corn, cows, and pasture. This suggests several things. First, regardless of the instructions to draw the Park, children are best able to draw what they know best. The majority had never visited the Park and most students were unclear as to where the Park was located exactly. They chose to draw what they knew and what was most relevant to their lives, which was the landscape surrounding their own homes. Second, I believe these drawings illustrate that f or the most part children do not have a clear understanding that the Park is a separate political administrative entity, with

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210 a boundary and different rules and regulations, than the landscape around their homes. This is logical given that the Park is not visibly delineated with a fence and physically the landscape is often not dramatically different from the surrounding land. This permeable boundary presents a challenge to those seeking to protect the Park (recall the heated discussions over the Park bou ndary mentioned in Chapter 4) as well as to educators who are seeking to teach their students about the Park. Interestingly, environmental education materials designed by Arcoiris have consistently included a map outline of PNP. For example, the front pa ge of the environmental education booklet Descubriendo el Parque Nacional Podocarpus (Discovering Podocarpus National Park) and informational pamphlets, such as Podocarpus, Recurso Hidrico (Podocarpus, Water Resource) include sketch maps of PNP. 2 In addi tion, the children who had visited the educational center in the Park had been exposed to maps of all kinds from a huge floor to ceiling relief map, to one carved in wood outside at the interpretative kiosk. Likewise, the children from San Pedro de Vilcab amba had most likely seen the outline map of the Park on the labels placed on the jars of honey marketed from their community development project, which was promoted by Arcoiris. Perhaps due to this exposure, 20% of the children did draw the Park as a sep arate entity, with a clear boundary (e.g., Figure 6.11, 6.12). Some students also provided insight into cognitive categories of land use and distance. While not defining the Park necessarily as a separate entity, they did demonstrate an understanding t hat it is not the same as the land around their homes. For example, in Figure 6.13, the student drew the family home in the forefront, the family fields in the middle ground, and then the Park mountains in the background. Similarly,

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211 Figure 6.11 Exa mple of Park Boundary (San Pedro de Vilcabamba) Figure 6.12 Example of Park Boundary (San Pedro de Vilcabamba)

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212 Figure 6.13 Example of Land Use Division (Yamburara)

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213 Figure 6.14 Land Differentiation (San Pedro de Vilcabamba)

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214 Figure 6.15 Exam ple of Land Use Division (Yamburara)

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215 Figures 6.14 illustrates a house in the foreground, pasture in the middle ground, and the forested mountain in the distance, complete with a spectacled bear. Interestingly, facing this forested mountain is a barren m ountain, which according to the student, had been burned and plowed in order to plant crops. Figure 6.15 also places the home and family fields in the foreground, with the Park in the background. Gender Relations Finally, I sought to identify if the pict ures included any illustration of gender differentiated roles and responsibilities. As mentioned earlier, a map can provide a visual representation of access and control patterns to natural resources. It may also render visible gender differentiated labo r inputs to various activities. This is valuable since a significant amount of research has shown the theoretical basis and practical necessity for inclusion of gender as a variable in research on conservation and development (Paulson, 1996; Paulson and C respo, 1997; Buvinic, 1986; Kabeer, 1994; Moser, 1989; 1993; Overholt et al., 1985; Rao et al., 1991; Slocum et al., 1995). These studies illustrate how gender is central to the issue of who participates and who benefits from conservation and development projects, and have illustrated that resource use is often differentiated by gender. A gender map can thus provide a useful visual representation of the landscape, in which complementary and/or conflicting resource use patterns and gender relations between men, women and children become visible. As Thomas Slayter et al. (1993:18) argue, "Women and men make very different use of resources even, in some cases, of a single species of tree. Therefore it is essential for development planners and researchers to understand the "domestication" of the rural landscape." Maps provide one way to capture this information.

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216 My past experience in the Peruvian Amazon, where I spent many afternoons drawing with children, had produced interesting results in this regard. Bo th the girls and boys had often drawn themselves doing various gender specific tasks (i.e., girls cooking, boys hunting and fishing). Therefore, I was curious to see if I might find similar results in this study, which would give further insight into spec ific behaviors related to conservation and the Park. The drawings however, did not yield such information. First, only a very small percentage (22%) of the illustrations included humans. Of these 22% who did include humans, the majority of the humans we re unisexual, and often not performing any task at all. This in itself it useful information, for the inclusion and exclusion of items in a drawing provides equally valuable information. In contrast to my Peru examples, the drawings led to an understan ding that the children in the buffer zone of PNP were generally not involved with hunting and fishing, nor were their parents. Likewise, logging and mining activities were not depicted at all. These findings stand in contrast to Eguiguren (1996), who fou nd elements related to logging activities in the drawings of boys, who traveled with their fathers to the mountain to assist in logging activities. However, one boy from Yamburara did illustrate a man in the lower right corner shooting a bird (Figure 6.16 ) and a girl in San Pedro de Vilcabamba illustrated a man fishing (Figure 6.17). Follow up discussion revealed that the boy had gone to "el monte" (the mountain) to hunt with his father, and the father of the girl liked to fish "in nearby lakes" on the we ekends. Neither student was able to say for sure whether these events took place inside PNP. Conversations with other children produced the same results there was not a clear understanding of where the Park was located.

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217 Figure 6.16 Example of Gen der Roles: Man hunting (Yamburara) Figure 6.17 Example of Gender Roles: Man fishing (San Pedro de Vilcabamba)

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218 Figure 6.18 Example of Gender Roles: Various (Yamburara)

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219 Another drawing that provided insight into gender roles was drawn by a girl w ho depicted eight humans, including one herding cows, one tending pigs and chickens, two working in a corn field, two walking to town, one walking on the road, and one in the mountains (Figure 6.18). Our follow up conversation revealed that this was her f amily, with the two full bodied figures being her parents and the stick figures her siblings. She explained how her mom takes care of the chickens, and her older brothers attend high school in Vilcabamba. She drew her dad on the road near their house on his way to his friend's house, and her brother off "running in the mountains." When I asked if she was in the drawing, she indicated the stick person harvesting corn. In addition to providing insight into gender roles, she also distinguished between her family's land and the Park by including a dashed boundary line for the Park. Elements of Political Ecology Analyzing these drawings through a political ecology lens led me to examine the drawings for several elements, at different scales. First, at the local scale, I was interested in whether or not children would illustrate the "threats" to the Park, such as gold mining and logging that were frequently part of the local EE programs. I found that although 58% of the students had responded that gold min ing was a problem in the survey, not one illustrated this activity in the Park. Logging activities were also absent. As discussed above, follow up discussions revealed that these children were not participating in these activities, and they were not part of their conceptualization of the Park. It should be noted however, that my sample was biased toward Region 1, where these activities did not predominate. Results might have been different in Region

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220 2, 3 and 4, but unfortunately, I was unable to acquire drawings from children in these other regions to test this hypothesis. Another central theme within the political ecology approach that is closely related to the above analysis is that of land use. I was interested to see how this might be conceptualized and illustrated by the children. Recall that children were the primary targets of environmental education programs, and land use patterns were a major concern identified in the management plan and in EE programs. Looking at the drawings through the poli tical ecology lens highlighted the fact that some children did demonstrate an understanding of different land uses, as seen previously in Figures 6.13 and 6.14. However, as discussed above, a majority of the drawings did not illustrate a clear distinction between the domesticated landscape around their homes and the Park. Third, I was curious to see if the political and economic instability of the country would show up in their drawings, or perhaps a reference to the border conflict with Peru. In my prev ious experiences in Peru, I had learned that helicopters capture the imagination of children, and that if they were flying over there was a good chance they would show up in their drawings. 3 Given the nearby border conflict with Peru, the militarization of the zone during 1997, and the use of military personnel to patrol the Park, I was curious to see if students would include these factors in their drawing of the Park. However, only two boys drew helicopters and planes in their drawings (see Figure 6.19 6.20), and no reference to military patrols in the Park was made.

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221 Figure 6.19 Example of Militarization Helicopter (Yamburara) Figure 6.20 Example of Militarization (San Pedro de Vilcabamba)

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222 Group Mapping As mentioned in the methods chapte r, the group mapping exercises provided further depth and understanding in a group setting. In this activity, observing the process of the map creation was particularly valuable. During the individual drawings, students had worked quietly for the most pa rt, leaving their thought processes hidden. In contrast, during the group mapping I got to listen and observe as they negotiated how to portray their landscape and PNP. Inter personal dynamics and gender roles were also evident, as boys took the lead in facilitating the process and girls broke off into separate groups. Unfortunately, due to my time constraints, as well as those facing teachers, I was only able to do group mapping in the three schools where students had received EE programs. Lacking the ability to do a comparative analysis, further discussion of these maps has been omitted. Conclusion When I asked children in the buffer zone of Parque Nacional Podocarpus to share their perspectives with me, I sought a variety of ways for them to do so. It is well documented that students have different learning styles, and some feel more comfortable expressing and exchanging ideas within a visual format, while others excel within the written format. Therefore, the mapping activities discussed in this chapter were an integral component of my research, as they provided an opportunity for students to communicate their understanding of conservation issues and PNP through a visual medium. In addition, the illustrations provided an opportunity to double che ck the information shared in the written survey and group discussions. Thus, students used both

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223 words and pictures to share their perspectives and illustrate their understandings of the Park. Through this process I learned a tremendous amount about the l ocal community, and gained deeper insight into the knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions held by students. In order to analyze the children's drawing, four key themes found within local environmental education programs were identified. These themes dealt with issues of topography, the importance of the Park for watershed maintenance and the protection of biological diversity, as well as human relationship and dependence on the Park. Therefore, I examined the drawings for content that reflected these promi nent themes, looking specifically at how they portrayed 1) local topography; 2) the water cycle; 3) biological diversity; and 4) human relationships with the Park. I also looked to see if any insight might be gained regarding gender roles, and other resea rch had shown the value of sketch maps for revealing valuable information regarding gender differentiated resource use. As the instructions were to draw Parque Nacional Podocarpus, I anticipated that most drawings would probably provide more information re garding how students conceptualize their ecological rather than their cultural surroundings. However, I found the opposite. Rather than wild flora and fauna, the students primarily depicted the domesticated plants and animals found around their homes. I nstead of park trails, guard stations and the environmental education center, their homes and schools dominated. Overall, I found that the individual drawings generally supported the findings from the surveys and interviews. On average, children who had received EE illustrated the Park with elements that reflected key themes discussed in EE programs, such as rolling or steep mountains, rivers, and a variety of animals and plants. In contrast, the children who had not received any EE had less elements of topography, fewer rivers and lakes, and less biological diversity in their

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224 drawings. In fact, children who had not received EE tended to focus on their homes as the primary element of the drawing. However, there were some differences found between the survey and drawings. For example, in the survey mammals were the most frequently named residents of the Park, but only three students included mammals in their drawings. The same pattern followed with the other creatures, whereby the animals listed in t he survey did not appear in the drawings and vice versa. I believe this reflects a lack of artistic confidence, as well as a lack of experience in artistic expression, rather than a lack of knowledge. In addition, it is possible that a majority of these students had never seen these animals personally. Without first hand experience or images in their textbooks, it would be extremely challenging to draw these animals. Finally, I found that only a very small percentage of the illustrations included humans which were often not engaged in any particular behavior. For example, although I found that although 58% of the students had responded that gold mining was a problem in the survey, not one illustrated this activity. Therefore, only limited insight was g ained on gender relations from these drawings. Analyzing how children portray the landscape provides a sense of how they understand their surroundings. As mentioned previously, one of the strengths of drawing activities is that it gives the participant po wer to decide what to include, thus relating their understanding of the most salient features in their landscape. Their drawings thus provided another opportunity to explore student awareness and understanding of the issues surrounding the Park. 4

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225 Notes 1 In addition, children's drawings have been used to discern the health impacts of pesticides. This fascinating study by Guillette et al. (1998) can be found online at: http://www.anarac.com/elizabeth_guillet te.htm 2 This map includes the cities of Loja, Zamora, Malacatos, Vilcabamba and Yangana. The second page elaborates with description of location of Park (in Provinces of Loja and Zamora Chinchipe), and size of Park (146,280). 3 In fact, the children' s drawings in Peru taught me about the existence of a nearby oil exploration operation. During my fieldwork in Peru, I had not seen any helicopters, yet they appeared in almost every drawing. Follow up discussions revealed that the children did not know who was flying these, or where they were going. This led to discussions with community members and local government officials. Through this process I learned that PetroPeru was conducting oil exploration up the river, across from the National Reserve. 4 In addition to working with elementary children, I also had the opportunity to interact with university students, in the departments of forestry and agronomy at the Nacional University of Loja. I followed the same methodology used with the elementa ry school children. Through the process of facilitating this session on mapping, I was able to obtain valuable data regarding their perspectives, knowledge levels and attitudes toward the Park. This opportunity provided an interesting measuring stick fro m which to compare and understand the drawings collected in elementary schools. Since this was not part of my original research design, I will leave the analysis of these data for a future publication.

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226 CHAPTER 7 THE PERSPECTIVES OF EDUCATORS Introduction In this chapter, teachers from primary schools in the buffer zone of Parque Nacional Podocarpus share their perspectives about education in Ecuador. The views of educators from conservation orga nizations and the government are also included. Complementing the two previous chapters, in which we heard from students, we now learn about the classroom from those responsible for facilitating the learning process. Overall, I talked with sixty educator s in the three field seasons. In 1999, I also administered surveys to eighteen of these elementary school teachers, which were generally followed by in depth interviews. The four main themes discussed included the Curricular Reform, the meanings of envir onmental education, Parque Nacional Podocarpus, and teacher training. Using interviews, focus group discussions and surveys, I inquired about their schools, the implementation of the Curricular Reform, the new "ejes transversals" or interdisciplinary them es, and the process of becoming a teacher in Ecuador. These discussions revealed how teachers in the buffer zone conceptualized environmental education, from objectives to specific classroom content and activities. They shared all this with me and then b roadened the discussion, telling me about their students, their own educational experiences, the need for reform, and their trials as public educators in Ecuador. This chapter documents these interactions.

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227 Research Findings The National Curriculum Re form In 1996, the national government initiated a Curricular Reform process. The plan itself, called "Proceso Consensuada para la Reforma Curicular" (Consensual Process for the Curricular Reform) indicates an effort to solicit teacher input and create a p articipatory approach to reforming education in Ecuador. The degree to which they were successful was highly contested, as you will see from the discussion that follows. The final document that was produced in 1997 took a new holistic approach by dividi ng the curriculum into several substantive areas and looking at the development of these areas from kinder to the last year of high school. In addition, the new plan identified ejes transversales or interdisciplinary themes, that were considered to be cr itical elements throughout all substantive areas and across all grade levels. Cosmetically, the plan replaced the previous system based on years (aos) with one based on grades (grados). Yet, the process of developing and implementing the new Curricular Reform has been long and contentious, as many reform processes are. Three years after its inception, there were workshops aimed at facilitating the implementation of the Reform, particularly in rural areas. According to one staff member in a local conse rvation organization, these one week workshops entitled "Refuerzo del Reforma Curricular (Reinforcing the Curricular Reform) were incredibly political events and evidence that the Reform had not yet been embraced. Therefore, I went to the teachers in th e rural areas around Parque Nacional Podocarpus to discuss the proceso consensuada and the new Plan. I observed classrooms and talked with school directors to learn more about the implementation of the Plan. I also met with

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228 Ministry Officials to learn ab out their perspectives. I discovered that due to the politicization of education in Ecuador, (a product of the very volatile political context in general) the Reform was a sensitive subject to discuss. Some were suspicious as to why I was asking questi ons about the Reform and sometimes showed a clear reluctance to discuss it with an outsider. This was exacerbated by the fact that I had been required to get permission from the Ministry of Education before beginning my work. While this letter of support from the Ministry often facilitated my research, it also meant that I was sometimes seen as working for the government. My situation was further complicated by the fact that many teachers had just completed a national in service regarding the implementat ion of the Reform and believed my survey and interviews were an attempt by the government to surreptitiously check up on them. These factors meant that I had to take more time in each community establishing relationships and explaining my research in gre ater depth than originally anticipated. While this reduced the total number of interviews and surveys I was able to conduct, I believe it improved the quality of the information I received. Over time, and with the help of several local teachers who volun teered to accompany me during interviews, I gained the confidence of many local teachers. The following sections document the opinions and perspectives shared with me. I began my inquiry into the Reform with the general question "What do you think of the Reform and why?" Within the responses, several key themes surfaced. Some teachers commented exclusively on the content and intention of the Reform itself, without reference to the challenges of implementation. For example, one teacher noted that the Ref orm included "fundamental elements necessary for human development, sustained with useful knowledge and values for life and the development of skills and cognitive functions."

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229 Another teacher mentioned that the Reform improved education, as it paid attent ion to skills, and the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains, without neglecting any of them. In contrast, other teachers noted that while the Plan was excellent in theory, it was impossible to implement due to the desperate economic situation facin g the country. For example, one teacher commented, Creo que la propuesta de la Reforma es buena porque pretende formar un nino activo que se desenvuelva por si mismo que aprenda cosas utiles para la vida con valores eticos y morales; pero creo que esto s olo se lograria cuando la educacin sea considerada por el gobierno como una inversin y no como gasto. I think that the proposal of the Reform is good because it seeks to form an active, self confident child who learns things useful for life, including e thical values and morals; however I think that we will only achieve this when the government considers education to be an investment rather than a cost. Another teacher echoed this sentiment, saying that the Reform was a means of social transformation, bu t lamented the lack of government support. An administrator noted that there was a rupture between discourse and practice. Another commented, [La Reforma] no llegua en ninguna institucin ,todava estn usando metologas y curricular viejos. El Banc o Mundial di finaciamiento para la Reforma. La resulta? Protestas de los maestros, porque era una cosa extraero, otra vez impuesto. Hubo protestos de base, que los maestros estaban involucrados. The Reform has not been implemented in any institution, they are still using old methodologies and curricula. The World Bank financed the Reform. The result? Teacher protests, because it was an external thing, another thing imposed. There were grassroots protests that the teachers were involved in. In addi tion to the discussions regarding the theoretical soundness versus the practical application of the Reform, comments often addressed the Reform's emphasis on active, creative learning. For example, one teacher said that the Reform used interdisciplinary t hemes in order to develop students that had skills that allowed them to be protagonists in

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230 their own development, based in the interdisciplinary themes. Numerous teachers also mentioned that they liked the Reform because it promoted the development of cre ativity. Despite these positive comments, the frustration teachers felt in regards to their jobs and the implementation of the Reform was clearly vocalized. One teacher commented emphatically that the situation must be improved, or education would contin ue the same as always, lacking a real concern for the children. Another educator echoed this sentiment in the survey, writing that the Reform was just another example of business as usual. Another teacher admitted that the Reform was something new and th at teachers had not grasped very well what it proposed. Perhaps the most critical comment came from a Professor of Education at the local University, who said that there were hardly any positive aspects of the Reform. She pointed out that without a chang e in people's attitudes toward the environment, customs would remain the same ("casi no hay aspectos positivos. No hay un cambio de actitud con relacin del medio. Las costumbres siguen igual, el ambiente sigue la misma"). In the survey I also asked them to rank their opinion about the Reform on a five point Likert Scale, from 1= very bad (I don't accept it) to 5= excellent (I accept it totally). Given the general cynicism and grumbling in everyday conversations, interviews, and focus group discussions, I was surprised to find that the average response (3.6) fell midway between indifferent (3) and good (4). Only one educator (from a conservation organization) out of the eighteen who completed the survey, ranked the Curricular Reform as "very bad," wherea s five teachers indicated that they thought the Reform was "excellent" and five others replied it was "good." This was an important finding, in that it suggested a majority of teachers in the buffer zone of PNP generally agreed with the underlying philoso phical principles of the Reform. As the interviews and surveys revealed, any dissatisfaction with

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231 the Reform usually dealt with the (un)feasibility of implementation rather than the intention and content of the Reform itself. Ejes transversales Within t he Reform several ejes transversales or interdisciplinary themes were identified, including environmental education. Teachers noted that one barrier to the successful adoption of these new interdisciplinary themes was the widely varying understanding of w hat they were and how they might translate into the everyday activities of the classroom. For example, one teacher admitted, "Son nuevos, y no son claros" (They are new and they are not clear"). Others simply said that they did not know enough about the m to comment. In contrast, some teachers defined ejes as the pillars that should be present in all areas of study. Similarly another teacher explained that interdisciplinary themes are addressed together with other subjects, rather than in an isolated fo rm, with the goal of forming core values Some educators critically noted that most teachers only have a superficial understanding of the interdisciplinary themes. Thus, despite years of discussion and workshops, disparate interpretations and understandi ngs remained of what these ejes transversales actually were and their implications for curricula development. It is possible that this lack of clarity simply reflected the newness of this concept within the curriculum. The table below summarizes the surv ey responses. Related to this discussion, were the results of a question found later in the survey, in which I asked if they were in agreement that environmental education should be an interdisciplinary theme. Only 56% (10/18) agreed. The other 44% said they believed that

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232 Table 7.1 Some Definitions of Ejes Transversales the Interdisciplinary Themes "Como los pilares que deben estar presentes en todas las areas de estudio." (They are like the pillars that must be present in every area of study.) "Son t emas que se los trata conjuntamente con otros, no en forma aisla con el fin de formar valores principios." (They are themes that are dealt with together with others, not in an isolated manner, with the purpose of forming principle values.) "Algo necesar io que se debe afianzar en los alumnos para que tengan conciencia y actuen en defensa del futuro." (They are something necessary that must be strengthened in the students so that they will be conscientious and act in defense of the future.) "Son aspect os muy importantes, diria impresindibles, que deben interactuar dentro y fuera del aula ya que de ello depende en parte la cultura de un pueblo." (They are very important aspects, I would say indispensable, that must interact inside and outside of the c lassroom since it depends in part on the culture of the town.) "Son los valores humanos o aptitudes a desarrollar en los educados." (They are the human values or abilities to develop in the educated.) "Que en cualquer tiempo de la enseanza se puede ind ucir temas de moral, cuidado de naturaleza, higieno." (That in whatever moment of teaching you can introduce themes of morality, protecting nature, hygiene.) "Ayudan en la formacin de los alumnos y que estn incluidos en todo los temas." (They help i n the formation of the students and are included in all themes.) "Son conexiones de desarrollo en la integraci n de conocimientos de las diferentes areas." (They are connections to develop in the integration of knowledge in the different areas.) "Son la s asignaturas como lgica, trabajo prctico, normas de conducta, artes, etc." (They are the subjects like logic, practical work, norms of behavior, art, etc.) "Los profesores entienden los ejes transversales como un chuzo, que ellos los pueden atascar y sacar como quiren, pero eso no es verdad. Los ejes transversals son mucho mas complejos" (Teachers understand the interdisciplinary themes to be like a roasting stick, that they can stick in and take out when they like, but this is not true. The in terdisciplinary themes are much more complex.)

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233 environmental education should be treated as a separate subject. A Professor in Education at the Universidad Nacional de Loja pragmatically noted that environmental education should be taught as both an inte rdisciplinary theme and a separate subject, since teachers did not understand how to insert environmental education into the curricula as an interdisciplinary theme. This lack of consensus regarding the nature of interdisciplinary themes, compounded by th e split opinion regarding the place of environmental education in the curricula, had made it difficult to implement the Reform in the buffer zone of PNP. It is valuable to recall that the concept of ejes transversales was not used in the bilingual schoo ls. As Sr. Miguel Chiriapo notes, "No usamos. Estos son parte de la reforma del sistema naciona" (We don't use them. They are part of the reform of the national system). Benefits of the Reform To focus the discussion, I specifically asked teachers to dis cuss any benefits they saw emerging from the Curricular Reform. One theme that was continually raised (in surveys, interviews, and in informal conversations) was the aim of the Reform to increase the participation of students in their own learning. One t eacher succinctly captured these discussions, noting La Reforma curricular es un instrumento que muestra el camino para mejorar la calidad de la educaci n pernitiendo que el alumno sea el actor de su propio aprendizaje" (The Curricular Reform is an instr ument that shows the way to improve the quality of education, in that the students become the actors of their own learning). Another teacher commented that the Reform applied methods, techniques, and processes that were active and another teacher agreed, stating that within the Reform learning was active and dynamic between the children and teachers. Increased opportunities for creativity provided by the new Reform, as a result of the focus on participatory methods, were also mentioned.

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234 One teacher point ed out that the Reform valued students' potential and gave them an opportunity to be creative, participatory, centered in values. In addition, teachers also commented that participatory approaches provided benefits for both students and teachers. One exp licitly mentioned that the Reform was benefiting teachers by increasing their knowledge, and that this resulted in students with greater knowledge as well. Another specifically noted that the focus on active learning was designed so that students would ac quire awareness of life situations. Given the global discourse, particularly in regards to environmental education where there was a focus on active student learning, it was not surprising that this theme dominated the discussions. Another teacher counte red, however, that the government's underlying motivation in promoting participatory approaches was not philosophical, but strategic, in that these approaches expanded scientific investigation. The Reform's focus on improving communication and cooperation between education officials, parents, teachers and students was another benefit teachers mentioned. One teacher commented that the Reform had many benefits because it promoted collaboration between the authorities, parents, teachers and students. Yet, mo st teachers noted that in reality the objective of collaboration was not truly happening. The more cynical teachers went further, calling the Curricular Reform no more than a political ploy aimed at winning votes in a volatile political context. Proble ms with the Reform Following the discussion of the benefits of the Reform, I asked teachers to discuss the problems emerging as their schools implemented the new Plan. Many teachers began by noting that in all actuality, the Reform was not being fully imp lemented yet, and thus they

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2 35 could not discuss problems regarding its implementation. Rather, they offered to share their perspectives regarding why the Reform was not being fully embraced. First, they pointed out that the Reform had not been fully imple mented due to the political and economic instability of the country. Revamping the national educational system requires both money and political will, and neither conditions had existed in Ecuador during the Curricular Reform process. Second, they pointe d out that many teachers had resisted the application of the Reform. When probed why there was resistance, a variety of answers were shared. Perhaps the primary answer lay in the general discontent, frustration and anger many teachers felt toward the gov ernment. Teachers had been hard hit by the dismal economic situation of the country, often enduring months without pay. National strikes had resulted in a significant loss of class time For example, according to the Associated Press, 140,000 teachers w ent on strike in May 2000, shutting down 23,000 public schools for over six weeks (Associated Press, 2000). Children were required to make up time lost during their summer breaks, and as one parent lamented, "The poor children are caught in this battle, and are now required to attend school almost year round due to the constant strikes." This hostile context had made many teachers unwilling to collaborate on any level with any national educational plan. Some noted it was not worth investing energy into the Reform, as it was a political ploy and thus only a temporary mandate. Given this generally hostile context, the fact that the Reform required teachers to put in a significant amount of work developing new curricula was seriously detrimental to the s uccessful implementation of the Reform. As one teacher noted, "Our willingness to donate one more time our support to a governmental Plan that doesn't support us has reached its

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236 limit" (Nuestro consentimiento a donar ms vez el apoyo a un Plan gubernament al que no nos sostiene hemos alcanzado su lmite). Conversely, another teacher placed fault with the teachers rather than the government, saying that many teachers did not put the Reform into practice because they did not prepare themselves nor investiga te how to do so ("Que los maestros no cumplen con todo el desarrollo de los destrezas, es decir que muchos maestros no ponen en practica, por no preparse ni investigar"). To some extent, this related to the need for in service training and support from the local authorities, which many teachers said was lacking. As one teacher noted, many teachers lacked adequate training, especially in the context of environmental education, to implement the Reform ("Muchos profesores falta adecuada, especialmente en e l contexto del eje transversal de educacin ambiental, para implementar la Reforma"). Another identified the lack of advising and supervision as a key problem ("falta de asesoriamento, y [seguridad] en la supervision"). Another significant barrier to th e implementation of the Reform raised again and again was the lack of adequate materials. Teachers commented that there was no attention given to teaching materials or classrooms ("No hay atencin con respecto a material didactico, aulas, etc."), that the re was a lack of bibliographic materials ("No hay suficiente bibliografia"), and that there was a lack of basic teaching materials such as maps ("Falta de materiales didacticos, por ejemplo en nuestra escuela no hay un mapa actual"). It seems this is one a rea in which the local conservation organizations could be of great assistance. For example, Fundacin Arcoiris already has an extensive library, as does Fundacin Maquipacuna. Greater publicity of these libraries might help, along with the development o f special lending practices for teachers.

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237 In addition, these organizations could serve as clearinghouses for innovative ideas, and promote exchanges between teachers. For example, one teacher faced with a lack of maps for teaching geography had come up with the creative solution of painting maps on the school walls (see Figure 7.1). Building on this valuable idea, an engaged approach would encourage engaging students in the design and creation of the map murals. Borrowing maps from the library would en courage library skills. Drawing sketches beforehand would give them first hand practice with the material, both in terms of content and developing their artistic creativity. Working together to decide how to design a mural, and how to divide up tasks, w ould provide skills on collaboration. Figure 7.1. Maps Painted in an Elementary School

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238 The issue of relevance of the curricula to the realities of local students was also raised. The lack of educational materials that address the realities faced by students in rural settings, is not a problem unique to Ecuador. As noted for Latin America, The textbooks (when in sufficient supply) and the curriculum contain little to engage the interest of children in rural areas. This problem is particularly a cute in countries that have substantial indigenous populations, such as Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Guatemala. [Arnove et al., 1987: 120] Administrators and teachers working within the Bilingual System noted the same challenges, particularly those working with lowland Amazon groups, like the Shuar in the case of PNP. For example, the "Modelo de Educacin Interculturalidad Bilingu e" (Model of Intercultural, Bilingual Education) discussed the challenges of bilingual education but only in the context of Qui chua speakers in the Sierra. One teacher complained that there was hardly any material on the Amazon ("No hay casi nada sobre Amazonia"). In the cases where teachers did see the Reform being implemented, they offered various commentaries and critiques. O ne emphatically responded that rather than benefits, the Reform had only created problems. The primary problem dealt with the challenge of implementation and coordination over the years. She wrote, "Falta de retroalimentacin de conocimientos de un ao a otro. Muchos temas son discontinuados" (Lack of backup support of knowledge from one year to another. Many themes are discontinuous). This issue spoke to the difficulty in revamping an entire curriculum at once, in which some older students were falli ng through the cracks, as they had not received the foundations proposed in the Reform. One teacher simply acknowledged that with any major change, there would be a period of adaptation on both the part of the child and of the teacher ( "adaptacin del ni o y del maestro a este sistema"). However, due to the turbulent political climate in

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239 Ecuador, the proponents of the Reform might not have the luxury of time to illustrate the benefits of their Plan. One educator working in the Ministry of Education noted that they were under pressure to demonstrate visible positive results immediately, yet it would not be for ten years, when the first students completed the whole program, that they would be able to begin to see the full impact of the Reform. The issue o f teacher agency and authority in the classroom was also debated. One teacher said that the Reform did not give full reign to the teacher, but that it was still limited in scope ( "No da total apertura al maestro. Limita"). In contrast, another teacher s aid that the Reform allowed teachers to work with greater liberty, especially in the development of specific skills and values ( "Permite trabajar con mayor libertad tanto el alumno [como] profesores, especialmente en el desarollo de los destrezas y valores "). Another issue that arose was the teacher student ratio and teacher grade ratio. This issue was particularly relevant in small rural schools, where teachers were often faced with the challenge of teaching six grades together in a single room school. One teacher in this situation noted that being saddled with teaching various grades at once affected the quality of education she could provide, for it meant that she had to split her time between the different levels, and thus spend less time with each student. Another teacher pragmatically pointed out that the Reform could not have an effect if there continued to be schools with six grades and only one or two teachers ( "Lo Reforma no puede llavarse a efecto si existen escuelas de 6 grados con 1 2 profe sores"). When I asked a local official in the Ministry of Education what he thought was needed to address these challenges, he commented that among the main necessities were curriculum materials and more workshops working directly with the teachers who wer e mandated to

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240 implement the Reform ("Las necesidades, hay muchas. Primero instrumentos curriculares, segundo ms talleres para los maestros que son encargados de la implementacin de la Reforma"). He went on to explain that the objectives of the worksho ps were to ensure that teachers could master how to develop, conduct, and evaluate projects, as well as analyze and relate the different materials in a holistic picture ("Los objectivos de los talleres son que los maestros dominan como elaborar, hacer y ev aluar proyectos...y analizar y relacionar los contenidos"). A teacher based in a very remote school retorted that the Ministry needed to understand that the lack of success in the implementation of the Reform was due to the fact that not one project addr essed the needs of the community ("Uds. no logran, porque nunca sale ningun proyecto de las necesidades de la comunidad"). Environmental Education The second major theme discussed with educators in the buffer zone of PNP dealt with environmental educatio n. This next section looks specifically at how educators defined environmental education, including what they considered to be the main objectives, content and themes of EE. The issue of the ejes transversals or interdisciplinary themes, of the Curricul ar Reform came up and developed into rich discussions regarding how environmental education might be infused within the curricula. This led to discussions of the differences between natural science and environmental education. The discussion on environme ntal education concludes with a look at the availability and quality of EE materials.

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241 Defining environmental education I sought to understand how teachers in the buffer zone defined environmental education, as the Curricular Reform identified environment al education as a central objective and a cross cutting theme throughout education. My goal was to understand how teachers were conceptualizing EE. As Table 7.2 illustrates, teachers defined environmental education in a diversity of ways, ranging from th e study of ecosystems to developing a personal conservation ethic and protecting the environment. For comparison, the Reform defined EE as interdisciplinary, based in values, integrating knowledge, attitudes, values, and actions (see Appendix B for the co mplete list of the seven principles of EE in Ecuador). Teachers within the bilingual system were also working with environmental education, although they were emphatic that they did not work with the Curricular Reform and the new ejes transversals Howev er, some did comment that environmental education included teaching about taking care of the environment, and developing awareness about the forest, fauna, and flora ("Cuidar el medio ambiente, conciencia sobre que es el bosque, fauna, flora"). One teach er mentioned a management issue directly related to the Park, commenting that EE included working with parents to stop colonization, since colonization was a strong force in Ecuador ("Trabajando con Padres de Familia, frenar la colonizacin, para no entre el bosque. Colonizacin bien fuerte en Ecuador"). In addition, the interplay between conservation and indigenous rights was raised, when one teacher noted that EE included organizing to defend their lands, and in this way slowing colonization a little.

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242 Table 7.2. Some Definitions of Environmental Education, as Defined by Educators in the Buffer Zone of PNP "Un conocimiento sobre cualquier ecosistema, su cultivo, mantenimiento y cuidado." (Knowledge about whatever ecosystem, its cultivation, mai ntenance and protection.) "Estudio del ecosistema." (Study of the ecosystem.) "Aprender a querer, cuidar y respetar nuestro ecosistema. Es el estudio de todos los seres bioticos y abioticos, sus relaciones, su utilidad e importancia en la vida del hombr e." (Learning to care for, protect and respect our ecosystem. It is the study of all beings, biotic and abiotic, their relations, their utility and importance in the life of humans.) "La educaci n ambiental es todo que se relaciona con la naturaleza." (Environmental education is everything dealing with nature.) "Como la manera de buscar y entregar formas de protecci n del medio." (Manner of looking for and delivering forms of protection to the environment.) "Es el respeto que manifiesta una persona por la naturaleza." (It is the respect that a person manifests for nature.) "La educaci n ambiental es el comportamiento del hombre frente al medio ambiente y su responsibilidad como ser humano." (Environmental education is the behavior of humans rega rding the environment and our responsibility as humans.) He also mentioned that although colonists were entering Nangaritza, it was limited since the Shuar had fought for community land titles, so that individuals could not sell their land ("Organiza r para defender nuestras tierras en esta manera habia un impacto, frenar un poquito. Colonos estan entrando Nangaritza, pero esta delimitada. . Tenemo titulos globales, no pueden vender "). When asked in what grade they believed environmental education should begin, educators unanimously agreed that it should begin very early in a child's education, either in pre kinder or in their first year. Many made the point that we must start early if we are to

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243 succeed. One noted, "I am sure that what one learns in their first years is very difficult to forget, which is not the same with adults" ("Estoy seguro que lo que una persona lo aprendio en sus primeros aos muy dificilmente lo olvidara, no asi con los adultos"). Objectives of environmental education Next I asked teachers to identify what they considered to be the four most important objectives of environmental education. Although the responses were quite diverse, several key themes emerged. First, a majority of teachers discussed the important role of EE in promoting a conservation ethic ("Lograr que el hombre asuma como filosophia de vida la conservacin," "Desarollar valores que permitan respetar y conservar los elementos del ecosistema," "Fortalecer el espirito moral para la conservacin del medio am biente"). Others discussed the importance of developing values ("Valorar a los recursos que posee, Respetar a los recursos, Valorar la preservacin). Many also mentioned the conservation and/or the protection of nature in general terms (" Protegir los ser es abioticos y bioticos, conservar la vida," "Cuidar la naturaleza de manera global," "Para conocer que es el medio ambiente"). Some specifically mentioned the protection of flora and fauna ("Conservar la flora y la fauna para el futuro). Some teachers also made explicit reference to locally relevant environmental issues ("Concienciacin acerca del cuidado de las areas verdes (parques)," "Concientizar sobre nuestro medio en que vivimos"), while one teacher included global issues explicitly ("Evitar la de struccin de capa de ozono"). In addition, one teacher mentioned the promotion of a healthy environment and better health ( "Lograr un ambiente sano,"

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244 "Mejor salud") as two main objectives of EE These objectives coincided with those of the Reform, which included the objective of defending the rights of all people and life forms to live in a healthy environment ("Defender el derecho de todas las personas y formas de vida a virir en un ambiente sano"). Some also spoke explicitly about issues of pollution ( Causas de contaminacin," "Evitar la contaminacin") Content and themes The next question asked teachers to identify the content and central themes of environmental education. Perhaps in no other question was the lack of consensus regarding environmen tal education so clear. The wide diversity of responses illustrated that while many educators had been exposed to the rhetoric of the Curricular Reform, there were still differing perspectives regarding what elements comprised EE. In general, the respons es primarily fell into the broad categories of items related to the environment, agriculture, horticulture, and health. Environmental issues related to global issues such as the destruction of the ozone cap were also mentioned. Only one teacher listed Pa rque Nacional Podocarpus and the impacts of mining as two central themes of EE. Given all the publicity regarding the illegal gold mining in the Park, this finding was surprising. However, given that there is a lack of educational materials that deal wit h local issues, this result is more understandable. In addition, some provided answers that reflected methodology, such as having students reflect on environmental education, write their responses on posters and hang them in the classroom ( "Reflexiones so bre educaci n ambiental y escribir en carteles y pegar en el aula") Another teacher included direct observation ( "la observaci n directa ") in his list of EE themes. Another added that a key element of EE was the elaboration

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245 Table 7.4 Environmental Edu cation Themes and Content, as Identified by Teachers in the Buffer Zone of PNP General What is the environment? How do we protect the environment? How do we care for the environment, for the rivers and green areas? The environment: abiotic and biotic e lements of the ecosystem Ecosystems and their importance What is the environment, how is it formed, and the relationships between its elements Importance of natural resources Air and conservation of the air Soil and soil conservation / Erosion and the impo rtance of soil Water and water conservation / Water pollution Humans and conservation of plants and animals Protecting the air, water, land, plants and animals Species extinction and methods to prevent it Adequate management of plants (reforestation) What is contamination in our environment? / Factors of contamination and the dangers How to prevent contamination Recycling The importance of environmental education Trees, their function in the ecosystem, and how to protect them Do not domesticate wild animal s/ no hunting/ no fishing with barbasco Agriculture/ Horticulture Adequate forms to cultivate agricultural products/ Different cultivation techniques How to cultivate products from each zone using traditional forms The use of pesticides How to grow plant s in our house/ How to grow ornamental plants How to make natural products to cure plants and animals Health Importance of nature to have a healthy life Importance of keeping parks, streets and homes clean How to treat water for domestic use Adequate nutr ition/ Prevention of illness Local issues Podocarpus National Park Contamination of the rivers due to gold mining Artisan mining and its effects on the environment/ Industrial mining Burning of forests/ The destruction of forests/ Deforestation Burning o f tires Global Issues The destruction of the ozone cap How to prevent the development of and use of aerosols Industrialization

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246 of conservation projects, "elaborar proyectos de conservaci n." Table 7.4 summarizes the responses. The findings here are s imilar to those reported by Ham and Sewing (1987), who noted that "the lack of consensus about the scope and content of EE" in the United States had acted as a conceptual barrier to the implementation of EE in the curricula. Educators from the non profit sector noted that these results were valuable, in that they illustrated how their definitions, objectives, and themes were not necessarily correlated with those of the teachers and perhaps working with the teachers might be valuable. The infusion of environmental education In order to gain a more thorough understanding of how teachers were working with the new concept of environmental education as an interdisciplinary theme, I asked them whether or not they included environmental themes in the seven subjects outlined in the Curricular Reform. The subjects were language and communication, mathematics, natural and social environment, natural science, social studies, practice of values, and intercultural studies. If they responded that they did includ e environmental education, I asked them to describe how this was done in order to gain more specific insight regarding the content and methods they used. The intention was to understand how teachers conceptualized and operationalized environmental educati on in their classrooms. The results followed a pattern found in other studies (e.g. Ham and Sewing, 1987). Whereas most teachers said that they included environmental themes in their natural science units, fewer included it social studies lessons. Even fewer addressed issues of environmental education in intercultural studies. Only one teacher (inclusive of all sixty teachers participating in the survey, interview and focus group discussions) said they did not

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247 include environmental themes in any of thes e subjects. The results of the survey that was administered to 18 elementary school teachers is presented in Table 7.5. Table 7.5. Infusion of Environmental Education into the Curricula, as Reported by Teachers in the Buffer Zone of PNP. Subject % incl uding EE (n =17) 1 Natural Science 94% Language and Communication 88% Natural and Social Environment 82% Mathematics 76% Practice of Values 70% Social Studies 59% Intercultural Studies 47% While these percentages were quite high and encouraging, t he very general nature of the responses regarding how the teachers incorporated EE into the different subjects, suggested that these numbers might be misleading. In addition, as seen in the previous discussions, teachers had diverse opinions regarding wha t constituted environmental education, which contributed to the high percentages. In order to get a better feel for this, I observed classes and conducted follow up interviews with educators, which revealed that there was a high level of uncertainty regar ding how EE might be incorporated into the curricula. Teachers in one focus group discussion concurred that "No es bien claro" (It is not very clear), but that they tried whenever they could to include EE in their lessons Therefore, I probed for the spe cifics on how they did so for each of the subjects they taught. Looking at the specific subjects, 94% of the teachers who completed the survey said they included environmental education activities within their classes on natural science. As was mentioned in Chapter 2, Ham and Sewing (1987) found this pattern in the U.S. as well,

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248 and found that it was often the result of teacher training that teaches EE materials in conjunction with the natural sciences. In addition, several teachers mentioned using parti cipatory active learning exercises to teach EE themes within this subject. For example, one teacher said she had her students work in the school garden where they learned to sow a garden and use natural fertilizer ("Trabajan en el huerto escolar . sem brar las plantas y el uso de abono natural") Another had students observe a drop of water from a community faucet in the laboratory ("Laboratorio observaciones una gota de agua del grifo comn"). In contrast to these participatory activities, one teache r indicated that he only included environmental education in his natural science class by using videos. Other specific themes mentioned included the study of biotic and abiotic components of the environment and the protection of the environment, ("seres bioticos y abioticos, cuidado del medio"), the study of air, water and cities, ("estudio del aire, agua, cuidades, etc."), and the importance of air, using conversation and discourse ("La importancia del aire, en trabajos de conversacin, disertacin") In terms of pedagogy, most teachers admitted that they relied on standard course materials (lectures and experiments). They recognized the value of participatory activities, but mentioned that materials and time were limited and they used what was availab le. The tension between rural educators and the National Ministry of Education surfaced again during this discussion as teachers pointed out that they do not appreciate being taken for granted nor welcome the extra workload implied by the Reform. Several teachers commented that the government expected them to put in the extra, unpaid hours to develop new curricula to implement the Reform, and now when the Reform was not succeeding, they were blamed for being lazy and not taking the initiative ("El gobiern o espera que

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249 trabajamos horas impagadas extras a desarrollar los planes nuevos para implementar la Reforma, y ahora cuando la Reforma no triunfa, ellos culpan a nosotros para el ser perezosa y no tomando la iniciativa"). Returning to the survey results we found that language and communication ranked second in terms of teachers including environmental themes, with only two teachers saying they did not include environmental themes in this subject matter. Many said that it was easy to incorporate environ mental themes through the selection of environmental readings ("mediante oraciones, cuentos," mediante lecturas que nos hablan del medio ambiente"). For example, one included reading about the water cycle and then used sentences and words from the rea ding for grammar lessons ("Lecturas sobre ciclo del agua, por ejemplo, y trabajo con oraciones y palabras de la lectura"). Other themes included protection of the ecosystem and the contamination of rivers. Another had her students write stories with envi ronmental themes, while another included both writing and reciting poetry. One teacher clipped newspaper articles that addressed environmental topics and brought them in to class to read and discuss. Teachers' responses placed the subject of natural and social environment ("entorno natural y social"), in third place for the inclusion of EE material. Here, the uncertainty regarding the distinctions between the different subject matters surfaced. For example, one teacher said he included EE in this subjec t by teaching about the dangers of the destruction of the soil ("Los peligros de la destruccin del suelo"). Another educator wrote that she had students compare ecosystems, types of housing, places, and landscapes ("Realizando comparaciones sobre el eco sistema, tipos de vivienda, lugares, paisajes") Another teacher taught about living creatures found in the environment ("Enseando por ejemplo seres que

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250 nos rodean en nuestro medio"). Thus, some teachers included geography while others included earth an d natural sciences as part of this subject. Again this points to the confusion between the objectives and mandate of EE compared to the objectives of natural sciences. In regards to mathematics, four teachers indicated on the survey that they did not inc lude environmental themes in this subject, giving mathematics a fourth place ranking. Unfortunately, many of those who said they did include EE in their math classes did not provide specifics on how they did so. Rather, I received the general response th at they included environmental themes in the formulation of daily problems ("Cuando formulamos problemas cotidianos") However, a few teachers did provide specific examples of the type of math problems they have used, such as the calculation of the numbe r of plastic bags discarded as trash by students after meal times ("Basura: Si 550 alumnos utilizan 3 fundas plsticos con alimentos, Cuntos fundas van al basurero?"). Another said he included problems related to deforestation ("La solucin de problemas sobre la tala de rboles") The next subject I explored was "prctica de valores" or the practice of values. Although not a traditional subject like language or mathematics, it was considered one of the seven main subject components in the new Reform. T he practice of values was also identified as an interdisciplinary theme within the Reform. I was specifically curious to see if any teachers were making connections between EE and the practice of values. From my perspective, linking these two interdiscip linary themes would provide an amazing opportunity to further promote the idea of "Awareness to Action" education. Survey results suggested that some local teachers were thinking along the same lines. For example, one teacher said they were practically o ne and the same thing, as the practice of values was the objective of environmental education ("Son casi lo mismo . Porque la practica de valores

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251 es el objetivo de la educacin ambiental"). Another teacher commented that one way to integrate EE into c lasses about values would be to use talks to teach children to love, value and protect nature ("Enseando mediante charlas a amar, valorar y protegir la naturaleza") Another offered that it meant valuing, conserving, and protecting the resources that t hey have ("Valorar los recursos que tenemos. Conservar y cuidar lo que tenemos"). Another version of this was teaching students to respect nature and not to destroy parks and gardens (Respeto y no destruccin de parques, jardines). However, there were others who used a broader definition for the practice of values. For example, some educators included personal hygiene as a starting point for teaching about maintaining healthy households and environments ("Sobre el aseo personal e higiene del hogar y am biente"). Sharing the harvest from the school gardens with the parents of the children was seen as another potential application of this theme ("Compartir lo que tenemos en nuestro huerto con las familias"). Social studies, which was broadly defined t o include geography, history, civics, sociology, economics, geology, anthropology and political science, had a lower rate of EE infusion, although still over half of the teachers (59%) responded that they included EE in this subject matter. Contradicting this finding, many teachers responded during interviews and focus groups that they did not believe environmental education was part of social studies. The root of these responses were hinted at when one teacher indicated that she did not include environme ntal themes because there was such limited information regarding ancient human groups and how they interacted with the environment ("porque se conoce poco de los hombres antiguos, y como actuan en favor del ambiente"). This comment provides unexpected ins ight into how social studies was defined, and gives clues regarding

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252 what type of information might be useful for promoting the inclusion of EE in this subject matter. This was further supported when one teacher said that environmental themes were addresse d in social studies when they studied the ways of life of their ancestors ("cuando tratamos de maneras de vida de nuestros antepasados"). For those who responded they included environmental themes in social studies, the manner in which they did so was of ten not clear. For example, one teacher responded that she included the "conservation of the oceans" and another named "climate, vegetation, and erosion." Several educators also mentioned geography. How they related these themes to social studies was no t made explicit. Follow up interviews revealed that in these cases teachers had responded with themes they considered as environmental education, but they were unsure how these themes could be woven into social studies curriculum. One teacher replied the y would have students use observation and another stated that they related social studies content to the preservation of the environment ("relacionando los contenidos con la preservacin del medio ambiente"). When I probed what students would observe, or how they related the content to the environment, the answers revealed uncertainty and suggested that environmental themes had probably never been included in their social studies curriculum. Those promoting environmental education in the region might cons ider focusing on this subject, as it was clearly an area that had tremendous potential for growth. Finally, I asked about "Interculturalidad. Much like the results for social studies, the survey responses revealed that teachers were unsure of how intercu ltural studies might translate into daily classroom activities, let alone how environmental education might be integrated within it. For example, one teacher suggested that environmental themes could be added to intercultural studies by teaching respect f or the different eating habits of

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253 different ethnic groups ("Respeto a las costumbres alimentarios del las tnicas") Another said that it dealt with the customs and traditions of the primitive and social cultures ("costumbres y tradiciones de los pueblos primitivos y sociales"). When asked later how this might include environmental education, she responded that it did not, that it was a separate subject. Another supported this position, stating that intercultural studies had to do with teaching students respect for human beings (respeto a seres humanos) and was not really relevant to environmental education. Others argued that the goal of this interdisciplinary theme was to foster equality among Ecuador's diverse ethnic groups, not to promote environmen tal issues. Beyond this lack of consensus regarding the inclusion of EE in intercultural studies, the 47% who said they did include EE when addressing intercultural issues often revealed unsettling prejudices. For example, one teacher suggested that one w ay to incorporate EE would be through "teaching the practice of cleanliness to the primitive tribes" ("Ensear prcticas de aseo a los pueblos primitivos") Another teacher commented that intercultural studies were included in the Reform so as to institut ionalize exchange with other cultural groups ("compartiendo con las dems culturas del lugar") In later group discussions, they characterized this exchange as a positive modernizing force, which would help the indigenous groups raise their low standard of living. These comments can be understood as one legacy of colonialism, which has been woven into the fabric of Latin American culture over the last five centuries. Unfortunately, these attitudes are extremely difficult to change and signify a signific ant barrier to promoting social and environmental justice. On the reverse side, one educator lamented that it was hard to do intercultural studies when so many of the students were colonists and did not have their own culture ("No

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254 podemos hacerlo (Intercu lturalidad) porque hay ms colonos aqu, que no tiene su cultura propia"). This illustrates the common perception that intercultural studies addresses indigenous cultures exclusively, and that colonists do not have culture. Yet, colonists do have cultur e and their knowledge systems have often evolved from a wide variety of indigenous heritages. Quite surprisingly, one bilingual teacher (Quichua) commented that she did not include environmental topics in this theme, noting the disappearance of the cultur e of the Shuaras. This illustrated the distinction she made between Amazon cultures on the one hand and the Sierra cultures (either Saraguro or colonist) on the other. Further discussions revealed that many (whether teachers or not) conceptualized the Am azonian tribes to have a close relationship with nature while overlooking their own relationships with the environment. 2 As suggested by the misconception research discussed in Chapter 2, advocates of environmental education will need to first address the se concepts before being able to promote any systematic cross cultural studies of environmental ethics or resource use patterns. However, some teachers were working with this theme in creative ways. For example, one teacher said you could relate the diffe rent forms of conservation used by the various indigenous groups of the Ecuadorian Amazon and compare them with other ethnic groups of the Sierra ("Narrando hechos e formas de conservacin que mantienen culturas aborigenes de nuestro amazona y comparando con otros grupos tnicos de la sierra"). Another mentioned that it could entail examining the different cultures of Ecuador and their different customs and ways of living ("Nuestras culturas, formas de vida y costumbres") Follow up discussion revealed that hunting and fishing techniques were included within the scope of

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255 this statement, illustrating an opening here that those promoting EE could take advantage of to encourage more comprehensive critical thinking, "Awareness to Action" education. Environm ental education and the natural sciences Complementing the previous discussions, I explored with educators how they distinguished between environmental education and natural sciences. Within the environmental education literature, there was significant di scussion about the distinctions between EE and natural sciences (e.g. Ham and Sewing, 1987). Therefore, I wanted to find out if educators in the buffer zone of PNP were making these same distinctions. This provided another opportunity to explore how thes e educators defined and operationalized EE within their classrooms. While one teacher responded that there was no difference between them, as they both study the ecosystem, ("Yo creo que no hay diferencias ambos estudian el ecosistema"), the majority of ed ucators did differentiate between the two subjects. I found that these distinctions were made primarily based on scope and scale of the content covered. For example, many agreed that environmental education addressed specific issues whereas natural scie nces were general ("La educacin ambiental es especifica, las ciencias naturales son generales") This issue of scale was reflected in a distinction between the study of local environmental issues versus global issues. One person commented that environm ental education was knowledge about the place where we find ourselves, and natural science was broad and very general ("Educacin ambiental es el conocimiento del lugar donde nos encontramos, y ciencias naturales es amplio y muy general"). Echoing this se ntiment, another educator shared that environmental education was about the current reality of our

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256 ecosystem and how citizens must protect and preserve it, whereas natural sciences covered content that was more global, more general and universally accepted ("Educacin ambiental es la realidad actual de nuestro ecosistema y como ciudadania debemos cuidar y preservarlo; en cambio ciencias naturales abarcan contenidos globales, mas generales, munidalmente aceptados"). Interestingly, one educator from a conse rvation organization responded conversely that natural sciences dealt with themes that were more specific and did not have much relationship with other subjects whereas environmental education was an interdisciplinary theme that related to all the other su bjects. When we later discussed this discrepancy in interpretation, she attributed it to the fact that, "teachers do not understand what an interdisciplinary theme is and how to incorporate it" ("los profesores no entienden como es el eje y como manejarl o"). In addition, some responses further reiterated how EE was often conceptualized as a topic to be covered within natural science class. For example, one teacher nested environmental education within natural sciences ("educacin ambiental es parte de las ciencias naturales"). This illustrated the common perception the EE was limited exclusively to this subject area. That this sentiment was widespread attests to the challenge facing those promoting EE as an interdisciplinary theme. Many educators conc eptualized natural sciences as dealing with neutral, universally accepted knowledge, whereas environmental education promoted values and actions. For example, one educator wrote that environmental education was directed toward the protection of the enviro nment for the conservation of human, animal and plant life (specifically) and that natural sciences study humans, animals, plants and their relationship and the environment in a general form ("La educacin ambiental est dirigida al cuidado y

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257 proteccin de l medio para la conservacin de la vida humana, animal y vegetal (especfico). Las C.C.N.N. estudian al hombre, animales, plantas y su interrelacin, estudian la naturaleza en forma general") EE was understood to be concerned with the study and protecti on of the environment ("Preocupa del estudio y protecci n del medio"), whereas natural sciences were defined as the study of plants and animals ("Preocupa del estudios de plantas y animales") Likewise, one teacher made the distinction that natural scien ces addressed knowledge of natural phenomenon and cause and effect, while environmental education promoted respect and conservation of the environment. ( "Ciencias naturales trata del conocimiento de la naturaleza, sus fenomenos, causa y efecto, mientras qu e la educacin ambiental prepara para el respeto y conservacin del medio") Here we clearly see the division of straight science versus an action agenda. This was a positive sign for those promoting EE in the region, for it suggested that educators in the buffer zone conceptualized the goal of EE to be behavior oriented and thus had embraced the "Awareness of Action" philosophy of EE. However, the missed potential to actually achieve the "Action" component of the "Awareness to Action" philosophy was apparent throughout these discussions. Teachers reiterated that the lack of materials and personal experiences with environmental education made it difficult for them to incorporate the "Action" component into their lesson plans. Local conservation group s might work with local teachers to identify those specific actions needed to meet the goal of protecting the environment. As noted by Monroe and De Young (1993) and (De Young 1988), educational programs need to provide functional information on how to do an activity. This led us into discussions regarding access to educational materials and the quality and relevance of these materials to their students' lives.

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258 Environmental education materials A majority of teachers reported that access to environmental education materials (lesson plans, curricular guides, background information and videos) was very limited, especially for those located in the rural areas. In terms of the five point Likert scale, where 1= very bad (muy malo) and 5= excellent (excelente) teachers on average ranked access as poor (2 = malo ). From the responses it became clear that the "poor" ranking was a function of two variables: the materials simply did not exist, or the materials were inaccessible. Many teachers explained that, for the most part, environmental education materials did not exist ("No hay ninguno material," "No existen," "en la mayoria no existen") Others noted that only a very few materials existed, but that they were scarce ( "No hay muchos elaborados," "Son esca sos"). The second issue that arose was the lack of access to the few materials that did exist ("No hay un aceso," "Estan al alcance de acceso," "No existen o no son de facl aceso para los docents" ). One teacher noted that it was difficult to obtain ac cess to environmental videos, as the conservation groups were reluctant to lend them out ("Es difcil obtener estos videos casets, no los prestan") In contrast, one teacher noted that the Department of Education and Fundacin Arcoiris lent out materials, but only for a defined time period so that everyone could use them ("Con la direccin de educacin y con Fundacin Arcoiris solamente se pueden prestar por tiempo definido ya que todos los usan"). Significantly, only one educator named specific location s where teachers might obtain environmental education materials. The fact that this educator came from Loja, and worked for an organization that lent materials made this even more significant. From these findings

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259 it appears that environmental education p rograms in the region might be able to alleviate these problems by identifying ways to publicize their library collections to local teachers, and searching for ways to help improve access to these collections. When teachers were able to obtain access to environmental education materials, most teachers ranked the quality of the materials as poor (2.1 = malo ). Most teachers did not have further comments here, although one commented that materials were below standard ("Baja normal") and another that they we re very poor ( "Muy pobres "). Another said the quality was good, but that there was a lack of preparation ("Bien, pero falta de preparacin") When asked if the materials dealt with issues relevant to the local situation, one teacher responded that she d idn't know for all materials, but that in her school they used direct observation, thus making a link to the local situation ( "No s, pero nosotros empleamos la observacin directa"). Others mentioned that the materials were very bad, because they were no t adapted to their environment, or were developed from other situations ("Muy malo, no se adaptan a nuestro medio," Malo, hay extrapolacin de otras realidades"). In contrast, one teacher thought that EE materials did a good job addressing local issues, but then qualified her answer by noting that these EE materials exist only in limited quantity ("En pequeo cantidad"). I also asked teachers to share their perspectives regarding government expenditures for education, in order to understand more fully the context within which environmental education was working. Given the political and economic instability of the country, and the extremely tense relations between public school teachers and the government, it was not surprising to find teachers offering harsh critiques of the government. Some of their comments are shared in Table 7.6.

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260 Table 7.6 Perspectives Regarding Government Expenditures for Education, as Shared by Teachers in the Buffer Zone of PNP "No hay ayuda para las escuelas de campo." (There is no help for rural schools.) "Muy malo, ya que casi nunca llega a la comunidad." (Very bad, in that almost nothing reaches the community.) "Muy malo, porque el sueldo que recibimos los educadores es nfimo." (Very bad, because the salary tha t educators receive is the worst.) "Malo, falta ms presupuesto para la educaci; los polticos no quieren enterar que la educacin es desarrollo." (Bad, we lack sufficient budget for education, the politicians do not want to pay to develop education.) "Muy malo, no se atiende al profesorado ni se ayuda para la educacin local y gratuita." (Very bad, they do not pay attention to the teachers nor do they help with local public education.) "Muy malo, falta recursos." (Very bad, lack of resources.) "Muy malo, no se cumple." (Very bad, [the government] does not fulfill their obligations.) "Muy malo, del 30% que establece la ley solo se asigna 14% y se propone bajar al 7%." (Very bad, of the 30% that the law establishes, only 14% is assigned [to edu cation] and they are proposing to lower it to 7%.) "Malo, porque no invierten en educacin." (Bad, because they do not invest in education.) "Malsimo. Que desembolso? No hay." (Terrible. What expenditures? There are none.)

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261 Parque Nacional Podo carpus After developing an understanding of the views held by educators regarding the national Curricular Reform, and environmental education specifically, our discussions turned to focus on the third major theme, Parque Nacional Podocarpus. As in the stu dent survey, I asked questions regarding the Park, which were directly related to the main topics and facts presented in local environmental education programs. These discussions facilitated an understanding of teacher knowledge and attitudes regarding lo cal conservation issues. A total of 95% (17/18) of the teachers completing the survey had heard about the Park, and 83% (15/18) had visited the Park. Almost half (10/18) had visited the Park with their students, while the rest had gone with family, frien ds, or Park guards. Those that had taken their students mentioned that they had gone with INEFAN and Fundacin Maquipacuna. In follow up interviews however, many teachers revealed that they had not actually been inside the Park, but rather had gone along the road and stopped to enjoy the river before entering the Park, so as not to have to pay the entrance fee. Next, I asked the teachers to describe the Park, and received passionate responses. One teacher commented on the deep impression the Park had l eft on her, writing, "Que estos lugares son preciosos y con solo verlos, una se queda prendada y motivada a preservarlos" (These places are precious and only by seeing them, does one remain on fire and motivated to preserve them.). Many teachers describe d the physical setting, mentioning the rivers and the forests. The biological diversity of the Park was also referred to commonly. Importantly, many teachers described their appreciation and admiration for the Park. Some of the responses are found liste d in Table 7.7.

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262 Table 7.7 Descriptions of the Park, as Indicated by Teachers in the Buffer Zone of PNP "Tiene una gran cantidad de bosques, quebradas, Ro Bombuscaro, cascadas, casitas para informacin y guardera. Hay variedad de orquideas." (It has a large number of forests, streams, the Bombuscaro river, waterfalls, little houses for information and for the Park guards. There is a variety of orchids.) "Es un lugar donde se escucha los pajaritos, el fresco del bosque es tan natural. El murmullo d el ro es atrayente. Es decir es lugar fantstico." (It is a place where you hear the birds, the fresh air is so natural. The murmuring of the river is attractive. That is to say, it is a fantastic place.) "Recibimos charlas acerca de los animals y sus variedades, acerca de las plantas y sus variedades para motivar a toda la gente que visitan al parque, para que no comentan errores fuera del parque." (We received a talk about the animals and their varieties, about the plants and their varieties, in or der to motivate the people that visited the Park so that they wouldn't commit errors outside of the Park.) "El Parque Nacional Podocarpus es el lugar ms tranquilo en donde se conserva las especies tanto vegetales como animals. Es maravilloso." (Podoca rpus National Park is a more tranquil place, where they conserve both animal and plant species. It is marvelous.) "En Zamora: variedad de aves, sonidos del ro, vegetacin frondosa, el ro es encajonado y caudaloso, para llegar alli hay que caminar ms o menos media hora." (In Zamora: variety of birds, sounds of the river, leafy vegetation, the river is squeezed in and deep. To get there, you have to walk more or less half an hour.) "Es una maravilla . es una gran extensin territorial ubicada al sur de la provincia de Zamora Chichipe, existen especies muy poco conocidas y son especficas, es una reserva ecolgica de incalculable costo." (It is marvelous . it is a large territory located in the south of the province of Zamora Chinchipe, there are species that are not well known and specific [to the area], it is an ecological reserve of incalculable cost.) "Lugar de regocijo, hace meditar sobre perfeccin divina, entiendo que si no cuidamos la naturaleza tendremos un futuro obscuro." (Place of joy, where you can meditate on divine perfection, understand that if we don't take care of nature we will have a dark future.) "Un lugar tranquilo, llena de aves, animals, plantas, bien cuidados." (A tranquil place full of birds, animals, pl ants, well taken care of.)

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263 One teacher who had not visited the Park commented, "A travs de la lectura y comentarios, conozco que es un lugar bello donde se conservan los elementos de la naturaleza sin contaminar, como: el suelo, las plantas, los ani mals, el agua de los ros, el aire, etc." (Through reading and commentaries, I know that it is a beautiful place where they conserve the elements of nature without contamination, like the soil, plants, animals, water of the rivers, the air, etc.) Likewis e, another teacher who had not visited mentioned that the Park contained "Montaas, existencia de animals, ro, etc." (Mountains, the existence of animals, the river, etc.) Another noted that the Park had not caught their attention due to a lack of guides and assistance from the government ( "No les llam la atencin por falta de guias, falt ayuda gubernmental "). In addition to exploring their knowledge and attitudes about the Park, I was interested in learning more about their perspectives regarding the ma in management challenges for the Park. When asked the open ended question "Do you know of any problems or conflicts in respect to the Park?" teachers overwhelmingly named mining as the number one conflict. Given that these teachers were working and livin g in Zamora Chinchipe (Region 2), and the tensions surrounding gold mining in the Park were part of public discourse, this result was not surprising. Yet, recall that only one teacher named mining as a topic for inclusion in EE. In addition, teachers ide ntified other problems: the presence of small farmers in the Park; logging; the lack of government investment to maintain the Park; the lack of respect of visitors; and indiscriminant hunting. Although only a few teachers named logging in this question, w hen I asked specifically if they thought logging was a problem, 89% (16/18) said "Yes." Likewise, when I asked specifically if mining was a problem, 100% (18/18) agreed.

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264 This finding supported the results from 1996 when I asked educators to identify and rank the activities that had a negative impact on the Park. I then asked teachers to discuss their experiences with environmental education programs. Seven of the teachers noted that Fundacin Maquipucuna had visited their schools to conduct talks, share v ideos, and often take their students to the Park. In addition, INEFAN was named by five teachers and Fundacin Arcoiris by four teachers. The majority agreed that the programs had had a positive impact on both themselves and on their students. The only teachers who said the environmental education programs had not had an impact on them, noted that this was only because the programs dealt with information they were already familiar with ("cosas repetidas") Overall, this information revealed that many o f the teachers in the buffer zone have personal knowledge of the Park and positive attitudes toward its continued protection. Interactions with the numerous groups offering environmental education had been generally positive and the only request was that the programs be more formalized so that they could be a regular part of their curriculum. Interestingly, the motivation behind this was not linked to the need to infuse environmental education into the curricula due to the mandate of the Curricular Reform but rather a personal enjoyment and appreciation for the assistance in the classroom. Conservation organizations might explore this further, for teachers have a clear appreciation of the Park, but lack time, materials and experience teaching "Awareness to Action" environmental education.

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265 Teacher Training The fourth and final major theme that was discussed was teacher training. As mentioned in the methods section, preliminary findings from 1997 suggested the need to investigate both the process and con tent of teacher education. Therefore, in 1999 I asked teachers to share their own educational experiences. From our discussions, it became clear that in order to effect change in the classroom, it was necessary to examine not only the curricula, but also pedagogical philosophies and practices. Thus, we discussed methods, teaching philosophy, and how this was developed in their own training to become teachers. Teachers working in the buffer zone noted that several institutions offered teacher training in southern Ecuador. In Loja, the Universidad Nacional de Loja offered a program from which a majority in my sample had been trained. In addition, the bilingual teachers had received their training at the Instituto Bilingue, located in Morono Santiago, a s there were no Bilingual Institutes located in Zamora Chinchipe or Loja. Here they received special preparation for managing the special challenges of providing bilingual education. The theme that dominated these discussions was the fact that environment al education was not infused within teacher training, so that they felt unprepared to include EE in their classrooms. For example, one educator commented that there was not sufficient information or teacher training and another commented that EE was not c lear due to a lack of information. Others mentioned the general confusion teachers had regarding EE due to lack of teacher training ("No existe la suficiente informaci n y capacitaci n de los maestros," "No est clara, falta de informacin," "Manera gener al confusin en los docentes porque les falta capacitacin"). These findings echoed the results of the 1992 study, in which Espinosa et al., (1992: 106) made the following recommendation,

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266 Recomindase la implementacin de cursos sobre educacin ambiental para profesores y supervisores de las escuelas y colegios localizados en la zona de estudio, areas cercanas y poblaciones vecinas, con la finalidad de concientizarlos y transformarlos en la major herramienta de difusin y apoyo en la ardua tarea de educac in ambiental a nivel escolar It is recommend the implementation of environmental education courses for teachers and supervisors of the elementary and high schools located in the study area, nearby areas and neighboring populations, with the objective of making them aware and transform them into the best tool for diffusion and assistance in the arduous task of environmental education at the school level. This lack of training had sometimes resulted in a barrage of criticisms leveled against teachers f rom community members. For example, one person commented that the Reform was not implemented in certain rural areas due to a lack of innovation by the teachers ("[La Reforma] no es aplicada en ciertos lugares rurales y falta la innovacin de la totalidad de profesores") Among the teachers in the buffer zone, as well as within general educational discourse, there was discussion regarding the specific goals and objectives for teacher training. There was general consensus that the content and pedagogical pr actices used in teacher training serve as a model, which new teachers then implement in their own classrooms. The implication was clear: any reform effort needs to start with teacher training programs. Both pre service and in service teacher training ne eds to be revamped so that this training is conducted using experiential and interactive techniques, creating a participatory and democratic classroom. They must value teacher's experiences and knowledge, recognize their frustrations and limitations, and create a learning environment where all feel safe to participate. If these programs simply lecture to teachers about participatory tools without giving them experience using them, teachers are not likely to adopt them.

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267 Discussion Barriers to Promoting E E Examining the discourse of teachers regarding the Curricular Reform, environmental education, the Park, and their own training led to the understanding that the implementation of environmental education within the buffer zone of PNP faced numerous barrie rs. The four broad categories used by Ham and Sewing (1987) to discuss barriers proved to be useful for understanding the findings of this study. These barriers included conceptual, logistical, educational, and attitudinal barriers and all four surfaced in the discussions with educators. First, there was a lack of consensus regarding what constituted environmental education (a conceptual barrier). The mandate to include EE as an interdisciplinary theme throughout the curricula at all grade levels resul ted in many teachers conceptualizing EE in very general terms, which they admitted made it difficult to translate into specific classroom activities. In addition, the diverse perspectives regarding EE meant that the "Action" component of the "Awareness to Action" mandate was often lacking. Second, teachers were working within a national system fraught with problems, where resources were extremely limited (a logistical barrier). Due to the economic crisis, teachers had gone unpaid for months at a time, and the animosity between the government and schoolteachers presented a significant barrier to promoting any education at all, let alone environmental education. Given this climate, many teachers were unwilling to donate any more of their time to develop the new materials necessary for the implementation of the

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268 Curricular Reform. In addition, the lack of adequate teaching materials and funding to support field trips to the Park were frequently mentioned. Third, many teachers expressed that they did not h ave enough experience with environmental education to know how to infuse it into their lesson plans (an educational barrier). Many teachers conveyed an uncertainty to expand their classroom activities into an area that they did not feel competent to teach and lamented that their teacher training programs had not prepared them sufficiently. These teachers were often the ones who were most supportive of the educational programs offered by conservation or governmental organizations. Once again they pointed to the economic and political instability in their country, noting how this had impacted educational reform in their country. One noted that Ecuador was falling behind all other Latin American countries in reforming and modernizing education. This sugge sts that greater collaboration between teachers and those promoting EE programs might be a particularly strategic way to strengthen environmental education in the region. Finally, it was found that teachers' attitudes toward EE and the Park were generally positive and were thus not a barrier to the promotion of EE in the buffer zone. This is important for as mentioned previously, changing attitudes can be an extremely difficult challenge. Therefore, while those wishing to promote EE in the buffer zone ma y face conceptual, logistical and educational barriers, they are not hampered by attitudinal barriers. An Engaged Political Ecology Approach Recognizing the significant constraints faced by teachers in the buffer zone, I explored ways to transform the w ay in which environmental education was being promoted. In this

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269 exploration, I discovered that the insights from political ecology and engaged pedagogy could be brought together, and might help facilitate the "Awareness to Action" agenda of environmental education. This engaged political ecology approach borrows from political ecology its focus on critical analysis of political and economic structures and the articulation between the local, national, and global spheres. Then it borrows from engaged pedag ogy a focus on issues of power in the context of teaching and learning, questioning how and in whose interest knowledge is produced. By bringing these together, environmental education can be transformed, both in terms of content and process. Political e cology analysis contextualizes environmental challenges in students everyday lives, and engaged pedagogy could help to empower and motivate students to take the initiative to seek their own answers, meanings, and decisions concerning the environment. Thus environmental education can create the space in which people can become more fully involved in environmental problem solving. In working with teachers and students, I discovered that what students were learning about the Park was influenced by how they were learning it. The link between method and outcome, specifically in regards to environmental education, has been acknowledged within other sectors. For example, a global on line policy dialogue on Education and Democracy, sponsored by the United State s Agency for International Development (USAID) in March, 2000, addressed these connections. One of the first issues addressed was how classroom teaching and learning practices contributed to student democratic beliefs and practices. Jody Spiro, of the Ed ucation Development Center (EDC) in Central and Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States, reported that EDC's studies of students in five countries demonstrates that students of teachers who use active methods did significantly and meaningfully bet ter in learning the subject matter than students of control group teachers.

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270 She warns however, that we must not assume that just because a program promotes active learning that students are automatically learning. Thus, one of their primary goals was to develop curricula that focus on the development of critical thinking skills, echoing the suggestions being made by some environmental educators. Form and content cannot be separated. If we are teaching about social justice, then we need to create socially just classrooms. If we are teaching about the value of participation, then we must create classrooms where students are encouraged to participate. As Svend Poulsen Hansen (2000) shared, "we have the general notion that with regard to civic education, fo rm and content cannot be separated. To put it in a tough way: you are not able to force or command democratic behaviors." Kurt Meredith of the Office of Education and Democracy at the University of Northern Iowa added, As John Dewey suggested early in t he last century, democracy is not simply a matter of institutional representations and periodic participation in such acts as voting but thrives within the context of daily expression and daily acts which adhere to a democratic ideal and context. [Meredit h, 2000] These "daily acts" include the daily interactions of children and teachers, and must model the ideals we are seeking. Conclusion This chapter examined the perspectives of over sixty educators working in the buffer zone of Parque Nacional Podo carpus. Interviews, focus group discussions, and surveys provided multiple fora for discussing the national Curricular Reform, environmental education, Parque Nacional Podocarpus, and their own training. I sought to understand how they conceptualized the newly introduced interdisciplinary themes, of which environmental

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271 education was one. These discussions revealed how teachers in the buffer zone conceptualized environmental education, from objectives to specific classroom content and activities. By work ing with teachers, I was also able to develop an understanding of their knowledge and attitudes regarding the Park. I found that teachers were generally positive toward environmental education and particularly fond of PNP. In addition, I was interested in what they considered to be the main obstacles to promoting environmental education. The need for further teacher training was an issue brought up by the teachers themselves. There was a desire to improve the content and methods used, but a lack of kno wledge, both technical and procedural. The discussions with educators regarding environmental education led to the identification of the barriers to promoting EE in the region. Understanding these obstacles motivated the search for ways to transform env ironmental education and the discussion returned to the potential of merging the insights of political ecology and engaged pedagogy. Notes 1 Please note that the sample size for the survey was reduced to seventeen educators (from eighteen) due to one teacher who was currently teaching teachers at the University level, and thus not working within this structure of subjects. However, she was an advocate for the infusion of EE in the curricula, a t all levels, and in her classroom on Didctica Parrularia she included EE by discussing norms, habits, and attitudes that they as teachers must develop in children to maintain a healthy and clean environment, and to respect the life of animals and plants. 2 Many feminists and ecofeminists have explored this dichotomy, e.g. Plumwood (1993) and Merchant (1995).

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272 CHAPTER 8 CONCLUSIONS Research Overview Around the globe, a vast array of complex environmental problems threatens the stability of both ecological and social systems. The Amazon, with the largest percentage of intact tropical forests in the world has justifiably become the focus of many conservation efforts. In the 1980s, research began documenting the devastating long term environmental and social consequences of timber and mineral extraction, livestock, and colonization (e.g., Guppy, 1984; Mye rs, 1986; Lutzenberger, 1987; Hecht and Cockburn, 1989; Anderson, 1990; Barraclough and Ghimire, 1990). Research in the 1990s continued to chronicle the destruction and deepened the analysis by looking at multiple scales and multiple actors (e.g., Schmink and Wood, 1992; Diegues, 1992; Grainger, 1993; Sponsel et al., 1996; Faminow, 1998; Barraclough and Ghimire, 2000; Wunder, 2000). In the face of these circumstances, environmental education has become a popular strategy for promoting conservation from t he global to the grassroots level. My research questions were directly derived from this context. In this study I critically analyzed the role of environmental education in promoting conservation, looking specifically at a case study of environmental edu cation in the buffer zone of Parque Nacional Podocarpus (PNP), in southern Ecuador. Political ecology and engaged pedagogical theory provided the theoretical framework for this analysis and defined the general objectives of the study,

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273 which included 1) an alyzing how environmental education is currently used as a conservation strategy in the buffer zone of PNP; 2) exploring the social, economic, and political realities facing the participants in these environmental education programs; 3) identifying student s' and teachers' knowledge and attitudes regarding local conservation issues that are discussed in local environmental education programs; and 4) investigating and analyzing the pedagogical practices used in regular classrooms and in environmental educatio n programs. These objectives reflect the overarching purpose of this research, which was to contribute to the transformation of environmental education into a powerful strategy that would engage students more successfully in environmental problem solving Therefore, I began Chapter 2 by exploring the educational model of social change. In simplified terms, this model assumes that people are behaving in environmentally unfriendly ways because they are ignorant and do not know any better. Lack of knowled ge is the problem. Therefore, providing information through educational programs becomes a central objective. The model then assumes that this information will lead to a corresponding change in attitude, which in turn will lead to the desired change in b ehavior. Thus, in its most simplistic version, the educational model of social change posits that the exploitation and degradation of the environment stems from our not knowing any better, and if we provide the right information, behaviors will change. Ye t, a review of the literature indicated that information alone might not be sufficient to promote behavior change, particularly where there is conflict over natural resources. Drawing from political ecology and engaged pedagogy, I proposed that an "engage d political ecology" approach might be one way to address the underlying power

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274 structures that promoted/permitted/ignored environmental destruction. Within this approach, both issues of content and methodology were addressed. Political ecology contributed a focus on global political and economic power structures. This approach pointed out that education takes place within a landscape of power, and that education alone may not be sufficient to change behaviors. Engaged pedagogy complemented this by adding a concern for power issues in the context of teaching, learning and the construction of knowledge. After discussing the theoretical frameworks, Chapter 3 provided an in depth description of the research design, objectives, and methods. This included de tailed descriptions of the fieldwork I conducted in the buffer zone communities of Parque Nacional Podocarpus in the summers of 1996 and 1997 and in the fall of 1999. Ethnographic interviews, focus group discussions, surveys, participant observation, and mapping activities were all described. In Chapter 4, I applied the engaged political ecology framework to examine environmental education in the buffer zone of Parque Nacional Podocarpus. I began by describing the physical landscape and cataloging the b iological diversity found within the Park. I overlaid this with various social considerations, including the historical, political, and economic development of human settlements in the buffer zone and the national context in Ecuador. This led to an exami nation of natural resource use and the management issues, with particular attention paid to gold mining as an illustrative case. I then introduced the key stakeholders in the management of the Park and described their environmental education strategies fo r confronting these management challenges. This introductory description and analysis of the environmental education programs in the buffer zone was

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275 then expanded upon in the following chapters as students, teachers, and environmental education staff adde d their perspectives. Chapters 5 and 6 explored the issue of environmental education from the perspectives of children. The findings from the survey administered to sixty children in the buffer zone were shared in Chapter 5, while the children's individ ual drawings of the Park were discussed in Chapter 6. Findings indicated that environmental education programs were having a positive impact in the region, although they were not fully meeting their goals. Children who had been involved in environmental education programs knew more about the Park than students who had not, yet there was not a clear correlation between exposure to environmental education and the knowledge levels of the students. Chapter 7 added the perspectives of teachers to the discussio n. Four main themes were discussed: the new Curricular Reform and the place of environmental education as an interdisciplinary theme within it, the meanings of environmental education, local educators' knowledge and attitudes regarding the Park, and teach er training. The discussions emphasized the extremely difficult situation in which educators were working, and the various barriers to promoting EE in the region. Understanding these obstacles motivated the search for ways to transform environmental edu cation and the discussion returned to the potential of merging the insights of political ecology and engaged pedagogy. Strengthening Environmental Education Efforts The survey, mapping, and interview findings were shared and discussed with various st akeholders in the management of the Park, including some of the students, educators, and organizations involved in promoting environmental education. In this process, two distinct

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276 sentiments emerged. On the one hand, some felt very frustrated and discour aged, resigned that EE was doomed in the face of Ecuador's overwhelming political and economic instability. On the other hand, some recognized the positive impacts that the EE programs were having, in spite of the dire political and economic situation, an d took this as an indicator that EE has tremendous potential. They advocated (and I concurred) that EE could be a powerful force for social change. It was this group that prompted conversations exploring how to improve environmental education efforts and encouraged the development of a list of recommendations for strengthening environmental education efforts in the region. These ideas are presented in Table 8.1. The first ideas centered on improving the overall EE strategy in the region through improvin g collaboration: among the various organizations, teachers, students and parents. The lack of collaboration among organizations offering EE programs meant that a comprehensive regional strategy was lacking. Given the significant barriers to promoting EE in the buffer zone, these organizations were missing an opportunity to strengthen their efforts through collaboration. In fact, organizations were often competing against one another to gain access to local schools. Thus, working on inter institutional relationships, creating opportunities for collaboration between EE providers, and developing a comprehensive strategy in which EE programs complement rather than compete with one another were identified as priorities. In addition, collaboration between these organizations and the teachers in the schools was considered vital. In this way, organizations could involve local teachers in the definition of EE goals and objectives and work towards the integration of EE into the

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277 Table 8.1 Recommendations for Improving Environmental Education Programs Overall Strategy: Collaboration and Training Develop collaborative relationships between EE promoters in the region in order to develop a comprehensive EE strategy Develop collaborative relationships with teac hers so that EE visits are not stand alone events, but incorporated into curricula Identify and explicitly articulate program objectives and goals Link all materials and activities explicitly to objectives and goals Increase opportunities for students to p articipate in environmental actions and political change Begin monitoring and evaluation of EE programs, including pre testing and post testing, so that the impact of efforts can be measured Focus on enhancing teacher training in EE at the University level Include professional teachers on the staff or hire consultants to facilitate strategic planning and curricula, evaluation and monitoring development Content and Themes Develop materials and activities that are: directly related to the o bjectives and goals of the program age appropriate less technical ecologically appropriate tailored to local environmental context culturally appropriate incorporating mestizo, Saraguro and Shuar persp ectives inclusive of political, economic and cultural variables relevant and useful to teachers for meeting Curricular Reform requirements Develop sufficient pre trip preparation protocols for Park visits Pedagogy and Process Devel op materials and activities that are: learner centered, emerging from the interests of the students more interactive and experiential geared toward in depth discussion and critical thinking skills designed for th e appropriate audience Create space for students to investigate, experiment, make and correct "mistakes" Model educator's role as facilitator rather than as the ultimate unquestionable authority Provide continuing education and training in current pedagog ical practices for staff Encourage encounters with the community, teachers, parents and students

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278 curricula. Given the numerous constraints facing educators, the need for collaboration between stakeholder groups was apparent. This would be one way to overcome the limited resources and other logistical barriers facing EE advocates, as well as help develop a common understanding of EE. I also advocate that the inclusion of children in the process of developing the EE programs would be beneficial, as wou ld be promoting community involvement. These collaborative processes are all aimed at bringing the different stakeholders together to identify and explicitly articulate EE program objectives and goals. This facilitates the development of program materials and activities and provides the basis from which to evaluate the program. Developing indicators and pre and post testing protocols would enhance previous evaluations that consisted primarily of descriptive statistics (i.e., how many schools were visited ) by providing a means to determine if the program was having any substantive impact. Therefore, the explicit naming of goals and objectives which then inform the development of all materials and activities explicitly, and which form the foundation for ev aluation, were identified as priorities. In addition, monitoring and evaluation provide useful information to educators on how to improve their programs. While these efforts require resources that are currently scarce, educational programs could take advantage of the existence of local universities to encourage students to develop scientific research on methods, materials, and impacts of various EE programs for their thesis projects. Increasing opportunities for students to participate in environmenta l actions and political change is the next critical component. Without increasing these opportunities, environmental education falls short of its "Awareness to Action" mandate and does not

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279 engage with the larger political, economic and social contexts tha t shape human relationships with their environment. Encouraging encounters in which teachers, parents, and students come together to discuss local environmental challenges and identify potential solutions could be a powerful way for communities to address larger political and economic forces. Exchanges between different communities in the buffer zone, and among the mestizo, Shuar, and Saraguro communities might also prove valuable for confronting larger political and economic forces impacting conservation efforts in the region. Small successes at the local level often build momentum and could encourage further action. This transformation from a passive educational process to an engaged one, in which environmental and social justice issues are politicized and where opportunities to participate in activities designed to address these issues are created, is at the core of an engaged political ecology approach. Educators were also interested in improving teacher training programs by increasing their exposure to environmental education concepts and materials, as well as participatory techniques. In addition, teachers felt strongly that local organizations offering EE programs should use professional educators to coordinate their educational programs. Many st aff persons in governmental and conservation organizations involved in EE were not trained educators and did not have experience with curriculum development, pedagogy, or facilitation. Teachers working in the local schools considered this a serious weakne ss. If it was not possible to include professional teachers on their staff, providing training in pedagogical theory and practice to those providing environmental education programs was seen as one way to address this weakness. This training would be pow erful if it facilitated the development of comprehensive educational programs that had explicit learning

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280 objectives, and materials and activities that directly related to these objectives. In addition, organizations could create teams, where staff persons involved in EE are linked with specific local teachers and their students. Working together, these teams could identify specific needs, opportunities, and constraints and could develop comprehensive educational strategies. The second major theme addre ssed the content and themes of environmental education. There was general agreement that educational programs needed to be tailored to local conditions so that they are both ecologically and culturally appropriate. Thus, EE materials and activities would incorporate local habitats, flora, fauna and natural resources. Likewise, discussions of the larger political, economic and cultural contexts would provide a more holistic framework from which to understand local human environment interactions. Adding m estizo, Saraguro and Shuar traditions and knowledge would enrich the activities and discussions. As Husler notes, New non dominating ways of producing knowledge need to be explored in order to overcome the deadlock of western frameworks of thinking and to bring about the much needed transformations toward sustainable development perceived in holistic terms. [1992: 47] Although ensuring that educational materials address the local ecological, political, economic and cultural context will take significant revamping of the current programs, it was recognized as necessary for meeting program goals. Incorporating students into the process of developing materials through exploration and research into the local ecological and cultural context would be one way to get students engaged and to meet the need for relevant materials. Materials must be age appropriate and build on previous and existing initiatives. Likewise, teachers need assistance incorporating environmental education into their classroom activitie s. Those promoting environmental education could develop guides

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281 to help teachers select environmental activities that also meet the State mandated curriculum requirements. As mentioned previously, materials and activities need to be tightly linked to the goals and objectives of the programs. Bringing these components together in a unified program is vital to providing the knowledge and skills necessary to address environmental issues in the region. The third major theme discussed centered on issues of pedagogy and process. As noted in Chapter 7, teachers in the buffer zone considered the Curricular Reform's emphasis on participatory methods to be one of its strengths, and many expressed explicit interest in learning how to use participatory techniques in their classroom. Educators from conservation organizations concurred that it would be valuable to include more experiential learning activities in their environmental education efforts. In addition, developing materials and activities that are more ge ared toward in depth discussion and critical thinking skills was identified as crucial. One way to approach this might be to develop curricula that emerge from the interests of the students. This approach would radically transform current education practi ces in the buffer zone, in that students would be engaged from the very beginning. Rather than adding individual experiential activities into the curricula, students would participate in defining the issues to be explored. By creating a space for student s to identify environmental issues that interest them, and then allowing them to investigate, experiment, make and correct "mistakes", teachers can encourage the development of critical thinking skills, creativity, and self confidence. Perhaps most import antly, by encouraging students to question and explore issues, teachers can reframe their role as someone who facilitates learning rather than as someone who is the ultimate unquestionable authority.

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282 Educators in the buffer zone of PNP recognized the need for continuing education and training for staff in current pedagogical practices. It has been noted (in reference to education in the United States) that, The importance of active learning, which most faculty embrace, along with the reality of student pa ssivity in the classroom, are important issues to today's teaching professor. . Despite our understanding and acceptance of the need for active learning, our classrooms continue to be dominated by teacher talk and other instructional methods that put t he student in the receiving mode. [Weimer, 2000: 1] This is seen as the result of "shallow thinking about active learning." Continuing educational programs could provide a forum for educators to come together to address the challenges they are facing in implementing the participatory processes promoted by the Reform. As discussed previously, engaged pedagogical theory identifies that the way people learn intimately affects what they learn. Thus, in terms of environmental education how we go about promo ting conservation and development (the process) will be inextricably linked with the outcomes of our programs. As Judith Plant (1990: 159) wrote, process has come to be seen as key to our survival. How we go about making decisions and how we act them ou t are as important as what we are trying to decide or do." Strengthening EE programs also demands evaluating who is currently being targeted for environmental education, and determining if they are the appropriate audience given the objectives and goals of the program. Often, when popular culture rallies for the need for more education, the actors are not explicitly identified. Without this, the assumption oftentimes is that it is local people who are perpetrating the offense against biodiversity. So w e must ask explicitly: who are the actors; where does education need to be directed; and how can education be defined so as to promote sustainable resource use? Building on Sterling's analysis of different strategic

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283 approaches to promoting education for s ustainability (Sterling 1996b: 204), programs could be strengthened by asking, "Whose strategy is it? Who is it intended for, who participates in it, and why?" Hand in hand with this is determining the locus of facilitation or energy. Developing a compr ehensive educational strategy requires clearly identified lead persons with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. In regards to educational programs that take participants to the Park, many of the same recommendations applied. Identifying learning o bjectives (and making them explicit) was the first step, which then anchors all activities. For example, if the goal is to develop a conservation consciousness in the local population and to indicate the recreational possibilities of the Park, then teache rs noted that the EE programs promoted by NGOs should be designed so that participants enjoy themselves and develop a personal appreciation of hiking and wildlife viewing. Unfortunately, in the few programs I observed, this was not happening. Rather than discovering hiking as a pleasurable activity, students returned wet, freezing, covered in mud, tired, and oftentimes mad. Likewise, if the objective is to have students learn about the biological diversity of the Park, time would be well spent walking sl owly over a small distance and cataloging the flora and fauna of a small area, rather than going on a long, fast hike in which participants do not see, experience, or learn about local plants and animals. In addition, there was a need for establishing pre trip preparation protocols. This entails providing sufficient background information and adequate logistical information. For example, participants must have appropriate clothing. It is extremely challenging for a student to participate fully and conce ntrate on the materials being presented, if they are wet and cold.

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284 Therefore, consensus was reached that programs could be improved by linking activities more closely to objectives and by developing opportunities for in depth discussion and the applicatio n of critical thinking skills. Educational programs were limited to short lectures that were often superficial, and everyone agreed that providing one or two facts about the Park was insufficient to meet the challenge of promoting conservation. Weimer ( 2000: 4) urges educators to develop an atmosphere where students are actively engaged, not passively receiving information, in order to promote learning. She recommends that teachers evaluate their own classrooms based on three criteria. First, is the is sue of quantity. Educators should examine what overall percentage of their student contact time is devoted to active learning strategies. Second, is the issue of extent. Educators should be aware of how many students are actually participating in these activities, with the goal of including everyone. Third, is the issue of depth. Although it may reduce the number of topics covered, spending enough time to gain an in depth understanding of a subject is more desirable. Providing for extensive rather tha n cursory involvement allows students to really grapple with the information and internalize it. To summarize, the various recommendations that emerged from discussions with local educators illustrate their vision and hopes for improving educational exp eriences in the buffer zone of PNP. Hopefully, these ideas will encourage further discussion and contribute to the transformation of environmental education in the region. Discussion The lack of engaged classrooms in which critical thinking skills are developed through active learning experiences is the legacy of the colonial education model. This top down

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285 approach, based on rote memorization of information (that may or may not be relevant) and the absolute authority of the teacher, still persists. W ithin this structure, indigenous knowledge and other "ways of knowing" are generally systematically neglected. This has several serious consequences. First, a valuable indigenous knowledge source is not being tapped. A significant amount of research (e.g ., Uhl and Clark, 1983; Hecht, 1989; Posey, 1992; Moran, 1993; Bale, 1994; Bissett, 1995; Prain et al., 1999; Huanca, 1999) has illustrated the depth and breadth of indigenous ecological knowledge, which could provide the basis for less destructive land u se strategies. Likewise, research has documented the value of ribereo mestizo, and other local knowledge (Lynch 1995; Padoch and De Jong 1992; Redford 1991). Those seeking to promote conservation through education could strengthen their programs by inc orporating these different "knowledges." As hooks, Freire, and other critical pedagogues have illustrated, a participatory approach would be one way to integrate these different voices. Second, the top down model and the subsequent exclusion of diversity impacts how different groups of people participate in education, conservation, and development programs. Historically, urban, upper class mestizos have found themselves in privileged positions within the educational system, whereas those from rural area s, the lower class, or indigenous groups often have found themselves excluded and marginalized by the national educational system. This reproduces the social system by which some have power and some do not. This also carries over into environmental and n atural resource issues, maintaining the social system in which some have access and control over resources and some do not. Again, by using an engaged approach in conservation education, a new space

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286 is created in which all stakeholders can develop skills that will facilitate their participation in the larger processes of negotiating environmental and natural resource management issues. It is one step toward addressing historically unequal power structures. Third, the marginalization of certain groups (ru ral, poor, indigenous, etc.) often results in the exclusion of those whose livelihoods are most directly affected by environmental destruction and degradation in the process of problem solving and the development of viable alternatives. Without incorporat ing the diversity of knowledge systems, coupled with a failure to develop critical thinking skills, many people are neither inclined, nor able to fully participate in environmental problem solving. In this manner, education is failing to address the under lying social, economic and political contexts that give rise to, in this particular case, environmental degradation and destruction. It is important to recognize that the engaged political ecology approach is not a set recipe that will produce the same r esults across different ecological, political, economic, and cultural contexts. Indeed, its very emphasis on process means that there is room for negotiation, for sculpting and shaping the educational process to address the needs and constraints specific to each community. This is important, since even around a single national park there can be stark differences between communities and resource use patterns, as shown in Chapter 4. However, it should be noted that even given this flexibility, and the fac t that educators from Latin America (like Paolo Freire) have pioneered engaged pedagogical theory, this approach process might be rejected by some educators and/or communities as another imposition from outsiders. For example, how Shuar and Saraguro commu nities in the buffer zone would receive this approach is not known.

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287 Conclusion Non governmental organizations, both in Latin America and around the world, have proliferated in attempts to "Save the Rainforest." These groups often include educational pr ograms in their strategy to protect tropical ecosystems, assuming that providing information will lead to a corresponding change in attitude, and then a subsequent change in behavior. However, the impact of educational programs is often uncritically assum ed and left unmeasured. Therefore, in this research I sought to evaluate how environmental education was being employed, and explored how it might be strengthened, by looking at the case study of EE in the buffer zone of Parque Nacional Podocarpus in sout hern Ecuador. Following Noemi Porro (1997: 22), I sought the meshing of "ear, eye and soul perspectives" by talking with and listening to those involved with education the students and the teachers. I sought to illustrate how the economic, political, and cultural spheres are inseparable, and how resource use patterns are inextricably linked to the ecological and social contexts in which they operate. I then explored how resource use patterns are intimately related to how people understand their relations hip with natural areas and one another, which in turn is partly developed in the formal educational system, and influenced by pedagogical philosophies and methods. I hope that my excitement and commitment to transforming the classroom into a place that nur tures an ethic of respect and appreciation for diversity, both biological and cultural, has come through in this work. The arguments and conclusions of this dissertation reflect my heart felt desire to contribute to the conservation of the amazing biologi cal diversity found in the tropics, as well as my continually deepening understanding of the complexities of human environment relationships.

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288 I want to stress that identity and position are fluid in both time and space, and are constantly being negotiate d. Thus, the "voice" used by any stakeholder should not be construed as the one and only position of that actor. Rather, multitudes of variables act together in space and time to influence discourse. Gender, age, marital status, economic class, politica l affiliations, number of children, sexuality, and numerous other variables are all at work. Factors such as where a meeting takes place or whether a meeting is co ed or women/men only have been found to influence outcomes. Therefore, the manner in which management issues are discussed between stakeholders themselves and how they portray these issues to outside researchers can be quite variable. When dealing with natural resource management issues (in which there are a diversity of stakeholders who most likely hold a wide array of positions) this potential fluidity of identity and position intensifies the challenge of managing conflict and promoting conservation. Understanding this fluidity, I want to further stress that the picture I piece together her e is only one possible configuration. It conveys what I saw, heard, and experienced over four years. Within our tradition of written authority, it is all too easy to accept this dissertation as the definitive picture. It is important to remain vigilant and not slip into passive acceptance that the story told here has any singular authority on reality. Indeed, this dissertation captures only a very few moments of the realities of the people living and working around Parque Nacional Podocarpus. In addit ion, I want to stress that environmental education is not value free. Indeed, when EE lives up to its mandate of "Awareness to Action," it challenges this notion. David Orr (1992: 142) argues that, "There are good precedents for the integration of object ivity with a strong value orientation." He cites the examples of educational practices in the fields

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289 of medicine and international relations, which explicitly promote objectivity and a value orientation toward human health (not disease), and the promotion of peace (not war), respectively. He states, "By the same logic, environmental studies ought to have a clear direction favoring harmony between humans and natural systems while preserving objectivity in the handling of facts, data, and logic." Althoug h the long term impact of these environmental education programs might not be visible for decades, this research has shown that environmental education efforts in the buffer zone of PNP are a positive first step. Revamping environmental education to incor porate insights from political ecology and engaged pedagogy would be a powerful way to strengthen these efforts. This approach identifies that it is not always a lack of knowledge that is driving environmentally destructive behavior, but often a political and economic system that depends upon this exploitation. Educators attempting to address this must recognize that historical patterns of colonialism, paternalism, racism, sexism and a system of education that promotes passive learning have all conspired to create the current context in which they work. Engaged pedagogy illustrates that one way for education to confront these issues of social justice is to engage students as active learners. Collaborative learning transforms social relationships of inequ ality, by creating a space where all voices are heard equally. Without these reforms, education reproduces the status quo, and environmental education remains impotent to address the root causes of environmental destruction. Educational programs that do not help students understand the complexity of conservation issues do not prepare them for contributing to their resolution. In the field of conservation, volatile conflicts over natural resources often exist. Education can teach critical thinking skills and encourage students to see beyond simple dichotomies, to the complex nuances

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290 behind natural resource use. An engaged political ecology approach provides space for students to develop dialogue, and thus is more likely to foster collaboration and creati ve development of alternatives. To conclude, by bringing political ecology and engaged pedagogy together, I argue for the adoption of an engaged political ecology approach. This framework would help students understand social, economic, and political ineq ualities and provide them with the skills needed to confront social and environmental challenges. The political ecology approach contributes a more complex analytical framework with which to understand educational processes, by identifying the constraints to promoting conservation through education. It acknowledges that environmental education and c onservation practices do not take place in a vacuum, but within a particular political, economic, cultural, and ecological context. E ven if environmental educ ation programs are strengthened (by including thoughtful analysis of political, economic, and cultural issues and using engaged methods) they still may not be sufficient to change behaviors. Thus, awareness of political, economic, and cultural forces is a n important first step, but it does not by itself necessarily change how people go about their daily lives. That is exactly why environmental educators are seeking ways to promote the "Awareness to Action" approach, where students turn their knowledge int o action. In this manner, environmental education could be transformed into a powerful strategy to address underlying power structures and worldviews that encourage, permit and/or ignore environmental destruction and social inequality.

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289 APPENDIX A LETTERS OF INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT

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297 APPENDIX B PRINCIPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AS LISTED IN THE "PROCESO CONSENSUADA PARA LA REFORMA CURICULA (1997) Los principios que mayor vinculacin presentatn con la educacin formal bsica son: La educacin es un derecho de todos; somo s todos educandos y educadores. La education ambiental debe tener una perspectiva hilstica, que enfocar la relacin entre el ser humano, la naturaleza, el universo de forma interdisciplinaria. La educacin ambiental debe tratar las cuestiones globales crticas, sus causas e interrelaciones en una perspectiva sistmica, en un contexto social e histrico. Aspectos primordiales relacionados a el desarrollo y medio ambiente, tales como poblacin, paz, derechos humanos, democracia, salud, hambre, degradaci n de la flora y fauna deben ser abordados de esta manera. La educacin ambiental no es neutra, est basada en valores especficos. Debe integrar conocimientos, aptitudes, valores, actitudes y acciones; debe convertir cada oportunidad e experiencias educa tivas que abran la inteligencia a la busqueda de sociedades sustentables, base a un pensamiento crtico innovador; por lo tanto, valoriza las diferentes formas de conocimiento. La educacin ambiental es individual y colectiva. Tiene el propsito de forma r ciudadanos con conciencia local y planetaria, que respeten la autodeterminacin de los pueblos y soberana de las naciones. Debe estimular la solidaridad, la igualdad y respeto de los derechos humanos, valindose de estrategias democrticas y de interac cin entre las culturas. Debe recuperar, reconocer, respetar, relfejar y utilizar la historia indgena y las culturas locales, as como promover diversidad cultural, lingustica y ecolgica. Debe promover la cooperacin y dilogo entre los individuos y las instituciones, con la finalidad de crear nuevos modos de vida basados en la satisfaccin de las necesidades bsicas de todos, sin distinciones tnicas, fisicas, de sexo, de edad, de religion, de clases, etc.

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319 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Kathryn A. Lynch was first a dancer, learning the joy of artistic expression in the San Francisco Ballet and Kansas City Ballet. Then her passion for wilderness led her to the University of California at Davis, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning, graduating with honors. In 1990 she participated in Bike Aid This cross country bike ride (Seattle to Washington, D.C.) provided a forum to learn about the linkages between enviro nmental and social justice issues, both in the US and globally. It was a powerful transformative journey. This led her to UC's Education Abroad Program in Costa Rica. While studying tropical biology and ecology, she became an ardent advocate for rainfor est conservation. This brought her to the University of Florida. As a fellow of the Tropical Conservation and Development Program, UF, Kathryn investigated the interconnections among gender, healing and conservation in the northern Peruvian Amazon for her Masters thesis. She also participated in the MERGE (Managing Ecosystems and Resources with a Gender Emphasis) Program, and facilitated and coordinated various workshops and courses on gender analysis and participatory methods, both here at UF and in Latin America. This led to her doctoral research on education as a conservation strategy. Beyond these academic pursuits, she loves the passionate poetry of Joy Harjo and the power of granite in Desolation Wilderness. She is an advocate for alternative transp ortation, peace and the utopian visions of Starhawk. She celebrates the resurgence of midwifery. She finds great peace in yoga and great joy in her flower garden. She considers life a celebration and takes inspiration from the seasons as they swirl arou nd her. Above all, she gives thanks for the truly amazing opportunities, wondrous adventures, and inspiring people that have come her way.


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ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND CONSERVATION
IN SOUTHERN ECUADOR:
CONSTRUCTING AN ENGAGED POLITICAL ECOLOGY APPROACH

















By

KATHRYN A. LYNCH


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2001
































Copyright 2001

by

Kathryn A. Lynch















ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


My most heart-felt thanks go to all the people who contributed to this project. In

Loja, special thanks go to Fundaci6n Ecol6gica Arcoiris, and specifically to Bolivar Tello,

Fausto Lopez, Arturo Jimenez, Elia Gonzales and Angel Hualpa. Their invitation to

collaborate provided me a site and a focus, while their logistical support in 1996 and 1997

made it possible to accomplish all that I did. Likewise, the Fundaci6n Cientifica San

Francisco and specifically Lic. Ruth Espinosa deserve special thanks. Her unflagging

enthusiasm and dedication to improving environmental education in the region is inspiring,

and I am deeply grateful for all her critical input and assistance in the field in 1999.

Likewise, I am thankful for the valuable feedback provided by Dra. Ketty Vivanco at the

Universidad Nacional de Loja, regarding my survey instruments and research design.

Without the support of parents, teachers, and school directors in the region I would

not have been able to conduct this research. I am deeply grateful to them for granting me

permission to interact with their students, and for the time they took to share their

educational experiences as well. Likewise, without the collaboration of the students, I

would have no dissertation. Therefore, special boisterous and rambunctious thanks go to all

of the children who patiently put up with my questions and provided brilliant illustrations of

their communities and the Park.

At the Ministry of the Environment, I am thankful for all of the assistance provided

by Ing. Santos Calder6n, Ing. Luis Medina, Lic. Miguel Angel Rivera, Lic. Itamar C6rdova,









Lie. Liz Jumbo, Luis Tambo, and all the park guards. Their collaboration was crucial for

understanding local management issues and their environmental education strategy.

In Zamora, special thanks are due to Ing. For. Bernardo M. Trelles and Sr. Ivan

Gordillo of Fundaci6n Maquipucuna and all the teachers who welcomed my participation in

their Seminario Taller de Educaci6n Ambiental in 1996. It was with their encouragement

that I tackled a critical analysis of environmental education. I am also indebted to Egda.

Victoria Margarita Nantipa, Zamora Provinical Supervisor of Bilingual Education, for

taking me into the field to visit Shuar schools and to Lic. Miguel Chiriapo and Lic. Miguel

Chumapi Ayui, President of the Federaci6n Shuar de Zamora-Chinchipe. Thanks also go to

Prof Luis Guillermo Marquez for all his enthusiasm and assistance. In Vilcabamba, I am

grateful to Joy and Curtis of Colinas Verdes, and Rogelio Le6n, for their time and

assistance. I would also like to acknowledge Prof Jose A. Solorzano G. and the women in

Loyola who opened their homes and shared their stories with me.

In addition, I want to give special thanks to Rodrigo Tapia and Julio Tapia, who in

1997 shared not only their home with me, but their experiences with conservation and

logging as well. These discussions enriched my understanding of conservation issues in the

area. Likewise, Elena Bastidas and her family-specifically Dr. Milton Bermeo, Alecia and

Pamela-deserve special thanks for giving me a home away from home during my

fieldwork in 1999.

In Quito, I am thankful to Susan Poats for her insights on mapping, and Nicholas for

sparking my enthusiasm for working with students. Luis Suarez and Galo Medino of

EcoCiencia also deserve special thanks for all their logistical help and critical input into the









research design. Thanks also go to Carlos Fierro y Elba Fiallo of Fundaci6n Natura and

Arch. Jaime Ortiz, all of whom facilitated my understanding of the PNP management plan.

I am also indebted to all those who supported me here in the States. I would like to

thank my supervisory committee, Drs. Marianne Schmink, Sandra Russo, Susan Paulson,

Martha Monroe and Dr. Anthony Oliver-Smith, for all of their support and guidance. In

addition, this work benefited from the input of Dr. Tracy Hoover and Dr. Lauren Chapman,

who served on my committee during the early stages. In addition, I would like to thank the

Managing Ecosystems and Resources with a Gender Emphasis (MERGE) Program, the

North-South Center in Miami, and Dr. Sandra Russo for generously providing funding for

field research and the Center for Women's Studies and Gender Research for providing

funding for write-up.

I am truly grateful to my mom and dad, who have given me tremendous love and

support, and to my brother who has generously provided the computer at which I worked.

Likewise, I have been truly blessed by an abundance of love and support from my partner,

Eric Jones. I am also deeply grateful for the friendship and love of my soul sister Amanda

Stronza, which has brought great joy into my life. Likewise, Peter Polshek, Nina Hofer,

Lucien and Solomon Polshek get knock-down hugs for all the joyful playtime (including

beach-time) that kept me balanced during this process. I am also indebted to Lisette Staal

and Elena Bastides for their friendship, support, and insightful comments. Finally, I am

deeply grateful to Mickey Singer for showing me how to find joy even in the midst of fear,

and for inspiring me to live every moment with my heart open, with reckless abandon.















TABLE OF CONTENTS


A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S .................................................................................................. iii

A C R O Y N M S ............................................................ ................ .. x

ABSTRACT ...................... .............. ....................... ................ xi

CHAPTERS

1 IN TR O D U C TIO N ...................................... ........ ......... ..... .... .... .......

The Compelling Need for Biodiversity Conservation ........................................................ 2
Education as a Conservation Strategy ........................................ ......... ............... 4
Research Overview : Objectives and Site ........................................ ....... ............... 8
D issertation O overview ................................................ .. .... ........ .... .. ... 12
N o te s .............................................................................. 1 6

2 THEORETICAL FRAM EW ORKS ........................................ ......................... 18

In tro d u ctio n ........................ ... ................... .................. ................ 1 8
The Educational M odel of Social Change........................ ................... .. ............ 21
K now ledge ................................................................... 22
A ttitu des ....................... ... ............. ... ..................................................... 2 5
B ehaviors.................. .... ...... .................... ............26
Building an "Engaged Political Ecology" Approach. ............................... ................29
An Overview of Political Ecology .................................. .... ...............30
Applying Political Ecology Insights to Environmental Education ...............................34
An Overview of Engaged Pedagogy ............................................ ......................... 36
Paulo Freire .................................... ............................... ........41
b ell h o ok s ................................................................................. ......... ..... 4 3
Applying Political Ecology Insights to Environmental Education ...............................45
C conclusion .............................................................................. ....... ....... 46
N o te s .................................................................................4 8

3 RESEARCH DESIGN AND M ETHODS ........................................ .....................51

In tro d u ctio n ............................................................................................................. 5 1
R research D design .................................................................55









Phase One: Preliminary Site Review (May-July 1996).............................................55
Phase Two: First Field Season (May-August 1997) ..............................................56
Phase Three: Final Field Season (October-December 1999)............................. 61
Strengths and Weaknesses of the Design .......... ......... ........................ ............63
R research M methods ......... ..................... ............ ..................... 64
Ethnographic Interview s. .................................................................................... 65
Focusing on non-governmental and governmental organizations .........................65
Focusing on educators within non-governmental and governmental organizations..66
Focusing on students and teachers (1997)................................ ............... 67
Focusing on teachers (1999) ........................................ ......................... 69
Focusing on community members, parents, resource users.............................. 70
Participant O bservation......... ................. ................... ................... ............... 71
F ocu s G roup D iscu ssions .............................................................. .....................72
Survey Q questionnaire ........................................ ................... .. ...... 74
Individual D raw ings .......... .... .......................... ............... .. ........ .... 77
G group M apping ............................................ .. .. .... ........ ......... 78
C conclusion .......................... .... .............. ..................................... ...........................80
N o te s .........................................................................8 0

4 THE POLITICAL ECOLOGY OF PARQUE NATIONAL PODOCARPUS ................82

In tro du ctio n ...................................................................... ................. 8 2
Examining the Park Through a Political Ecology Lens ............................................... 83
E ecological C onsiderations................................................. ............. ............... 83
Local Political, Economic and Social Considerations ...........................................86
National and International Considerations ...................................... ............... 92
Management Challenges for Parque Nacional Podocarpus .......................................98
Gold M ining............... ............ .. .......... ... ................................... 100
Environmental Educational Efforts Responding to these Challenges..........................106
Background: A brief history of education in Ecuador .............. ..................... 107
Governmental efforts: Ministerio del Ambiente (MMA) ....................................111
N on-governm ental organization efforts ......................................... ...............115
C onclu sion ......................................................................................... .. .. .... 12 5
N o te s ............................................................................. 1 2 8

5 THE PERSPECTIVES OF CHILDREN, PART I: SURVEY RESPONSES ............133

Introdu action ...................................... ................................................ 13 3
M eth o d s ................................................................................................... 1 3 4
The Schools in the Sam ple............................................. ............................. 134
A cadem ic C context .......................................... .......................... 135
R research Findings ........................................................... ................. 136
Demographic Data .................. ............................ .. ...... ................. 136
Parque N acional Podocarpus ...........................................................................141
Park biodiversity .............................................. .... .. .. ................ 150









W after resources ................................................... ........... ................ .. 161
Human relationships with the Park .............. ............................................. 165
Legal aspects .................. ................ ............................. .. ......... 168
Personal experiences with the Park ............ ............................................. 171
M anagem ent issues ............................................ .. ....... ..................172
D discussion ................................................................... ......... ........... 177
Equity Issues: Universal Access to Education......................................................... 178
Quality Issues: Content .................. ........................ .. .... .. .. ................. 179
Q quality Issu es: M methods .......................................................................... ......... 18 1
Pedagogical Philosophy and the Conceptualization of the Child ............................. 181
C o n clu sio n ...................................... ................................................ 1 8 3
N o te s ............................................................................. 1 8 4

6 THE PERSPECTIVES OF CHILDREN, PART II: VISUAL REPRESENTATIONS
OF THE PARK .................. ................ .............. .............. ........... 187

Introduction .................................. ................................. .......... 187
M methods .............................................. ..... ............. ....... ..... .......... 188
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Mapping .................................................1 88
Interpreting and Understanding Children's Maps ............................................... 193
Research Findings ..................................... .................................. .. 195
Topography ............................ .......................................... 195
W after ...................... .. .. .......... ... ..............................................2 0 0
Biological D diversity .................................... ..... ..... .................... 205
Human Relationships with the Park............................... ........................209
Gender Relations ................ ............. ......................... .... .......... .. 214
Elem ents of Political Ecology ..................................................... .. .....................218
G group M apping ...................... ...................... ... .... ........ ......... 221
C conclusion ...................... .. .. .......... ........ ....... .................. .. ............. 22 1
N o te s ............................................................................. 2 2 5

7 THE PERSPECTIVES OF EDUCATORS........ ........... ........................ 226

Introdu action ...................... .. .. ......... .. .. ................................................2 2 6
R research Findings ............... .................................... ............ ............ 227
The National Curricular Reform ................... ..................... ............... 227
Ejes transversals ............................................... .... .. .. .. ........ .... 231
B benefits of the R eform ........................................................................ ... ..... 233
Problem s w ith the R eform .................................................................... ..... 234
Environm ental Education ............................................. .............................. 240
Defining environm mental education................................... ....................... 241
Objectives of environm ental education ........................................... .................243
C content and them es ..................................................................... 244
The infusion of environmental education ............ ............ ..................... 246
Environmental education and the natural sciences ...........................................255









Environmental education materials .......................................... ..............258
Parque Nacional Podocarpus ...........................................................................261
Teacher Training .......... .. ......................................... ................. 265
D discussion ............................................................................... .............. .. ......... 267
B barriers to Prom voting EE ............. ................................................ ............... 267
An Engaged Political Ecology Approach......................................................268
Conclusion................... ............................. 270
N o te s .................................................................................................................... 2 7 1

8 C O N C L U SIO N S ...............................................................272

R research O overview .................................................................... ........... 272
Strengthening Environmental Education Efforts ............................................................275
D iscu ssio n ........................................................................................2 8 4
C conclusion ....................................................................................................... ....... 287

APPENDICES

A LETTERS OF INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT ............................................................291

Fundaci6n Ecol6gica Arcoiris ..............................................................292
Institute Ecuatoriano Forestal y de Areas Naturales y Vida Silvestre...........................293
Fundaci6n M aquipucuna ........................................ ............................................294
Estaci6n Cientifica San Francisco............................................................................. 295
Direcci6n Provincial de Educaci6n y Cultura de Zamora Chinchipe............................296

B SEVEN PRINCIPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION..............................297

L ITE R A T U R E C ITE D ........................................................................... .....................298

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH........ .................................... .................. ............... 19















ACRONYMS


CI
CORDAVI
CONASEP
EE
FAI
FCV
FM
FN
FCSF
GLOBE
IMF
INCRAE
INEFAN
INEMIN
MAG
MEC
MERGE
MMA
NGO
PAZ

PMSC
PNP
TNC
SAID
WWF
UNESCO


Conservation International
Corporaci6n de Defensa de la Vida
Confederaci6n Nacional de Servidores Publicos
Environmental Education
Fundaci6n Ecol6gica Arcoiris
Fundaci6n Colinas Verdes
Fundaci6n Maquipucuna
Fundaci6n Natura
Fundaci6n Cientifica San Francisco
Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment
International Monetary Fund
Institute Nacional de Colonizaci6n de la Region Amazonica
Institute Ecuatoriano Forestal de Areas Naturales y Vida Silvestre
Institute Ecuatoriano de Mineria
Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganaderia
Ministerio de Educaci6n y Cultura
Managing Ecosystems and Resources with a Gender Emphasis
Ministerio del Ambiente
Non-governmental organization
Proyecto de Conservaci6n Participativa de los Recursos Naturales del
Bosque Humedo Tropical del PNP y su Zona de Amortiguamiento
Proyecto Mineria sin Contaminaci6n
Parque Nacional Podocarpus
The Nature Conservancy
United States Agency for International Development
World Wildlife Fund
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy


ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND CONSERVATION
IN SOUTHERN ECUADOR:
CONSTRUCTING AN ENGAGED POLITICAL ECOLOGY APPROACH



By

Kathryn A. Lynch

December 2001




Chair: Marianne Schmink
Major Department: Anthropology


In this study I explored the role of environmental education in promoting

conservation, looking specifically at a case study of environmental education in the buffer

zone of Parque Nacional Podocarpus (PNP), in southern Ecuador. Political ecology and

engaged pedagogical theory provided the theoretical framework for the analysis and defined

the objectives of the study, which included: 1) analyzing how environmental education was

used as a conservation strategy in the buffer zone of PNP; 2) exploring the social, economic,

and political realities facing the participants in these environmental education programs; 3)

identifying students' and teachers' knowledge and attitudes regarding local conservation

issues that were discussed in local environmental education programs; and 4) investigating









and analyzing the pedagogical practices used in regular classrooms and in environmental

education programs. These objectives reflect the overarching purpose of this research,

which was to contribute to the development of new approaches to environmental education

that would engage students more successfully in environmental activism and provide

knowledge and analytical skills that will be more useful in students' struggle for meaningful

livelihoods.

Field visits were conducted over a period of four years in the communities

surrounding the Park, where I worked with children, parents, teachers, school

administrators, and those promoting environmental education from within conservation

organizations and government ministries. Ethnographic interviews, focus group

discussions, surveys, participant observation, and individual and group mapping activities

all contributed to addressing the objectives of the study. From these experiences emerged

an understanding that while environmental education is having a positive impact in the

region, it could be strengthened.

By bringing political ecology and engaged pedagogy together, I argue for the

adoption of an engaged political ecology approach, which would address social, economic

and political inequalities and provide students with the skills needed to confront these social

and environmental challenges. In this manner, environmental education could be

transformed into a powerful strategy to address underlying power structures and worldviews

that encourage, permit and/or ignore environmental destruction and social inequality.















CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION


The biological consequences of tropical deforestation are grave and the political and

economic forces shaping land-use patterns in the Amazon are extremely complicated. As

De Young (1993: 485) notes, "Never before have so many behaviors needed to change in so

short a time." Yet, discerning the relationship between individual behavior and global

political and economic forces is a daunting challenge and leaves those promoting

conservation with the difficult task of determining how to change environmentally unsound

behaviors.

One of the most popular strategies that has emerged is environmental education (EE).

Conservation organizations and governmental entities alike have embraced environmental

education as an integral part of their agendas. Yet, there is often a lack of critical analysis

regarding how EE programs are contributing to conservation goals. Due to the undisputed

need for improved education in most tropical areas, environmental education proposals are

rarely questioned or critically evaluated. However, without a careful examination of the

mechanisms by which environmental education might promote the goal of protecting

biodiversity, these programs may fail to contribute meaningfully to conservation efforts.

Therefore, this dissertation explores the role of environmental education in

promoting conservation, looking specifically at EE in the buffer zone of Parque Nacional

Podocarpus (PNP), in southern Ecuador. I draw on field visits over a period of four years

in the communities surrounding the Park, where I worked with children, parents,









teachers, school administrators, and those promoting EE from within conservation

organizations and government ministries. From these experiences emerged an analysis of

how environmental education is currently used as a conservation strategy, and how it

might be transformed into a powerful tool that addresses underlying power structures and

worldviews that encourage, permit and/or ignore environmental destruction.



The Compelling Need for Biodiversity Conservation


Scientists estimate that over 50% of the Earth's species are harbored in tropical rain

forest ecosystems, although they cover only 7% of the Earth's land surface (Wilson 1988: 8).

However, with many areas still unexplored and uncatalogued by scientists, the total number

of species that live in these ecosystems remains largely unknown. This legendary biological

diversity tends to defy scientific efforts to quantify it. For example, the whole of the British

Isles has a comparable amount of ant species, to that of a single tree in Tambopata, Peru

(Wilson, 1987).2

Understanding the complexity of the interrelationships among this multitude of

species is a Herculean task: nutrient and energy cycling; soil structure and fertility;

watershed management; fire regimes; succession; migration patterns; food webs; pollination

and seed dispersal mechanisms; hosts, parasites and symbiosis; etc. The elaborate and

intricate entanglement of elements is exquisite. As Barbara Kingsolver eloquently writes,

Every space is filled with life .... Vines strangling their own kin in the
everlasting wrestle for sunlight. The breathing of monkeys. A glide of snake
belly on branch. A single-file army of ants biting a mammoth tree into uniform
grains and hauling it down to the dark for their ravenous queen. And, in reply, a
choir of seedlings arching their necks out of rotted tree stumps, sucking life out of
death. This forest eats itself and lives forever. [Kingsolver, 1998: 5]









Add to this the dimension of time and all the corresponding issues of seasonality, weather

patterns and other long-term cycles. Next add the dimension of scale and all the global

issues such as carbon dioxide sinks and marine fisheries. With all of this, the more closely

we look, the more complexity and interdependence are revealed. As John Muir (1911: 110)

noted, "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in

the Universe."

Despite a growing awareness of the complexity of ecological systems, the rate of

biodiversity destruction is stunning.3 Globally, species are now disappearing at 100 times

the average rate of extinction known to have occurred in historic times (Leakey 1995; Myers

1992). In addition, the destruction of ecosystems often leads to the failure of critical

ecosystem functions, such as the maintenance of air, water, and soil quality (Gash et al.,

1996; Sharma 1992; Myers 1992; Blaikie and Brookfield, 1987; Ehrlich and Ehrlich, 1981).

Accompanying the loss of biological diversity and ecosystem functions, tropical

deforestation also has serious social consequences. As Anderson writes,

The tragedy of deforestation in Amazonia as well as elsewhere in the tropics is that
its costs, in both economic, social, cultural, and aesthetic terms, far out-weigh its
benefits ... deforestation usually leaves behind landscapes that are economically as
well as ecologically impoverished. [Anderson, 1990: xi]

The Amazon, containing the largest percentage of tropical forests left intact in the

world, has justifiably become the focus of many conservation efforts. The variety of threats

to Amazonian forests, such as timber and mineral extraction, cattle ranching, and

colonization have been well documented (e.g., Guppy, 1984; Myers, 1986; Schmink and

Wood, 1992; Hecht and Cockburn, 1989). Likewise, a variety of research has sought to

determine the rates of deforestation and land-cover change due to these activities (e.g.,

Feamside et al., 1990; Wood and Skole 1998), as well as to address the dynamics and









consequences of deforestation (e.g., Anderson 1990, Barraclough and Ghimire 1990; 2000;

Moran, 1996; Place, 2001).4 A significant amount of energy has also gone into identifying

alternatives to deforestation, such as the creation of extractive reserves or developing land-

use systems based on indigenous knowledge.5 Complementing these efforts has been a

growing emphasis on environmental education to promote conservation.



Education as a Conservation Strategy


Given the biological diversity of tropical ecosystems and the multiple threats to these

systems, conservationists face the difficult task of determining what strategy to pursue to

protect the natural riches of the tropics and promote their sustainable use and social justice.

Education is often invoked as an integral part of the solution. Around the globe,

environmental education has become a popular strategy for promoting the conservation of

biological diversity. For example, international conservation organizations such as

Conservation International (CI) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have provided support for

local educational efforts around the globe. CI has been involved with educational programs

to protect sea turtles in Colombia, the Eco-escuela in the Mayan Biosphere, and educational

activities in Brazil to promote the creation of private reserves (CI, 1993). Likewise, the

Peace Corps is striving to make environmental education an integral part of their programs.6

Even within academia, researchers have recognized the need to move beyond pure research

and participate in educating the public about conservation issues (Feinsinger, 1987).

At the national level, governmental organizations are incorporating environmental

education into their mandates. Ecuador, the focus of this study, is no exception.

Environmental education is being integrated throughout the curricula as an









interdisciplinary theme at all grade levels, by mandate of the national Curricular Reform,

under the direction of the Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC).

In addition to these governmental actions, conservation organizations are visible actors

in the environmental education arena. Recognizing the opportunity provided by the new

Curricular Reform, national and grassroots conservation organizations have mobilized to

help teachers and schools meet this new requirement. EcoCiencia, a national conservation

organization in Ecuador, promotes environmental education as a key conservation strategy.


Es obvia la crisis ambiental. la vivimos contidianamente y afecta la calidad de
nuestras vidas. Sin embargo, losproblemas son complejos de afrontar. De ahi que
la educaci6n ambiental es esencialpara comprender y paticipar en la soluci6n de
estos problems. La educaci6n es la base para posibilitar un cambio en las mentes,
corazones y acciones de cada individuo y en la sociedad como un todo.
[EcoCiencia, 1994: 4]

The environmental crisis is obvious: we live with it daily and it affects the quality of
our lives. However, addressing these problems is complicated. That's why
environmental education is essential for understanding and participating in the
solutions to these problems. Through education it is possible to change the thinking,
hearts and actions of every individual and throughout our society.


At the local level, grassroots organizations like Fundaci6n Arcoiris, in southern

Ecuador, have identified education as one of their main strategies for reaching their goal of

promoting the conservation of local biological diversity. They have brought students to

Parque Nacional Podocarpus, so that they might learn about its biological diversity first-

hand. As EcoCiencia noted,

La crisis ambiental planted la necesidad de una educaci6n que colabore con el
establecimiento de relaciones mds armoniosas entire la gente y su entorno.... Solo a
travis de la educaci6n y visit a istas dreas valoraremos el hecho de que, apesar de
ser uno de lospaises mdsj pequtnii de nuestro continent, el Ecuador posee una de
las mayores diversidades de species animals y vegetables del mundo. [1994: 13]

The environmental crisis presents the need for an environmental education that
establishes more harmonious relationships between humans and their environment.









... Only through education and visits to these areas can we value the fact that, in
spite of being one of the smallest countries of our continent, Ecuador possesses one
of the richest diversity of animal and plant species in the world.

Social research conducted in this area has supported and encouraged these efforts. For

example, a socio-economic analysis of buffer zone communities of Parque Nacional

Podocarpus recommended the implementation of environmental education campaigns, at all

grade levels, as well as teacher training programs about environmental education and the

development of educational materials (Espinosa et al., 1992: 106).

In addition, in 1994, the Ecuadorian Institute of Forestry, Natural Areas and

Wildlife (INEFAN) received $7.2 million from the World Bank through the Global

Environment Facility (GEF) to develop a master plan for the protection of biodiversity in

Ecuador. One of the primary foci of this project was education and training in the buffer

zones of protected areas (Suarez et al., 2001: 232).7 Although this project funding has

ended, and INEFAN was absorbed by the new Ministry of the Environment (Ministerio

delAmbiente) in January 1999, environmental education continues to be recognized as a

national priority. These few examples illustrate how environmental education has become

a major component of conservation strategies at various scales.

Yet, those promoting conservation must confront a daunting variety of challenges. Orr

(1992: 141-146) notes that the current paradigm, which "emphasizes human dominance over

the natural world, consumption, economic growth, and science and technology, and is

organized around nation-states and corporations" presents a significant challenge to

promoting conservation through education. Questioning the consequences of this paradigm

and changing how we conceptualize our relationship with the natural world, as well as how

we envision social relationships, is thus at the very core of environmental education. When

actively pursued, many refer to this as education for sustainability.









In addition, educational systems in Latin America face huge political and economic

obstacles (see Organizaci6n de los Estados Americanos, 1992; Merino, 1984; Velasquez

Cevallos, 1980; Arizpe, 1993; Herz, 1990). Research has poignantly illustrated how the

political and economic constraints facing education in Latin America have translated into

subsequent poor educational performance of students (e.g., Harbison and Hanushek, 1992).

This is the overarching context in which environmental education must operate.

Additionally, natural resource issues often revolve around the negotiation of conflicts

between multiple stakeholders at multiple levels. This often entails multi-scale variables,

from local livelihood strategies to forces of global capitalism. Environmental education

aimed at changing human relationships with the natural world, must address this complexity

and recognize that information may be necessary but not sufficient to change behaviors. In

addition, De Young points out that we are faced with the challenge of changing a wide

variety of resource-costly behaviors, and making these changes stick. He writes, "For many

reasons the techniques commonly used to promote conservation behavior are more reliable

at modulating short-term behavior than at achieving durable change" (De Young 1993: 485).

Although environmental education is popular, opportunities exist to increase and

improve EE experiences. For example, in Ecuador specifically, Fierro, Medina and Castillo

(1993) indicated that only 19 of the 95 private reserves in Ecuador (outside the National

Protected Areas system) were oriented toward conservation, research, environmental

education, ecotourism or sustainable management. Fewer demonstrated effectiveness in

promoting conservation (Josse and Cano, 2001: 168). Furthermore, the authors noted a

scarcity of educational projects in the national Agricultural Extension Centers and how this

was a missed opportunity for promoting conservation values (Josse and Cano, 2001: 178).









To summarize, there is a compelling need to promote conservation, and environmental

education programs are a popular strategy for doing so. In Ecuador, even in the midst of

severe economic crisis, environmental education remained prominent in national discourse.

Attention has been brought to how educational efforts need to be improved and expanded to

meet the challenges of biodiversity conservation. Therefore, there is a clear need to better

understand the linkages between education and behavior, and the potential for

environmental education to promote conservation. My research questions and objectives

emerge directly from this context.



Research Overview: Objectives and Site


In this study I explored the role of environmental education in promoting

conservation, looking specifically at a case study of environmental education in the buffer

zone of Parque Nacional Podocarpus (PNP), in southern Ecuador. Political ecology and

engaged pedagogical theory provided the theoretical framework for this analysis and defined

the general objectives of the study, which included 1) analyzing how environmental

education is currently used as a conservation strategy in the buffer zone of PNP; 2)

exploring the social, economic, and political realities facing the participants in these

environmental education programs; 3) identifying students' and teachers' knowledge and

attitudes regarding conservation issues that are discussed in local environmental education

programs; and 4) investigating and analyzing the pedagogical practices used in regular

classrooms and in environmental education programs. These objectives reflect the

overarching purpose of this research, which was to contribute to the development of new

approaches to environmental education that would engage students more successfully in









environmental activism and provide knowledge and analytical skills that will be more useful

in students' struggles for meaningful livelihoods.

In order to address these objectives, I worked directly with those providing

environmental education in the communities surrounding the Park, as well as with those

receiving environmental education. The communities surrounding the Park provided an

ideal location for this investigation for several reasons. First, the need to protect the

biological diversity of the Park had garnered local, national and international attention.

Second, numerous groups in the region were attempting to promote conservation using

environmental education. Third, various educators and conservationists in the region were

actively seeking input and recommendations on how to improve their educational programs.

To provide some background, Parque Nacional Podocarpus was established in 1982,

and protects 146,280 hectares of tropical forest, cloud forest and highland pdramo (alpine

tundra) habitat in the Provinces of Loja and Zamora-Chinchipe. It protects the last large

tracts of undisturbed forest in southern Ecuador, and provides refuge for large mammals

such as jaguar and spectacled bear. Ornithological research has found this area to be one of

the world's richest areas for avifauna, and botanical research has found it to be impressive,

particularly in orchids. The Park's name comes from the only conifer genus native to

Ecuador, the Podocarpus, which is found in this region. See Figure 1.1 for a map of

Ecuador and Figure 1.2 for a map of the research site.





10






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S GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

GALAPAGOS PACIFIC
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ern andna l Ancdn de Sardina
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ECUADOR

O National capital
Provincial capital
o City, town
-**-- International boundary
----- Provincial boundary
Pan American highway
Primary road
SSecondary road
Railroad
S Major airport
0 50 100 150km

0 50 100 mi


Figure 1-1. Map of Ecuador


AGO

,,,,...*










Scale Area
1:200,000 146,230 Has


To Quito


Loja




Quillollaco *




SanPedro de


SJamboe Bajo
' Jamboe Alto
Sacantza


Parque


Nacional


Yangana


Podocarpus


V alladolid


Tapala


El Porvnir


N

, 1


Figure 1.2 Map of Research Site









In addition, the Park also provides valuable ecosystem services, as it is the principal

water source for the communities surrounding the Park. These include the Provincial

capitals of Loja and Zamora, as well as numerous smaller rural agricultural communities.

While mestizo communities are found throughout the buffer zone, highland Saraguro

Indians have settled primarily along the northeastern border of the Park, and Shuar

communities are found along the eastern border of the Park. Crops grown in the higher

areas include corn, sugar cane, coffee and a variety of fruits among others, whereas

plantains and manioc are found in the Amazon region. Cattle ranching is also a primary

activity. Primary resource management issues relating to the Park include the expanding

agricultural frontier, maintaining safe water supplies, gold mining, and timber harvesting.



Dissertation Overview


Chapter 2 begins by discussing the development of environmental education and how

it is situated within a broader educational framework, which Bernard (1994) named the

educational model of social change. The key variables in the educational model of social

change-knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors-are defined and discussed in depth in an

attempt to understand the relationships among them. From this discussion a critique

emerges. Drawing on political ecology and engaged pedagogy, I propose an "engaged

political ecology" approach. In this approach, the ecological and cultural contexts, as well

as economic and political structures across scales, are recognized as fundamental forces that

impact educational programs. Likewise, within this approach, an experiential, engaged

classroom that encourages critical thinking and involvement with the issues is promoted. I

argue that this engaged approach is necessary for addressing underlying social, economic,









and political (i.e., power) structures and worldviews that encourage, permit, and/or ignore

environmental destruction and social inequality.

Chapter 3 builds on this theoretical foundation and outlines the research design,

objectives, and methods. I begin with an introductory overview of the evolution of my

research design over its four years, outlining the primary objectives and activities

undertaken in each year. I then discuss each field season, and provide a detailed description

of the various methods used, including ethnographic interviews, focus group discussions,

surveys, participant observation, and individual and group mapping activities. The

discussion concludes by looking at the strengths and weaknesses of this research design.

Chapter 4 applies the engaged political ecology approach developed in Chapter 2 to

explore the complexities of promoting conservation in the buffer zone of Parque Nacional

Podocarpus. I argue that it is critical to understand the ecological, economic, political, and

social context, at various scales in which environmental education is operating. Therefore, I

begin with a description of the field site, including a discussion of these various facets.

These local conditions are then located within the national and international context to

provide a foundation from which to understand the main management issues for Parque

Nacional Podocarpus. I focus on one issue, that of gold mining, as it is a particularly

volatile issue in the region. I then introduce the key stakeholders in the management of the

Park and their strategies for confronting the management challenges. These strategies,

without exception, include environmental education, and thus the discussion progresses into

a description of the evolution of education in Ecuador (in the broadest of terms) in order to

situate current educational policy and practices in historical perspective and then to an

analysis of these environmental education programs.









In Chapter 5, I explore the perspectives of the children I worked with in the buffer

zone of the Park. I focus specifically on the results from the survey and interviews,

which were designed to address whether student participation in environmental education

programs had changed their knowledge regarding local conservation issues. I found that

although the educational programs were not fully meeting their goals, they were having a

positive impact. Students who had been involved in the educational programs did have

greater knowledge about the Park. They also illustrated that what they were learning

about the Park and conservation was influenced by how they were learning it.

Chapter 6 then delves into an analysis of the individual drawing activity, which

provided another medium for the children to express themselves and gave further insight

into how they understood their own cultural and ecological environments, including their

relationship with the Park. I analyzed the drawings by asking five principal questions that

reflected the key ecological relationships and issues discussed in local environmental

education programs. The questions were how did the students portray: 1) local

topography; 2) the water cycle; 3) biological diversity; 4) human interaction with the

Park; and 5) gender roles? I began by listing and categorizing all elements that appeared

in the drawings. Then I looked for elements relating to the five questions above. The

results indicated that environmental education programs are having a positive impact on

student knowledge about the Park, although they are not reaching their objectives fully.

Chapter 7 adds the voices of teachers, educators, and government officials to the

discussion. In this chapter we hear their perspectives regarding four main themes. First, the

discussion addresses the Curricular Reform and the role of environmental education within

this new system. This leads to a more narrow focus on defining environmental education

and how it is used in the buffer zone of PNP. Following this, local educators' knowledge









and attitudes regarding the Park are discussed. Through these discussions it became

apparent that there is no consensus regarding what environmental education entails, nor

what the objectives should be. There is even less consensus when it comes to defining the

specific themes and content of environmental education. However, one persistent issue,

repeatedly raised by the teachers themselves, was the need for further teacher training.

There is a desire to improve the content and methods used in environmental education, but

there is a lack of both technical and procedural knowledge. Thus, these discussions lead to a

discussion of teacher training programs and reflection on how pedagogical philosophies and

practices impact the learning process. I conclude by discussing the barriers to promoting

environmental education and how an engaged political ecology approach brings together

some valuable insights that might contribute to overcoming these challenges.

Chapter 8 provides an overview of the research and concludes with a compilation of

ideas that emerged from teachers, educators, students, and parents living in the buffer

zone, augmented by insights from political ecology and engaged pedagogy, regarding

how to improve the practice of environmental education. From this, I propose that an

engaged political ecology approach in environmental education might help to facilitate

"Awareness to Action." Political ecology contributes on two fronts. First, the content of

EE programs is strengthened by the incorporation of materials and activities that address

the larger political, economic, and cultural contexts influencing conservation efforts.

Second, political ecology points out that education takes places within a landscape of

power, and that it alone might not be sufficient to change behaviors. Therefore, it

promotes increasing opportunities for students to translate their new knowledge and

understanding into action. Without increasing these opportunities, environmental

education falls short of its "Awareness to Action" mandate and does not engage with the









larger political, economic and social contexts that shape human relationships with their

environment.

Engaged pedagogy contributes an understanding of how power influences learning

and educational processes, and advocates for engaging students in their own learning.

Applied to environmental education, it encourages collaborative learning and encounters

in which teachers, parents, and students come together to discuss local environmental

challenges and identify potential solutions. This transformation from a passive

educational process to an engaged one, in which environmental and social justice issues

are politicized and where opportunities to participate in activities designed to address

these issues are created, is at the core of an engaged political ecology approach. By

transforming the classroom into a space in which all voices are encouraged, and where

local environmental and social issues are addressed, this approach could be one powerful

way to address underlying power structures and worldviews that encourage, permit,

and/or ignore environmental destruction and social inequality.



Notes


SFor example, see Wunder (2000), Faminow (1998), Sponsel et al., (1996), Schmink and
Wood (1992), Barraclough and Ghimire (1990, 2000), Hecht and Cockburn (1989), Guppy,
(1984).

2 That would be 43 species of ants, from 26 genera.

3 Simberloff (1984) claimed that there would be an inevitable loss of 15% of the 92,000
plant species in South and Central America. That is 13,800 species. Wilson (1987) "upped
the ante" when he estimated that perhaps as many as 10,000 species were going extinct
every year, translating into 27 species a day. Ehrlich (1988: 22) made the alarming
statement that "extrapolation of current trends in the reduction of diversity implies a
denouement for civilization within the next 100 years comparable to a nuclear winter."










4 See also Skole (1992), Skole and Tucker (1993), and Myers (1988) for more information
on rates of deforestation, and Lutzenberger (1987) and Myers (1992) for more discussion
regarding the dynamics and consequences of deforestation.

5 The potential role of extractive reserves in providing an economic alternative to
deforestation has been particularly prominent in the discussion. See Anderson (1992),
Anderson and loris (1992), Browder (1990, 1992), Godoy and Bawa (1993), Godoy and
Lubowski (1992), Godoy et al., (1993), Homma (1992) Salafsky et al., (1993),
Schwartzman (1989), Nepstad and Swartzman (1992).

6 Although Peace Corp has been involved in environmental education since the early 1960s,
they established their environmental education assignment area in 1989 in recognition of the
growing importance of EE. For more information on the environmental educational
programs of Peace Corp, see http://www.peacecorps.gov/volunteer/enrionment/index.html

7 The other main areas of concern were: policy and administration, planning and
management, infrastructure development, research and ecotourism and community
development. Funding for this project ended in 1999.














CHAPTER 2
THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKS


Introduction


Around the globe, environmental education has become a popular strategy for

promoting the conservation of biological diversity. Across scales, from the grassroots to the

international, and across sectors, from non-profits to governmental ministries, education has

been embraced as a strategy to reduce environmental destruction. Therefore, this chapter

begins by looking at the rise of environmental education as a field and examining the

contributions made by educators and psychologists to the discussion of how knowledge,

attitudes and behaviors are linked. The underlying assumption that behavior is dependent

upon knowledge, which Bernard (1994: 23) calls the educational model of social change, is

examined. I argue that it is not sufficient for directing environmental education efforts,

since it does not address underlying social, economic, and political structures. I propose that

the adoption of an engaged political ecology approach will facilitate the understanding of

the social, economic, and political (i.e., power) structures and worldviews that

encourage/permit/ignore environmental destruction. The theoretical approach developed in

this chapter is then used in the following chapters to examine the case study of

environmental education in the communities surrounding Parque Nacional Podocarpus, in

southern Ecuador.









In an attempt to address environmental degradation and destruction, there has been a

call for more attention to education, and a whole new field of environmental education (EE)

has developed since the 1960s. Complete with its own objectives and methodologies,

environmental education has become a key part of the conservation agenda on national and

international levels. Governmental organizations charged with the management of natural

resources, as well as non-governmental organizations, have become involved. As Encalada

(1992: 60) notes,

A media que ha avanzado lapreocupaci6npor laproblemdtica ambiental en
nuestrospaises, en especial por losproblemas de conservaci6n de las dreas
naturales, el nmimero de proyectos educativos especificos ha crecido.

As concern for the environment has increased in our countries, particularly in
regards to the conservation of natural areas, the number of educational projects has
increased.1


Educational programs including everything from small local programs promoting recycling,

to regional projects encouraging agroforestry, to global initiatives such as GLOBE and

GreenCOM, have sprung up around the world.2

In the beginning, however, the geographical reach and scope of EE was more limited.

In the United States, environmental education grew out of the social movements of the

1960s.3 The original focus was on developing "environmental literacy," and thus

developing awareness, knowledge, and problem-solving skills was the primary aim.

Gradually the focus shifted toward one promoting "environmental ethics" in which the goal

was to enhance students' ability to think critically about environmental problems, evaluate

their own role in these problems, and most importantly become motivated to action to

resolve them (Cronin-Jones, 1998).









Today, "Awareness to Action" has become the environmental educators' mantra.

Regardless of the nuances of the local situation or the specific topic, environmental

educators will most likely be working from some version of an Awareness to Action

framework. This framework was first articulated by Stapp et al. (1969: 30) who argued that

environmental education should create knowledgeable citizens who are "able to help solve

these problems, and motivated to work toward their solution." Later, this framework gained

global attention at the Tbilisi conference in 1977, when delegates identified awareness,

knowledge, attitudes, skills, and participation as the five key elements to environmental

education (UNESCO, 1978). Translated into objectives, environmental education seeks to

1) stimulate awareness of an environmental issue; 2) provide base knowledge; 3) explore

attitudes that underlie the issues; 4) teach problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, so

students can actively participate in environmental problem-solving; and 5) motivate

participation in environmental issues, whether it be changed personal behavior or

involvement in local, regional or global action. Thus, environmental educators have the

explicit final objective of promoting responsible environmental behavior (Hungerford et al.,

1980; Gambro and Switsky, 1996; Hungerford and Volk, 1990).

Despite the general consensus in the field of environmental education regarding the

desirability of an Awareness to Action strategy, most programs do not successfully address

all five objectives. The question therefore becomes, what are the barriers and practices that

have prevented the application of this Awareness to Action model? What is needed to reach

the objectives of environmental education in practice? The next section looks for answers to

these questions by examining one prevalent and underlying assumption guiding many

educational programs.









The Educational Model of Social Change


It is frequently assumed that people are behaving in environmentally unfriendly ways

because they lack knowledge about the ecological consequences of their actions. Increasing

knowledge is believed to lead to a corresponding change in attitude, which in turn leads to

the desired behavior (Matthews and Riley, 1995). In other words, awareness must precede

knowledge, which in turn determines attitudes, which then influences actions. Although

many educators have questioned this model (i.e., Hungerford and Volk, 1990), this thinking

remains prevalent in educational programs designed to change people's behavior.4 Bernard

calls this the educational model of social change, and offers this critique,

The model is based on the idea that thought causes behavior. If you want to change
people's behavior, the reasoning goes, then you have to change how they think ...
The educational model of social change ... doesn't produce much in the way of
desired change. This is because the behavioral change (the supposed dependent
variable) often doesn't depend on education (the supposed independent variable). In
fact, it's sometimes the other way around. [Bernard, 1994: 23]

The literature, replete with examples that illustrate that knowledge is not the exclusive

determinant of behavior, supports this critique. Educators themselves have commented that,

A common myth is that people don't behave appropriately because they don't know
better, and therefore information is the cure for changing behavior. If you give
people the facts that .. deforestation increases soil erosion they will correct
their environmentally destructive behaviors. Clinging to this myth actually limits
our efforts to change behaviors or provide the skills needed to perform the
appropriate behavior. Providing information must be just part of a larger strategy.
Obviously, information is necessary, though not sufficient. [Hemandez and
Monroe, 2000: 13]


Despite these critiques, many EE programs continue to focus exclusively on providing

information. Therefore, it is useful to examine the components of the model-knowledge,

attitudes and behaviors-and the relationships between them.










Knowledge

Knowledge can be defined as a state of being aware of something or of possessing

information. In the educational model this is the first ingredient to changing behavior.

Research conducted in the 1970s in the United States illustrated that a person's level of

education is strongly related to, and can even predict, a person's level of concern for the

environment (Buttel and Flinn, 1978). Today, environmental educators recognize that the

environmental threats we are facing are relatively new, of which many people may simply

not be aware. For example, various studies have documented generally low levels of

environmental literacy among students and adults in the United States (Gambro and

Switsky, 1996; Barrow and Morrisey, 1989; Brody, Chipman and Marion, 1989; Miller,

1990).5 Therefore, some environmental educators hold that humans are behaving in

ecologically unsustainable ways because they are not aware of the issues and/or do not have

sufficient knowledge about them and the consequences of their actions.

The lack of environmental knowledge is often attributed to school curricula that do not

systematically integrate environmental issues. EE has remained generally isolated in the

science curriculum, although environmental educators have promoted an interdisciplinary

approach from the start (Stapp, 1978). Ham and Sewing (1987-1988) point out that

environmental education is usually lumped within science curricula in teacher training

programs, which naturally leads teachers to assume that EE is appropriate only within that

context. Even if non-science teachers recognize the interdisciplinary nature of EE, they may

not feel qualified to teach environmental education (Ham and Sewing, 1987-1988).

Simmons (1989) adds that environmental education is not incorporated throughout the

curricula due to the lack of curriculum materials relevant to local situations.









While the absence of EE across the curriculum (an issue of quantity) certainly can be

considered a factor limiting the opportunities to gain environmental knowledge, another area

of concern is the content (an issue of quality) of the programs.6 Monroe and De Young

(1993) integrate social marketing and psychological approaches with educational practices,

and find that one strategy for changing behavior is to improve the content of educational

programs so that they provide functional, useful, and believable information. Other research

found that environmental education programs must provide information relevant to the

specific behavior change desired, as well as teach the skills necessary to actually carry out

the new behavior (Azjen and Fishbein, 1970; Hines et al., 1986-87). For example, a

recycling program must include background information on why we need to recycle, as well

as procedural information on how to recycle (De Young 1988-89).

In addition to the issues of quantity and quality, several other factors may inhibit the

accumulation of environmental knowledge. One issue is previous knowledge. The

constructivist approach to learning acknowledges that students construct new

understandings by building on old knowledge and understandings (Ballantyne and Packer,

1996). Students enter the learning process having already created an understanding ("right"

or "wrong") of their world, and this impacts their ability to integrate new knowledge

(Munson, 1994; Clough and Wood-Robinson, 1985). Therefore, previous knowledge plays

an important role in learning, and the goal of EE must therefore be "a qualitative change in

students' understanding rather than a simple increase in factual information" (Ballantyne and

Packer, 1996: 28). Unfortunately, this research also indicates it is difficult to change

misconceptions.7









Another problem is inert knowledge, which is knowledge that one has, but does not

necessary recall in a problem-solving situation unless prompted to do so. Various research

has found that environmental knowledge often lies dormant (Adams et al., 1988; Bransford

et al., 1990; Jonassen, 1991). So although EE may increase knowledge levels, the new

knowledge may not be used when the student grapples with an environmental problem. In

this scenario, there is no connection between increased knowledge and behavior, since the

new information is not retrived. Unless teachers specifically include meaningful problem-

solving situations, in which students are able to apply their new environmental knowledge,

the problem of inert knowledge remains. 8

These findings are closely related to research that illustrates the need to focus on

critical thinking skills, which would give students the ability to use their knowledge base to

analyze new situations and identify potential alternatives (Chiras, 1992). Since

environmental issues are often controversial, they provide rich opportunities for challenging

students' abilities to think critically. Yet, critical thinking skills are often underdeveloped.

For example, one study conducted in Ecuador found that 84.6% of the people interviewed

believed that they could do something for the environment, but only 5.6% were able to

identify six actions that could be taken (Encalada, 1995: 160). Recognizing the need to

address these shortcomings, some environmental education programs, like Project Learning

Tree, have given special attention to developing critical thinking skills (PLT, 1994).

To conclude this discussion on knowledge, we can see that many believe that it is

a lack of knowledge that is the crux of the problem. Increasing the quantity and

improving the quality of EE programs is considered to be a critical step toward









influencing attitudes and changing behaviors. Thus, the next section explores the

concept of attitudes and its relationship with knowledge and behavior.



Attitudes

Attitudes refer to the state of mental or emotional readiness for some form of activity.

Bennett (1988-1989: 16) comments, "attitudes, like values, reflect our feelings toward

objects, both tangible and intangible, and include a wide range of emotions that influence

the extent to which we value something." Research indicates that changing environmental

attitudes is an extremely difficult thing to do (Edwards and lozzi, 1983). However, some

research done in the early part of the environmental movement identified that an

interdisciplinary approach helped (Hepburn, 1978), as was making it part of daily activities

(Inverson, 1976).9 Research has also found that outdoor education can improve attitudes

(Yerkes and Haras, 1997) and unsurprisingly that the media plays a powerful role in the

development of environmental attitudes and values (Shanahan, 1999; Ostman, 1987).

Although it is generally believed that attitudes are changed through increasing

knowledge, empirical research into this relationship is inconsistent (Iozzi, 1989). This can

be partly attributed to the fact that attitudes are notoriously difficult to measure, and

researchers have defined and operationalized the concept of attitudes differently, which

confounds any attempt at comparative analysis. Yet, even taking this into consideration,

research conducted in the 1970s did not support the assumption that knowledge determined

attitudes (Holtz, 1976; Hounshell and Ligett, 1973; Kinsey 1979).10 More recently, Gambro

and Switsky (1996) found that students' beliefs were generally stronger than their

knowledge of the issue. Yet, lozzi (1989: 4) notes the dearth of data in general,









Most research conducted in the area of environmental education and the affective
domain has been essentially descriptive .. very few studies attempted to determine
the effects of specific interventions or programs designed to improve, change, or
alter existing attitudes or values and the ways they impact on the environment.


The challenge of determining causal relationship between attitudes and behavior is

also a formidable task. In 1964, Festinger could only identify three studies that addressed

this relationship, and contrary to expectation, they all illustrated that a positive attitudes

toward a behavior did not necessarily result in that behavior." Since then, significant

research has been conducted into these relationships. In 1970, Ajzen and Fishbein

articulated the theory of reasoned action, which argued that information was insufficient to

produce a behavioral change since behavioral intentions are determined by attitudes and

normative beliefs. In 1991, Ajzen proposed the model of planned behavior, which argued

that three variables (attitudes, subjective norms and perceived control) influenced a person's

intention to act, which then contributed to whether they acted. Importantly, this model also

included the variable "perceived behavior control," which acknowledged that there are some

behaviors over which people do not have complete control. This leads us to look at

behavior change.



Behavior

Behavior in the context of this model is confined to a specific single action that an

individual performs.12 Understanding and predicting behavior is extremely complicated,

and very few models offer reliable predictions (Fishbein, 1967; Hines et al., 1986-87, De

Young 1985-86). As Iozzi (1989: 4) laments, "Unfortunately, the relationship between

knowledge and action still remains unclear." Encalada (1995) shows that even if









educational programs increase people's knowledge regarding environmental issues and

make them more sympathetic toward these issues, this does not imply a specific behavior

change. Likewise, Murray (1987) found that educational programs stressing the value of

reforestation in Haiti did not result in more planted trees since the program did not take into

consideration key economic and political considerations. Similar results have also been

found in the field of health. For example, HIV-AIDS educational programs promoting safe

sex have often not been successful (Sobo 1995, Kendall 1995, Frederiksen et al., 1984).13

Thus, one thing is clear, as Blanchard and Monroe (1990: 108) note,

Changing the public's behavior toward wildlife through education is a monumental
task. The irony is that sociologists and psychologists question whether durable
behavior change reliably follows from providing information alone and can show
few documented cases where this has occurred (Festinger 1964, Geller et al. 1982,
Caduto 1985, Katzev and Johnson 1987). The provision of information may be a
necessary but not a sufficient condition for behavior change.


Research conducted in the fields of education, psychology, and advertising regarding

behavior provides insight into some variables that EE programs might consider. For

example, social cognitive learning theory states that confidence is a critical determinant of

behavior (Bandura, 1982; 1986) and that people will avoid tasks they believe exceed their

capabilities (Bandura, 1977). This relates closely with the idea of the "locus of control,"

which educators identify as a critical component in the translation of knowledge to action

(Hungerford and Volk, 1990). If an individual feels hopeless or without power to affect the

final outcome, s/he may not be motivated to participate (or in this case, change her/his

behavior). Research into voting patterns has confirmed this (e.g., Chomsky, 2001; Gans,

1996; Teixeira, 1992). Conversely, an individual is more likely to participate if they have









problem-solving skills and a feeling of being able to affect change (Hines, Hungerford and

Tomera, 1987).

Interwoven with feelings of confidence and control are intrinsic motivations such as a

feeling of satisfaction or pride (such as a sense of adhering to a group cause), and personal

commitment to an issue. Research suggests that environmental education that taps into peer

pressure and cultivates a sense of pride in carrying out the new environmental behavior will

be more effective (De Young, 1985-86; De Young and Kaplan, 1985-86). For example,

handing out environmental awards or plaques in school assemblies could reinforce the

desired behavior, as it promotes pride and helps shape the social norm. In addition, some

research has shown that getting students to commit to do something (such as sign a pledge

to adopt or continue a behavior) increases the likelihood of them actually doing so (Katzev,

1986, Stem and Aronson, 1984).

These intrinsic variables interplay with another key variable: the social norm. EE

strategies that create space for students to share their experiences not only helps provide

information to others which might increase their feeling of competence to undertake the

behavior, but also helps to redefine what is "normal." This reduces people's fears of what

others will think of them if they adopt the new behavior (Monroe and De Young, 1994). As

Muth and Hendee (1980) found, innovators are only a small part of the population. Thus,

making an environmental behavior seem normal rather than extreme is an important goal.

In addition to these internal characteristics, a variety of external factors influence

behavior. For example, new behaviors are more readily adopted when people in places of

power, whether it be in local governments or famous movie stars, adopt the behavior

(Blanchard and Monroe, 1990; Muth and Hendee, 1980). Advertising relies heavily upon









this understanding. In addition, coercive measures and negative incentives, such as fines

and imprisonment, impact behavior. However, research illustrates that coercive measures

do not result in durable behavior change (Katzev and Pardini, 1987). People tend not to

comply with rules created and imposed by outsiders, and even less so if they disagree with

the rules. Indeed, criminalizing a behavior has been shown to increase the behavior rather

than reduce it (Brehm and Brehm, 1981; Monroe and De Young, 1993). De Young (1993)

found that the three main categories of techniques commonly used to promote conservation

behavior (information, positive motivation, and coercive techniques) are more reliable at

affecting short-term behavior than promoting durable behavior change.

To conclude this discussion on knowledge, attitudes and behavior, it is important to

realize that although researchers have organized these variables differently, and there are

often subtle differences between the purpose and goals of their models, these three variables

have been central to the discussions occurring within the fields of education and

psychology. 14 Thus, the information presented here is absolutely critical, for it provides the

foundation from which to build and expand.



Building an Engaged Political Ecology Approach


As illustrated in the previous discussion, a significant amount of research has sought to

elucidate the determinants of behavior. Although clearly valuable, I believe the focus on the

characteristics of the individual learner limits the discussion and narrows the universe of

potential strategies for improving environmental education. Therefore, I first draw attention

to the field of political ecology, and how this approach is relevant and valuable in the

context of environmental education. Then, I incorporate insights from engaged pedagogy.









By bringing these two approaches together, I arrive at the conclusion that an engaged

political ecology approach can be a powerful educational strategy that can address social,

economic and political inequalities and provide students with the skills to confront these

social and environmental challenges.



An Overview of Political Ecology

Political ecology stresses the interconnections of cultural, political, economic, and

ecological systems and posits that it is necessary to understand the dynamic interactions

between these two systems to fully understand the dynamics of resource use, management,

and conservation. Paul Little (1999: 2) provided a succinct definition,

This research combines human ecology's focus on the multiplicity of relationships
that human societies maintain with their respective biophysical environments with
that of political economy in which the power relationships between social actors and
societies are of prime concern.

Bryant (1992), in his overview of the development of the political ecology approach,

pointed out that political ecology is an effort to develop an integrated understanding of how

environmental and political forces interact to mediate social and environmental change.15

Therefore, looking at the question of how to promote conservation through a political

ecology lens draws attention to both issues of scale as well as the socio-structural and

environmental contexts.

The socio-structural context includes such diverse variables as household consumption

patterns, local and international market prices, labor availability, migration patterns, local,

national and international policy and law, and the presence and strength of civil society in an

area. Political and economic dynamics (across scales from local to international) is also a

critical factor. The environmental context includes everything from the list of resources









found in an area, to flood cycles, seasonal fruiting patterns, game abundance, and migration

patterns. Taken together, the political ecology framework provides a more holistic

understanding of the factors influencing resource use and ultimately, conservation.

One of the first important political ecology pieces was from Blaikie and Brookfield,

who conceptualized land degradation as a social rather than technical issue. They noted,

The phrase 'political ecology' combines the concerns of ecology and a broadly
defined political economy. Together this encompasses the constantly shifting
dialectic between society and land-based resources, and also within classes and
groups within society itself. [Blaikie and Brookfield, 1987: 17]

Schmink and Wood (1987, 1992) applied the approach to understand the complexities of

land use in the Brazilian Amazon, illustrating how the complex and changeable socio-

economic and political contexts influence people's perceptions and behaviors. By

incorporating a wide set of variables into their analysis, including state fiscal incentives,

colonization projects, and national and international markets, among many others, they

"illustrate how macro-level economic and political processes determine the way natural

resources have been exploited in frontier regions of northern Brazil" (1987: 3). In their

book, ContestedFrontiers in Amazonia (1992), they illustrated how the social context

impacted natural resource use and the physical landscape. They defined social context as,

the configuration of economic, political, and ideological factors-within global,
national, and regioml arenas-that structure local outcomes by shifting power
balances and by altering the incentives and disincentives for alternative courses of
action, constraining some options while enabling others. [Schmink and Wood,
1992: 18]


An important component of their definition is the focus on power relationships. They point

out the need for more nuanced analyses that take into consideration both the capacity of

local peoples to resist economic, political, and ideological attacks, as well as the immense









power wielded by these larger structural systems. Thus, the need to account for power at

multiple scales, from the local to the international, is clearly outlined. Later, Schmink

(1994) used a social definition of deforestation to bring attention to how the livelihoods of

local populations were intimately linked to deforestation patterns. In addition, the analysis

illuminated the interconnections between international and national market trends and

policy, migration, and land tenure.

Likewise, Peluso (1992) used the political ecology framework to look at the extraction

of rattan in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. This entailed examining local resource use and

management, and then linking it with local social relations and the broader political and

economic situation in Indonesia. In this way, she illustrated how individual decision-

making regarding resource use at the local level is linked with larger global processes.

Stonich (1993) examined the political ecology of poverty and environmental destruction in

Honduras. Peet and Watts (1993: 240) comment that, "political ecology discourse in the

1990s ... seems to be directly concerned with institutions and organizations in the context of

shifting configurations of state and market roles." More recently, Jansen (1998) has brought

political ecology to bear on issues of mountain agriculture in Honduras, and Grossman

(1998) has looked at banana agriculture in the Caribbean. This and other similar research

has firmly established the importance of understanding how socio-economic, political and

ideological structures influence human-environment interactions/relationships.

In addition to these findings, scientists and field practioners alike began recognizing

the need for models and tools that could handle both environmental and social diversity. For

example, Bryant (1992) examined the contextual sources of environmental change, conflict

over access to natural resources, and the political consequences of environmental change









and concluded that we must acknowledge the diversity within communities rather than

relying on broad generalizations that pit a "powerful elite" against "poor villagers." He

illustrates how these categories miss the complex power relations within communities

themselves, including the often-invisible gender-differentiated power relations. Blaikie

(1995: 203) also brought attention to the necessity for "a more politically aware

understanding of the plurality of points of view regarding the environment." Likewise,

Durham (1995: 252) noted that research was clearly illustrating how "the impact of human

populations upon environments is mediated by cultural and political economic forces" but

that there was a "need for better ways to bring inequality in all its guises- race, class,

gender and ethnicity-into the picture" (263).

This understanding opened the door for the development of gendered political ecology

(i.e., Rocheleau, 1995). Although a relatively new theory (emerging out of political

ecology, which itself only began to be fully articulated in the 1980s), it is one of the most

promising theoretical positions currently being developed. Rocheleau et al. (1996: xv) made

"an explicit effort to join feminist and political ecology scholarship from the ground up."

And indeed they did so, providing case studies from around the globe, including Brazil,

Austria, Spain, Kenya, Philippines, Himalayas, Zimbabwe, the Dominican Republic and the

U.S., that clearly illustrate the intersection of these two approaches. Likewise, Paulson

(1988) provided critical insight into socioeconomic inequality and environmental

degradation using a gendered lens. In addition, the Managing Ecosystems and Resources

with a Gender Emphasis (MERGE) Program elaborated a gendered political ecology

framework (Schmink, 1999) that illustrated the value of incorporating gender into the matrix

of variables requiring consideration in conservation issues.16









These various works illustrate the diverse applications of political ecology and have

firmly established the importance of understanding how socio-economic, political, and

ideological structures influence human-environment interactions/relationships. Regardless

of the particular issue or geographic location, the common theme is that political, economic,

and ideological structures influence human-environment interactions.



Applying Political Ecology Insights to Environmental Education

As environmental education seeks to influence human-environment interactions as

well, understanding how political, economic, and cultural variables impact human behavior

becomes necessary for designing successful programs. While this has been acknowledged,

it has been extremely challenging to incorporate the complexities of these variables into

predictive models, frameworks, and planning. 17 For example, Hungerford used the catch-all

category of "other barriers" to acknowledge these external processes. What I would like to

do is explore this category of "other barriers" and illustrate that the global political,

economic, and ecological contexts in which education is situated must be directly addressed.

The political ecology approach suggests that because the use of natural resources is a

decision embedded within a complex social system of opportunities and constraints,

increasing and improving educational programs alone may not change behavior (Blaikie,

1995; Schmink and Wood, 1987; Thrupp, 1990). As discussed above, attempting to change

a variety of human behaviors (related to conservation, health, voting, etc.) by increasing and

improving educational programs has often failed. As Orr (1991: 10) acknowledged,

Theprimary causes of biotic impoverishment are not, I think, ignorance or the lack
of research funding. On the contrary, they are invariably political, having to do with
"who gets what, when, and how." The decisions necessary to conserve biological
diversity likewise will be political.










Applying the political ecology approach to conservation education highlights the imperative

need for environmental education programs to be informed by both the cultural, political,

economic and environmental contexts in which they work. Understanding the needs, goals,

opportunities and constraints facing the participants in educational programs, and how these

factors influence their knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to resource use and

conservation should strengthen these programs. For example, Monroe (pers. comm.) notes,

In many cases, people are already aware of the environmental issues that involve
them. They may know they should protect a watershed, but they do not or cannot act
on that knowledge. Policies, lack of access to technology, a lack of economic
alternatives, and other factors may prevent them from engaging in environmentally
positive practices.


Thus, political ecology provides a more complex analytical framework that identifies the

constraints to promoting conservation through education, and adds to our understanding of

how humans develop and value their relationship with the natural world (see Howe et al.,

1996). Overall, it is clear that conservation practices do not take place in a vacuum, but

within a particular cultural and environmental context, and that these variables need to be

acknowledged and incorporated within educational strategies to promote conservation.

I do not mean to imply that educators have not recognized the need for relevant

materials that address complex interconnections between social, economic and political

variables across scales. But the fact remains that most educational programs, in terms of

both content and pedagogical practices, do not address these complex interconnections, nor

do they facilitate the development of skills necessary for students to tackle environmental

and social justice issues. Thus we come to the question: How do we create age-appropriate

curricula and conservation programs that address these larger political ecological factors? I









believe the answer lies in critical or engaged pedagogical theory and practice. Thus, the

next section shifts from a focus on curricula (content) to pedagogy (method).



An Overview of Engaged Pedagogy

Engaged (or critical) pedagogy examines the issues of power in the context of teaching

and learning, questioning how and in whose interest knowledge is produced. Some of the

most influential writers in this field include Michael Apple, Paulo Freire, bell hooks, Henry

Giroux, and Peter McLaren. Giroux notes that critical pedagogy

signals how questions of audience, voice, power, and evaluation actively work to
construct particular relations between teachers and students, institutions and society,
and classrooms and communities. Pedagogy in the critical sense illuminates the
relationship among knowledge, authority, and power. [Giroux, 1994: 30]


This focus on power brings attention to political and economic structures, at different scales,

which as seen in the previous discussion, coincides with the focus of the political ecology

approach. For example, Beyer and Apple (1988) identify eight issues that educators must

address. These include: epistemological issues (what counts as knowledge); political issues

(who controls the selection and distribution of knowledge); economic issues (how is control

of knowledge linked to existing and unequal distribution of power, goods, and services);

ideological issues (whose knowledge counts); technical issues (how is knowledge made

accessible to students); aesthetic issues (how do we link knowledge to the students); ethical

issues (how do we treat other justly in education); and finally historical issues (what

traditions educators can draw upon). In examining these issues, critical pedagogues argue

that an engaged approach, in which students are active participants in the process of creating

knowledge, is absolutely essential. 18









It is important to realize that the idea of active learning promoted by engaged

pedagogy is not a new one. Numerous educators from around the globe have argued for a

more participatory approach in education. For example, John Dewey founded the

Laboratory School in the U.S. in 1900, in which students linked their classroom learning

with everyday life through practical experiences. Likewise, radical British educator A.S.

Neill founded Summerhill School in England in 1921 with the desire to give students

freedom to choose what they learned (Neill, 1960). The Beacon Hill School was founded

shortly thereafter (1927) by Dora and Bertrand Russel, with the goal of promoting an

egalitarian society. In Italy, Maria Montessori revolutionized education with her innovative

"Casa dei Bambini" (Children's House) in 1907. She harshly criticized standard education,

writing,

Schools as they are today, are adapted neither to the needs of adolescence nor to the
times in which we live. While material progress has been extremely rapid and
social life has been completely transformed, the schools have remained in a kind of
arrested development, organized in a way that cannot have been well suited even to
the needs of the past, but that today is actually in contrast with human progress.
[Montessori, 1973: 97]


Today, the Reggio Emilia approach to learning pioneered by Loris Malaguzzi in

northern Italy in the Post WWII era is recognized worldwide for its innovative and

participatory approach (Cadwell, 1997; Edwards et al., 1998). It is based on an

understanding of the child as a competent being, able to participate in directing his/her own

learning. The focus is on creating learning environments responsive to children's

development within a specific socio-cultural context. Rather than pre-packaged learning

units, the Reggio approach relies upon an emergent curriculum in which students and

teachers develop projects together (Malaguzzi, 1993).

Likewise, Huckle (1996) brings attention to the concept of "education for

sustainability." He pulls together the complexities of modem societies and environmental










politics and ideologies, looking particularly at Britain, and concludes that education for

sustainability can be a powerful tool for change if it "engages people in a realistic appraisal

of alternative meanings, values and agendas" (1996: 15).

Sterling (1996) provides a comprehensive theoretical overview of the efforts to

promote education for sustainability. He first points out the paradox of education, in which

it is used to reproduce the status quo as well as promote change. He then articulates the

characteristics of education for sustainability, which include "broadening, inclusive,

participative, critical, integrative, ethical and essentially concerned with the quality of the

interrelationship and process" (1996: 31). He points out how this meshes with Orr's (1992)

call for more "connective education." Five key dimensions of education for sustainability

(sustainability values, personal and community values, pedagogy, curriculum and structure

and organization) are conceptualized as mutually affecting. Sustainability values included

such things as "ensuring intergenerational equity; conserving biodiversity and ecological

integrity; preserving natural capital and sustainable income; supporting an anticipatory and

precautionary policy approach; ensuring social equity;... and community participation"

(1996: 34). Linking these values to personal and community values was seen to be critical.

He noted that education for sustainability should

strive to nurture or bring out eight qualities: a sense of responsibility to the
environment, to other people and to the future of both; the will, knowledge and skills
to translate this responsibility into action in both personal and public life; the ability
to respond positively to change and uncertainty; a capacity to see the links between
individual and group actions, external events, and other factors; an interdisciplinary
and holistic outlook; a healthy skepticism alongside the ability and freedom to be
creative; a balance of rationality with feeling and intellect with intuition; and a sense
of self-worth combined with a respect for other individuals and cultures. [Sterling,
1996: 35]

In his discussion of curriculum, he suggested that themes such as political ecology,

natural history, ecology, systems theory, social relations, conflict resolution, equity and

social justice and local and bioregional studies among many others might be included.









Importantly, he recognized that implementing such a curriculum would depend on

institutional structures. Critically, he argues that

How people, institutions and communities interact-the hidden and operational
curriculum-is all important and should engender a sustainability ethos that is both
lived and critically reflected upon. Its characteristics include democratized
classrooms and decision-making; .. using institutions as learning centers for the
whole community; establishing networked links between all formal and non-formal
local educational facilities; teachers and leaders being facilitators rather than
authorities; and education for life. [Sterling, 1996: 36]


Likewise, Roger Hart has focused on children's participation in environmental

activities, stressing "participation must be a dynamic constructive process" and that we

must "recognize the capacities and desires of children to play a meaningful role in the

development of their communities and in the care of the environment"(1997: ix-x).

Although not operating in the formal education sector, another example comes

from the 4-H Youth Development program in the United States. This program is based

on the philosophy that "youth learn best when they are actively involved in relevant,

real-world situations." Carlson (1998) found that "Youth thrive in an atmosphere where

they can learn at their own pace and can evaluate themselves," and that "Hands-on

activities can provide a way to engage unmotivated learners" (Carlson, 1998). This is

supported by research by Langer (1989), who found that sharing decision-making and

providing choices to students results in more engaged educational experiences.

Conversely, Deci and Ryan (1985) found that "controlled environments lower the

creativity of children, impair cognitive learning of college students and create negative

feeling in general." Carlson (1998) urges, "Allow them to decide what they want to

learn and how they want to learn it." The pace of learning is thus controlled by the









student, who takes on more complex themes as they feel ready. In this way, the content

is guaranteed to be age-appropriate, for it is the student initiating the learning process.

Participation, in terms of experiential learning, has been advocated as a means to

increase confidence. As Ajzen (1991) notes, research has shown that a person's

confidence levels regarding a specific behavior strongly influence whether or not they

attempt a behavior. These findings mirror the work ofBandura (1977, 1986), who

found that perceived self-efficacy is a major determinant of behavior.19 Therefore,

making the classroom a place where students develop skills and confidence to address

environmental issues will likely help them tackle these issues once outside the

classroom. In addition, participation is seen to be critical for developing relevant

curricula that holds the interest of students, and vital for developing critical thinking and

problem-solving skills. In addition, David Kolb (1984) elaborated the experiential

learning cycle model, where concrete experience creates reflective observation, which

leads to abstract generalization, which then prompts active experimentation.

These various examples, from across time and from around the globe, illustrate

some of the trends in pedagogical theory that are particularly relevant to promoting

environmental and social justice. Now, I would like to focus in on the contributions of

two of these critical educators, bell hooks and Paulo Freire, whose work has had

tremendous impact in defining the field of engaged pedagogy. Below I highlight some

of their key contributions and then discuss some of the implications for the promotion of

conservation objectives through education.









Paulo Freire

Paulo Freire was one of the most influential philosophers/educators in Latin America

and his work has had a global impact. In 1967 he published his first book, Educado Como

Prdctica da Liberdade, (Education as the Practice ofFreedom) and in 1970 produced his

seminal work Pedagogy of the Oppressed Throughout these works he demonstrates how

knowledge and educational practices are not neutral and argues that curricula that ignore

issues of social justice become part of the system that maintains inequalities. Although his

contributions are complex and cannot be fully detailed here, I would like to mention several

key themes that repeatedly arise which have specific relevance to participatory, experiential

learning and, I argue, for developing education strategies that promote biodiversity

conservation as well as social justice.20

The first theme is humanization. According to Freire, the vocation of humans is to

become more human, which he names "humanization." This process is mediated through

education, since it is through education that humans discover themselves, their place in an

historical context, and their potential as humans. Therefore, Freire argues that a liberation

pedagogy must be created i//h, rather thanfor, oppressed peoples. By participating in the

educational process, they participate in the struggle for liberation, and thus become more

fully human. This is in sharp contrast to the top-down approach often promoted by more

developed countries in which efficient and effective ways are sought to correct students'

"misconceptions" and change their behavior.

A second critical contribution of Freire's work is his critique of the banking system of

education. Within a banking system of education, students are passive receivers of

information, which they are only required to memorize and repeat. Freire sees this type of

education as an "exercise of domination" which has the "ideological intent (often not

perceived by educators) of indoctrinating them [the students] to adapt to the world of

oppression" (Freire 1986: 65). In contradistinction to the banking system of education,

Freire posits a "problem-posing education" in which both teacher and students are active










learners. Together, both teacher and student become jointly responsible for the process of

education. This "liberating education" is not about passive transferal of information like in

the banking system, but rather in active acts of cognition. He writes,

The teacher is no longer merely the-one-who-teaches, but one who is himself
(sic) taught in dialogue with the students, who in turn while being taught also
teaches. They become jointly responsible for a process in which all grow ....
The students- no longer docile listeners-are now critical co-investigators in
dialogue with the teacher. [1986: 67-68]

As described in the first section, Freire's insights have been corroborated by empirical

research, which illustrates that problem-solving education, in which students actively use

their knowledge, reduces the problem of inert knowledge and improves the results of the

program. Thus, in an engaged classroom the focus is on facilitating rather than on teaching.

Donaldson and Scannell (1987: 122) provide this useful summary of the distinction:


Table 2.1. Qualities of Teachers vs. Facilitators


Teacher Facilitator
Presents information Guides discussion
Provides the right answers Provides the right questions
One-way communication Two-way communication
Gives assignments Coordinates learning activities
Dictates objectives Meld's group's goals
Teacher- centered Learner- centered


Moving from being passive to active in the learning process leads to what Freire terms

praxis. By combining critical thought and action, simultaneously, it is possible to gain

liberation. This is a critical component of Freire's philosophy, and bell hooks integrates this

idea into her work when she argues for the integration of ways of knowing with habits of

being. This idea of integration is also found in environmental education, with the emphasis

on Awareness to Action. Another linkage, and of specific relevance to conservation work is










Freire's belief that transformative pedagogy has significant implications for how humans

relate to their environment. He argues that,

The oppressor consciousness tends to transform everything surrounding it into an
object of its domination. The earth, property, production, the creations of men, men
themselves, time-everything is reduced to the status of objects at its disposal.
[Freire, 1986: 44]



bell hooks

Critiquing and building on the legacy of Freirian pedagogy, bell hooks has brought a

powerful feminist perspective to the dialogue concerning critical pedagogy. Her writings

deal with issues of gender, race, teaching and the significance of media for contemporary

culture. In her book, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice ofFreedom (1994),

hooks characterizes teaching/learning as a revolutionary process when knowledge taught in

the classroom is relevant to the lives of the participants. In contrast, education ceases to be

about "the practice of freedom" when teaching/learning focuses on information only with no

relationship to how one lives and behaves (3). The critical point is hook's insistence that

there be an integration of knowledge and practice. Thus education is "striving not just for

knowledge in books, but knowledge about how to live in the world." (1994: 15) She calls

this "integrating ways of knowing with habits of being."

Another critical integrative aspect of engaged pedagogy is that it demands attention to

the holistic well being of the students. hooks argues that part of the power of her early

educational experiences was based in the fact that her teachers shared not only information,

but also in her intellectual and spiritual growth. They knew her as a whole person. Thus,

hooks extends the critique of the mind/body split common to ecofeminism discussions to

education.21 She emphasizes,

our work is not merely to share information but to share in the intellectual and
spiritual growth of our students. To teach in a manner that respects and cares for the
souls of our students is essential .. .engaged pedagogy emerges from a philosophical
standpoint emphasizing the union of mind, body and spirit [hooks, 1994: 13, 18]











In order to capture the essence of engaged pedagogy, I have extracted some of the key

elements hooks discusses and condensed them into the table below.



Table 2.2 Tenets of Engaged Pedagogy



Both Teacher/Facilitator and Student:
Deconstruct the traditional notion that only the teacher is responsible for classroom
dynamics
* Recognize that the teacher's voice is not the only account of what happens in the
classroom
* Recognize that both student and teacher grow, learn and are empowered by the process
* Pay attention to the issue of "voice": who speaks? who listens? why?
* Recognize that everyone influences the classroom dynamic and everyone contributes
SOpenly discuss how the class is impacting real life (confronting sexism, racism, etc)
* Work on integrating theory (ways of knowing) and practice (habits of being)

Teacher/Facilitator:

Personally:
* Acknowledge that their style of teaching may need to change
* Be prepared to confront the limitations of their training and knowledge in dealing with
cultural diversity, and be willing to learn new strategies for dealing with antagonisms in
the classroom
* Learn how to accept critical feedback from students and how to be self-critical
* Embrace the process of self-actualization

In the classroom:
* Acknowledge everyone's presence
SGenuinely value everyone in the classroom and value student expression
* Create opportunities for students to work together and develop supportive social
networks
SRecognize each classroom is different, and adapt lesson plans accordingly
* Relinquish power and authority in the classroom
SBe willing to confront their uneasiness with relinquishing power and authority









Applying Engaged Pedagogy Insights to Environmental Education

I believe these tenets of engaged pedagogy are critical for the development of an

educational system that can help us develop the skills needed to successfully promote

conservation and development. First and foremost, we must recognize that knowledge

is socially constructed, and information is not neutral (Foucault, 1980). Engaged

pedagogy provides us with a means to restructure power and hierarchy, and to create

new ways of listening, learning and understanding the challenges that face us. An

engaged pedagogical approach creates a space for controversy and diverse

epistemologies within the learning process. Teacher's relinquish absolute power, and

allow debate, which is considered critical to the learning process. Debate and critical

discussion challenge the notion that education is value-free. Engaged pedagogy

recognizes that both teachers and students come to the classroom with a history of

personal experiences that inform their perceptions. These experiences are recognized,

valued and incorporated in the engaged classroom. Through recent work of various

thinkers in critical and feminist pedagogy, there has been a true effort made to develop

new ways of incorporating difference, whether it be based on sex, race, sexuality,

nationality, etc, into the classroom. In this way, the classroom becomes a location for

developing skills that are valuable throughout life.

As both hooks and Freire point out, education can either reinforce the status quo of

domination and inequality or it can challenge it and thus be a "practice of freedom."

Addressing the historical silencing of local people's voices and knowledge, and approaching

education in a more participatory and egalitarian way, creates the space in which people can

become more fully involved in environmental problem solving.









Conclusion


A substantial body of scientific evidence indicates that human activity is having an

unprecedented impact on the worlds' ecosystems. The plight of tropical rain forests,

which are being altered at alarming rates, has specifically drawn international attention

due to the extraordinary biological diversity found within these ecosystems.

Organizations addressing environmental issues in the tropics have proliferated since the

1960s. Although these groups vary greatly in terms of size, power, mandate, and goals,

they often include educational programs in their strategy to protect tropical ecosystems.

The commonly held assumption is that increased educational efforts will lead to

more informed attitudes, which in turn will lead to a desired change in behavior. This

model has been called the educational model for social change, and this chapter

examined the contributions made by educators, psychologists, and others to our

understanding of the model's three main components of knowledge, attitudes, and

behavior. Yet, even with the plethora of research, the exact nature of the relationships

between knowledge, attitudes, and behavior remains elusive.

With this foundation laid, I introduced political ecology and discussed how this

approach brings attention to structural macro-level variables that impact conservation

behavior and thus yields insights that are useful for conservation education efforts. As

Schmink and Wood (1992) and others have shown, political and macro-economic

factors influence patterns of land-use and natural resource exploitation. Therefore, it is

not merely local ignorance that is driving tropical deforestation, but larger global

processes. Thus, my central critique is that while environmental education programs

usually provide information regarding the ecological reasons why it is important to









conserve biological diversity, they must also include an analysis of the significant

political and economic process that shape how humans interact with their environment.

Without an in-depth understanding of the historical political, economic, and social

context of the people and communities we are working with, educational programs

cannot be tailored to meet their real needs and constraints.

In addition, the political ecology approach points out that environmental education

and conservation practices do not take place in a vacuum, but within a particular

political, economic, cultural, and ecological context. Therefore, political ecology

suggests that even if environmental education programs are strengthened by including

thoughtful analysis of political, economic, and cultural issues, they still may not be

sufficient to change behaviors. In other words, although awareness of political,

economic and cultural forces is an important first step, it does not by itself reduce their

impact. That is exactly why environmental educators are seeking ways to promote the

Awareness to Action approach, where students turn their knowledge into action.

This leads to questioning how educators might incorporate these complex issues into

their curricula (in an age-appropriate manner) in order to equip their students both

intellectually and emotionally to be actors in ecological problem solving. I argue that the

answer lies in engaged pedagogical theory and practice, where students are encouraged to

develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

By bringing these two approaches together, I arrive at the conclusion that an engaged

political ecology approach can be a powerful educational strategy that can address social,

economic, and political inequalities and provide students with the skills to confront these

social and environmental challenges. In the upcoming chapters I explore these ideas in depth









as I discuss environmental education programs in the buffer zone of Parque Nacional

Podocarpus.


Notes

SAll translations are by Lynch.

2 For an example of a local recycling educational program, see:
http://www.uoregon.edu/-recycle/edu promo.htm For examples of regional agro-
forestry education efforts, see http://198.93.224.166/sea/seanafe/seanafe.asp and
http://www.icraf.cgiar.org/res dev/prog 5/str agro/anafe.htm. For more information on
GLOBE, see http://globe.fsl.noaa.gov/. For more information on GreenCOM, see
http://www.aed.org/intl/env.html

3 The United States officially recognized environmental education in the Federal
Environmental Education Act in 1970. This act stated that EE must be interdisciplinary,
must relate to both natural and human-made environmental problems, must be included
in both the formal and informal educational sectors, should "promote conservation" as
well as transmit information, should involve all ages and should be participant-centered.

4 For just one example, Simmons (1991) reports that a majority of environmental centers
in the U.S. connect nature study and the acquisition of knowledge with encouraging
environmentally sound behaviors.

5 Gambro and Switsky (1996) documented this in U.S. high schools in relation to the
specific issues of greenhouse gases and acid rain. Barrow and Morrisey (1988-89) found
similar results in relation to energy literacy in ninth grade students in Maine and Canada.
Brody, Chipman and Marion (1988-89) likewise tested knowledge of acid rain in 4th, 8th
and 11th graders in Maine and found dismal results. Although a majority of this research
focused on students, Miller (1990) found that adults had low knowledge level regarding
acid rain and the ozone hole as well.

6 Quality is also influenced by pedagogical methods, which will be discussed further in
the discussion on engaged pedagogy.

7 For more information on misconceptions, see also Carey (1985), Driver et al. (1985),
Hewson and Hewson (1988), Osborne and Freyberg (1985), Posner et al. (1982).

8 See also the Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt (1990) for more research
on inert knowledge.

9 Ajzen and Fishbein (1977) provided a comprehensive literature review of attitudes
research regarding which is valuable for understanding the field today.










10 Specifically, Hounshell and Ligett (1973) found that urban children were more
knowledgeable than rural students about the environment, yet their attitudes were the same.
Kinsey (1979) found the disturbing result that environmental studies courses can actually
lead students to develop more persuasive arguments for their previously held negative
attitudes toward the environment.

11 These studies were Maccoby et al. (1962), Fleishman et al. (1955), Janis and
Feshback (1953).

12 Although behavior is defined as an individual action, this does not imply that there are
no group environmental behaviors. For example, a beach clean-up sponsored by an
environmental club is a group activity, yet it is composed of individuals who have
decided to participate. The important point is to clearly define whether a program is
aimed at getting individuals to perform an activity alone or in groups, as this will
influence methods and evaluation.

13 Kendall mentions (1995: 254), "although health education is often couched as if
information is what was needed to bring about behavior change, that rarely is the case.
The literature on family planning education often discusses a KAP-GAP, or a gap
between expressed knowledge and attitudes, on the one hand, and practices on the other."
He goes on to come to a similar conclusion as being made in this dissertation, in that
"what's missing is an effort to reflexively place the discourse of safe sex, and of rapidly
changing individual behavior in response to risk profiling, in its social and community
context." (1995: 255).

14 For example, Fishbein looks at specific behavior, while Hungerford looks at generic
responsible behavior, both with the intention of understanding the determinants of behavior
(how did we get x behavior) rather than developing policy recommendations on how to
change x behavior. Cook and Berrenberg (1981) developed a framework to organize
different techniques to change behavior. Their categories included knowledge, (in the form
of persuasive communications and feedback regarding the behavioral change), attitudes (in
the form of evoking attitude-consistent behavior), and external variables such as material
incentives and disincentives, and social incentives and disincentives. See also Katzev and
Johnson (1987), Geller (1989; 1992) and Granzin and Olsen (1991) for other examples.

15 There are others, such as Low and Gleeson (1998), who use the term "political
ecology" in a completely different vein. In their book, Justice, Society and Nature: An
Exploration ofPoliticalEcology, Low and Gleeson explore the philosophy of justice as it
applies to environmental and ecological issues. This exploration encompasses the subject
of environmental justice and "the moral response which the world must now make to the
ecological crisis if there is to be real change in the global society and economy to favour
ecological integrity."

16 MERGE began in 1994 as a collaborative project between the University of Florida,
the Facultad de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) in Quito, Ecuador, Conservation










International (CI) in Peru, the Nature Conservancy (TNC) and a network of organizations
in Ecuador, Brazil, Peru and the United States. Recognizing that there was a dearth of
data documenting the relationships between gender and natural resources, our
collaboration focused on strengthening understanding of gender issues in natural resource
management in tropical areas through training and research initiatives.
The MERGE collaboration influenced all phases of my research. My research
site was determined during a MERGE conference in Ecuador, where I was offered the
invitation to collaborate with Fundaci6n Arcoiris, a conservation group that had
members who had participated in MERGE training. My research design was influenced
by the MERGE participatory philosophy, which stressed negotiating with communities
before starting research. This led me to take a whole field season to meet with residents
living in the buffer zone of Parque Nacional Podocarpus (PNP) to determine research
needs and priorities. I was able to listen to their concerns, share my ideas on how to
combine our interests, get feedback and respond to this feedback, before I started my
research. In addition, MERGE provided funding for conducting this type of preliminary
fieldwork.
Moreover, the evolving MERGE hypotheses included two that I was particularly
interested in researching. These were: 1) "Under what conditions does participation by
local communities contribute to the goals of achieving conservation with improved
livelihoods?" and 2) "Does stakeholder participation in participatory learning with a
gender focus improve the ability of local groups to negotiate their interests in
conservation?" My research on regional environmental education programs in the
buffer zone of Parque Nacional Podocarpus sought to address these hypotheses by
identifying who was participating in the process, how they were participating, and if
gender issues and community participation were incorporated.
Beyond all the specific theoretical and methodological impacts to my specific
project, MERGE provided the opportunity to learn how to negotiate the difficult terrain
between academia and application. This entailed fine-tuning communication and
collaboration skills. As difficult as this was at times, it was a valuable experience.

17 Fishbein and Ajzen have grappled with this in their models, and have attempted to
account for larger processes when they included the variables of competence and social
norms in their models. Still, there is an immense amount of complexity and diversity that
is omitted with these categories.

18 See also Beyer and Liston (1996), who explore curricular reform issues in the U.S.

19 Self-efficacy is defined as "concerned with judgments of how well one can execute
courses of action required to deal with prospective situations." (Bandura, 1982:122).

20 For a concise summary of Freirean terminology, see Heaney, Tom. "Issues in Freirean
Pedagogy" http://nlu.nl.edu/ace/Resources/Documents/FreireIssues.html

21 For example, see Plumwood (1993) "Dualism: the logic of colonization" inFeminism
and the Mastery of Nature. London: Routledge. pp. 41-68.















CHAPTER 3
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS


Introduction


The goal of this research was to explore the role of environmental education in

promoting conservation, looking specifically at a case study of environmental education in

the buffer zone ofParque Nacional Podocarpus (PNP), in southern Ecuador. This chapter

presents how I tackled this challenge, including descriptions of my research objectives,

design and methods. I begin with an introductory overview of the development of my

research design, outlining the primary objectives and activities undertaken in each field visit.

I then include a detailed description of the various methods used in each field season. I

conclude by looking at the various strengths and weaknesses of this research design.

This research began in 1996 when Fundaci6n Arcoiris, a conservation group in

southern Ecuador, invited me to participate in an evaluation of their environmental

education programs. I agreed, but expanded the scope so that the general objectives of my

research included 1) analyzing how environmental education is currently used as a

conservation strategy in the buffer zone of PNP; 2) exploring the social, economic, and

political realities facing the participants in these environmental education programs; 3)

identifying students' and teachers' knowledge and attitudes regarding local conservation

issues that are discussed in local environmental education programs; and 4) investigating

and analyzing the pedagogical practices used in regular classrooms and in environmental









education programs. These objectives reflect the overall purpose of this research, which

was to contribute to the development of new approaches to environmental education that

would engage students more successfully in environmental activism and provide knowledge

and analytical skills that will be more useful in students' struggle for meaningful livelihoods.

To reach these objectives I turned to political ecology and engaged pedagogy to

develop my specific research questions. These included identifying

who was promoting and offering environmental education in the buffer zone,

the objectives and goals of the environmental education programs,

the political, economic, cultural and ecological context in which the programs were

operating, at the local, regional and global levels

how the programs, curricula, and materials were being developed,

who was participating in these programs and how they were participating,

the facilitation methods and materials used,

how the impact of these programs was being measured, and

if student participation in environmental education programs changed their

knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding conservation issues.

By asking these questions, my analysis situated environmental education programs within

the economic, political, and conservation contexts, at multiple scales, and contributed to the

overall understanding of the role of environmental education in promoting conservation, and

how it might be transformed to engage students more successfully in environmental

problem-solving.

The study was designed to address these questions using a variety of methods,

including ethnographic interviews, focus group discussions, surveys, participant









observation, and individual and group mapping activities. Both the objectives and the

methods are summarized in the tables below and are described in detail in the following

sections.



Table 3.1 Summary of Research Objectives



Phase One: Preliminary Site Review (May-July 1996)
* identify key stakeholders in the management of Parque Nacional Podocarpus
* identify their perspectives regarding the key management issues for the Park
* identify their research priorities and informational needs

* identify partners and establish agreements and protocols for future collaboration


Phase Two: First Field Season (May-August 1997)
* observe and develop understanding of environmental education programs
* develop an understanding of students' knowledge, attitudes and behaviors regarding the
Park and conservation
* develop an understanding of the economic and political histories of the communities in
the buffer zone of the Park
* develop an understanding of the political, economic, and conservation histories in
Ecuador (nationally, regionally, and PNP)


Phase Three: Final Field Season (October-December 1999)

* develop further understanding of the local environmental education programs
* work with teachers' to document their perspectives regarding national education,
environmental education, PNP and conservation
* work with parents' to document their perspectives regarding education and conservation









Table 3.2 Summary of Research Methods


Phase One: Preliminary Site Review (May-July 1996)
* Semi-structured ethnographic interviews
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
Governmental ministries
Participants in the PNP Management Plan workshop
Exploratory and non-structured focus group discussions
Literature Review
Stakeholder Analysis
Participant Observation

Phase Two: First Field Season (May-August 1997)
Semi-structured ethnographic interviews
Fifth and sixth grade students
Fifth and sixth grade teachers
Environmental education staff in non-governmental organizations
Environmental education staff in governmental ministries
Parents and community members
Structured Focus group discussions, related to environmental education and PNP
Fifth and sixth grade students
Fifth and sixth grade teachers
Survey
Fifth and sixth grade students
Fifth and sixth grade teachers
Individual Drawings of Parque Nacional Podocarpus
Fifth and sixth grade students
Group Mapping Activity
Fifth and sixth grade students
University students
Participant Observation

Phase Three: Final Field Season (October-December 1999)
Semi-structured ethnographic interviews
Fifth and sixth grade teachers
Fifth and sixth grade students
Environmental education staff in non-governmental organizations
Environmental education staff in governmental ministries
Parents and community members
Survey
Fifth and sixth grade teachers
Educational administrators and officials
Participant Observation









Research Design

Phase One: Preliminary Site Review (May-July 1996)

The preliminary site review was designed to identify the key stakeholders and

management issues for Parque Nacional Podocarpus. I began with a stakeholder analysis,

which is an approach that entails identifying the key actors (or stakeholders) in the system

and assessing their respective interests in that system (Grimble and Chan, 1995).

Stakeholders are defined as different social actors, formal or informal, who can affect, or be

affected by, the resource management issues at hand. Stakeholder analysis is particularly

useful for examining various social dimensions (such as power) of groups and organizations

across scales-from the local to international. As Grimble and Chan point out, interest in

this analytical approach developed after experience illustrated that omitting stakeholders in

decisions that affect their lives can result in negative consequences, from passive non-

cooperation to open and violent opposition of a project or policy (1995: 113). Thus, a

stakeholder analysis permits the identification of both potential allies and potential

adversaries. In tropical conservation, this is particularly important since diverse groups have

a stake in the management of tropical natural resources. This includes local communities

who depend upon the forest for their subsistence and livelihoods, as well as international

companies extracting and marketing forest resources. Conducting this initial stakeholder

analysis illuminated the complex array of social groups that have a stake in natural resource

management issues in this area. Once I identified the stakeholders, I was able to work with

some of them in developing my research plan. It was through this initial participatory

process that my research focus was narrowed to investigating environmental education.









Phase Two: First Field Season (May-August 1997)

Building on the foundation laid in 1996, my specific objectives for the 1997 field

season included developing an understanding of the environmental education programs in

the buffer zone, the economic and political histories of the various communities in the buffer

zone, and the history of the Park itself. This created a baseline from which to look at

students': 1) knowledge about the Park, including both ecological and social indicators; 2)

attitudes toward conservation and environmental protection; and 3) conservation behaviors.

To address these questions, I began documenting the environmental education efforts

in the region. I conducted interviews with the individuals responsible for environmental

education in the Instituto Ecuatoriano Forestal de Areas Naturales y Vida Silvestre

(INEFAN) (The Ecuadorian Institute of Forestry, Natural Areas and Wildlife) and

Fundaci6n Arcoiris (FAI) to obtain a comprehensive understanding of their programs. I also

began accompanying them when they offered their programs in local schools in order to

observe the programs in action. Full descriptions of these organizations and their programs

are found in Chapter 4.

I also worked on developing a sampling frame for interviews and surveys with

teachers and their students. Selecting a random sample of children living in the buffer zone

was impossible, since there is no list of all the children in the buffer zone, and it would be

extremely time consuming to compile one. However, since children cluster in schools, I

decided to make use of a cluster sample. This entailed obtaining a list of all the schools in

the buffer zone, and picking a random sample from these schools. This cluster sampling

was necessary and very useful, for as Bernard (1994: 89) notes, "Cluster sampling is a way

to sample populations for which there are no convenient lists or frames."









However, obtaining a list of schools was not easy either. I found that just as there was

no list of children in the buffer zone, there was no comprehensive list of schools either.

Government statistics are organized by Parroquias and Provincias, and the buffer zone

extends over two Provincias, and numerous Parroquias. As each Provincia maintains a list

of all the Parroquias inside its borders and the schools within each Parroquia, I went through

these lists of schools, and attempted to estimate their distance from the Park, and determined

whether or not they would be considered to be within the buffer zone. Then I checked with

the various organizations to confirm my list. If there were schools I had omitted, but which

these groups considered to be inside the buffer zone, I added them to the sampling frame.

Compiling the sampling frame was further complicated by the fact that two separate

governmental school systems operate in the buffer zone-that of the Ministry of Education

and that of the Direction of Bilingual Education. Each maintains responsibility for their

own schools, curriculum, and teachers, and thus it was necessary to work with both these

entities. Finally, it was necessary to incorporate the numerous private schools into my

sampling frame, although they do not appear on any official list either.

I then categorized the schools depending upon the extent of their involvement with

local environmental education programs. In order to categorize the schools, I asked those

responsible for the environmental education programs in each organization to provide a list

of schools they had visited, and the dates of their visits. Although this research focused

specifically on Arcoiris' educational programs, I had to work with all organizations working

in the region in order to control for their influences on knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors.

I received various documents, primarily annual reports and planning documents, which

listed the planned activities for a term or whole school year.









While these lists provided the means to categorize the schools, I was cognizant that

these sources were not 100% accurate. I found that while most organizations develop a

schedule of schools they plan to visit each school year, these schedules are very tentative

and prone to significant revisions. Therefore, I could not assume that they had visited all the

schools on their list, or that their lists included all the schools that they had visited. Further

interviews and later surveys often revealed visits that had not been officially planned, and

thus missed in the original accounting. Therefore, it was necessary to methodically work

through the documents and confirm whether each planned visit actually had occurred or not.

Fortunately, in 1997, as a member of the Nature Conservancy's Parks in Peril

Program, Arcoiris had presented a final report to the Nature Conservancy that included a

complete listing of schools visited. If an organization did not have a complete listing, I

carefully went through the sampling frame with them to identify if they had ever visited the

school, and if so, with what frequency. The accuracy of this method is subject to the

vagaries of human memory (Bernard et al., 1984). Yet, I worked with what was available,

and from these efforts I was able to categorize schools based on their level of exposure to

environmental education. The categories I was interested in were a) those never visited by

any group; b) those visited by Fundaci6n Arcoiris only once; c) those visited by Fundaci6n

Arcoiris more than once.

I then randomly selected three schools from each list, using a random number table.1

Normally, in cluster sampling it is then necessary to take another random sample of those

children from each the schools selected. However, the fifth and sixth grade classrooms were

so small that it was possible to work with all the children, and further sampling was not

necessary. The focus on fifth and sixth grade students reflected the emphasis local









environmental education programs place on programs for children in primary level (K-6).

The next two weeks were spent obtaining permission to work in these schools, arranging

visits to these schools, and setting up dates to begin the interviews.

In addition, I used this time to polish the survey instrument. A critical component of

this research design was the collaborative process by which it was developed. As discussed

previously, my focus on environmental education came from the request of various

stakeholders in 1996. In 1997, Fundaci6n Arcoiris provided valuable suggestions regarding

my methods and survey. The original draft of the questionnaire was developed in Florida,

building on information learned during the preliminary site review in 1996. It was shared

with FAI for comments and suggestions, in terms of content, logic, flow, and language. The

survey was revised, not only by the staff working in environmental education, but also by

the director of the organization, and therefore reflected our combined interests. This was

important, as I specifically wanted to ensure that my research would be useful and relevant

to local educational efforts. Several drafts later, I was ready to pre-test.

Pre-testing of the survey instrument was a critical component of the research design.

While the time taken out of the field season to pre-test resulted in a smaller sample, it was

necessary to improve the reliability and validity of the information collected. The school

randomly selected for pre-testing was in Rumishitana, a small community south ofLoja. As

a result of the pre-test, the initial ice-breaking games were changed, the questionnaire

shortened, the vocabulary and questions refined, and my skills as a facilitator sharpened. As

I discuss below in the methods section, pre-testing gave me insight into how to work with

the children, teachers, and school administrators. Primarily, this entailed assuring everyone

that there were no "right" or "wrong" answers. In addition, the pre-test provided critical









feedback as to the amount of information I could realistically expect to obtain, given the

time constraints of teachers and school days, not to mention the attention-span of the

children. Finally, pre-testing made me more acutely aware of power and gender issues

within the schools. I learned that receiving approval to do my research by a school Director

did not guarantee that every teacher in that school would be aware of, or approve, my

presence at the school. In fact, approval by the Director might result in suspicion and even

outright hostility, depending upon the internal relationships within the particular school.

After the pre-testing was completed and the necessary revisions made, I began

administering the survey. Table 3.3 summarizes the activities conducted in each school.

The sequence began with observing the environmental educational programs offered by

Fundaci6n Arcoiris. The objective was to gain an understanding of how the programs were

conducted. I then interviewed teachers, and sought permission to observe their class. The

objective here was to get the feel for the pace, the personalities, and age spread of the

students, as well as teaching practices and teacher-student relationships. Once this baseline

was collected, I began dialogue with the students. This included an initial ice-breaker game,

then a survey which was completed in the classroom with all students at once, a group

discussion and mapping exercises, and finally individual interviews. These activities all

contributed toward my objectives of developing an understanding of the EE programs in the

region, and developing an understanding of students' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors

regarding the Park and conservation. In total, I was able to complete the entire series of

activities in four schools, working with 60 individual students and seven teachers.









Table 3.3 1997 Field Season Activities in Schools

Day One Day Two Day Three Day Four Day Five

Observe Observe Observe Activity w/Students Group Discussion
environmental regular classes regular classes ice-breaker game what is a map?
education (full day) (half day) (-20 minutes) (-20 minutes)
program
(halfday) Interview Student survey Group Mapping
teachers) (-60 minutes) (-90-120 minutes)
Observe (-60-90 minutes)
regular classes Individual drawings Group Discussion
(half day) (-30 minutes) debriefing the map
(-30 minutes)
Group Discussion
survey & drawings Thanks and final
(-60-90 minutes) game


In addition to these activities, I sought information regarding the political, economic,

and social histories of communities in the buffer zone of the Park. I also researched the

history of conservation in Ecuador, looking at national trends, regional issues in southern

Ecuador, and the history ofPNP specifically. These events were situated within particular

national and global political and economic contexts, and I looked at these as well. This

multi-scaled analysis contributed to the overall understanding of the context in which

environmental education programs are operating in the buffer zone ofPNP. I also spent

time talking informally with community members and parents regarding Parque Nacional

Podocarpus and conservation issues.



Phase Three: Final Field Season (October-December 1999)

During this final field season I focused on educators, including public school teachers,

school directors, and the education staff in non-governmental and government

organizations. In total, I administered a survey to eighteen elementary school teachers and









conducted in-depth interviews with forty-five educators. This shift in focus, from the

learners to the educators, filled a critical gap in the study by providing insight into the

perspectives, knowledge, and attitudes of the providers of environmental education. In

addition, it was of vital importance to work with teachers, for they had been mandated to

integrate environmental education into their curricula. As mentioned in Chapter 1, this

mandate of the Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC), which is responsible for public

education in Ecuador, came in the form of a comprehensive Curricular Reform. Within the

Reform, environmental education is designated an "eje tlinvei i//" or interdisciplinary

theme. Teachers from all subjects and all grades have been mandated to integrate

environmental education throughout their curricula. Thus, the objectives of this final season

were to gain more insight into educator's perspectives regarding the national Curricular

Reform, teacher training, their students, and their knowledge and attitudes toward the Park.

Second, I wanted to develop a deeper understanding of the environmental education

programs being offered, not only through follow-up interviews but also through observation

of these programs in the schools. I specifically wanted to focus on pedagogy, and examine

both the expressed goals and the reality in the classroom. Third, I wanted to gather more

insight into the knowledge, attitudes, and livelihood strategies of the parents of the children

in these buffer zone schools. Previous analysis, as well as the literature, had pointed out that

it would be useful to understand how the parents understood the role of education and their

relationship with the teachers and schools. Finally, I had hoped to find the students I had

interviewed in 1997, but this proved to be logistically impossible.2

Other logistical issues arose that poignantly illustrated the powerful and detrimental

impact of global political economic structures. The dire economic situation in Ecuador in









1999 and corresponding high fuel prices meant that local conservation organizations were

limiting their traveling expenses by working only in nearby schools. Thus, it was no longer

possible to travel the extensive buffer zone with Fundaci6n Arcoiris to visit and observe

environmental education programs in remote schools, for they were no longer being offered.

In addition, the frequent national transportation strikes made traveling by public

transportation unwise. These challenges illustrated the difficulties facing those trying to

promote environmental education programs in the buffer zone.



Strengths and Weaknesses of the Research Design

One of the greatest assets to this multiple-season research design was that it gave me

time to review my initial findings and identify important areas to pursue further in

subsequent field visits. The ability to return several years in a row also provided for the

development of a more holistic understanding of the shifting political, economic, and social

context. For example, this design provided an opportunity to develop a greater

understanding of the Curricular Reform process, since I was able to watch and document the

difficulties in its implementation over the years. This design also allowed me greater

flexibility. I was able to listen to people's needs and priorities, and then return to UF and

take extra coursework in education, which strengthened my ability to respond to their

requests for an evaluation of their environmental education strategies.

However, by dividing up my fieldwork over three field seasons, I also confronted

several challenges. First, it was difficult to establish continuity. Efforts to maintain contact

and communication during my absences failed almost completely. Therefore, each year I

had to spend valuable time re-acquainting myself with the current situations and politics. I









also had to reestablish rapport, and reintroduce my intentions, research objectives, and

activities to the various stakeholders. Often this entailed tracking down the new location of

the groups with whom I worked (i.e., Arcoiris was in a different office every year of my

research). In addition to this time lost, I also fear that I lost some credibility in the eyes of

some stakeholders who were in need of more immediate results than I was able to provide

due to the longitudinal nature of this study.

I also had to work with the challenges created due to personnel changes. The

participatory nature of my research created responsibilities both for me as researcher and for

those with whom I worked. Although I had broad institutional support, the details of the

research design were often agreed upon at the individual level.3 Unfortunately, as personnel

changed, these agreements were often lost. Thus, the commitments to follow through on

critical research design issues, such as the continuation of EE programs in certain pre-

determined schools in the sample, were not kept when these people left. This meant time

was needed for re-negotiating and redefining objectives and design for the final field season.



Research Methods


As this project was grounded in a variety of theoretical frameworks, it was necessary

to use a variety of research methods. In addition, every method has its strengths and

weaknesses. By combining methods, it was possible to address those weaknesses and verify

information obtained by other methods. Below the various methods used are described,

including ethnographic interviews, participant observation, focus group discussions,

surveys, and participatory mapping. While anthropologists may be familiar with these

methods, those coming from other disciplines, or outside academia, might not be.









Therefore, I have taken care to provide explicit descriptions of the various methods and how

they were applied.


Ethnographic Interviews

The ethnographic interview is perhaps the most fundamental and important method

used by anthropologists. It provides a means to gather in-depth information through one-on-

one conversations that usually last an hour or more.4 Following generally accepted

protocol, and specifically the guidelines provided by the Institutional Review Board of the

University of Florida, I began each interview with an explanation of my research goals,

objectives, activities, and how the results would be used. I provided time up-front for

interviewees to ask me questions and then gave them time to decide if they wanted to

continue with the interview. I also explained that they did not have to answer any question

they did not want to, and that our conversations were completely confidential. If they

agreed to continue, we began. I worked from a pre-printed interview guide, which differed

depending upon the person being interviewed (i.e., teacher vs. rural cattle rancher) and the

specific objectives of that particular field season. Although I worked from a guide, these

interviews often felt more like informal conversations than formal interviews, and they

sometimes continued over days or even over entire field seasons. Below I discuss the

specifics regarding the interviews in each field season.



Focusing on non-governmental and governmental organizations

In 1996, I focused on semi-structured interviews with NGOs and governmental

organizations involved in the management of PNP. These "grand-tour" interviews were

designed to help me understand the different players, their resources, their stakes, and their

activities. I asked general, open-ended questions about the history of their organization

(date founded, by whom, etc.), current structure of their organization (number of people,

their responsibilities, etc.), and their mission, objectives, strategies and projects (past, current










and planned). I also asked them to identify the key natural resources and management

issues for the Park, along with what other groups were working in the Park.

I finished these interviews with an inquiry into whether or not the organization had

any documents that they thought I should be familiar with as I tried to learn more about the

region, the Park, and its management. Most groups maintained an archive or library, even if

on a very small scale, and this inquiry often led directly into an afternoon or more of library

research. This literature review was a critical component of this initial field visit, since

many of the documents were internal or gray literature, and unavailable in the United States.

These initial activities, both the interviews and literature review, were vital to developing an

understanding of local stakeholders and dynamics surrounding the management of PNP.

As discussed above, they provided a means for local stakeholders to participate in defining

my research and illuminated the importance of environmental education and the need to

evaluate the outcomes of this strategy.


Focusing on educators within non-governmental and governmental organizations

In 1997, I continued to work with NGOs and governmental organizations, but I

specifically worked with the individuals responsible for the environmental education

programs. This time, the semi-structured interviews focused on the content, length, goals,

and objectives of their educational programs. I wanted to understand how they themselves

defined environmental education, and what they saw as the main obstacles to promoting it.

This went hand-in-hand with understanding what they viewed as the key threats to the Park.

I asked them to identify and rank the activities that have a negative impact on the Park, to

identify who was engaged in these activities and when, and if they thought these activities

could be controlled or influenced by education programs. The results of these discussions

appear in Chapter 7, where I discuss the perspectives of teachers and educators.

In addition, I needed to place these programs within the broader institutional context

and determine the current status of environmental education on the agenda of the










organization. In other words, I needed to re-confirm that environmental education was still

a principal conservation strategy of their organizations, since major changes might have

taken place since my previous visit in 1996. I also sought to identify program funding, to

discern if different donors were having differential impacts on projects. Importantly, I

needed to determine if there had been any evaluation of their educational programs, and if

so, what type, and what had been the results. I did not want to duplicate, but rather build on,

past efforts.

I also had to develop an understanding of how the organization conceptualized and

divided up the buffer zone of the Park. Understanding how they organized the physical

space in which their programs operated, and how they decided which schools to visit, was

critical to understanding their strategies for promoting their conservation goals. It also had

very pragmatic implications for my work, since I was interested in working in a continuum

of schools-from those that had been heavily involved in environmental education to those

that had received none. Thus, these interviews helped me develop the sampling frame used

to select the schools in the sample.



Focusing on students and teachers

In addition to interviews with educators in NGOs and governmental organizations, I

interviewed students during the 1997 field season. I focused my activities on fifth and six

grade students, since the environmental education programs in the region primarily targeted

elementary schools. However, in order to work with students, I first had to gain permission

from the Director of the school, and then from the individual teachers. This provided an

opportunity not only to explain my project, but also to solicit interviews. Therefore, for

every classroom of students with whom I worked, I also collected several interviews with

teachers and school administrators. Below I trace this series of activities, first describing the

interviews with the teachers and then describing my work with the children.










In the semi-structured interviews with the teachers, I beganwith open-ended questions

about the educational system in Ecuador, the 1997 Curricular Reform, and the content,

goals, and objectives of their curriculum. This often led to very passionate commentaries on

the difficulties they face professionally. We then discussed their students and the socio-

economic conditions in the communities where they teach. I also obtained demographic

data, including how long they had been teaching, how long they had lived in the community,

and where they had been born. This provided some insight into whether or not the teachers

themselves were locals and likely to be more familiar with local ecosystems and the Park.

Like in the previous interviews with NGO staff, I wanted to understand how teachers

defined environmental education, their opinions ofEE, and what they saw as the main

barriers to promoting it. In addition, I wanted to learn what kind of flexibility they had in

their curriculum to include EE programs and their level of interest and commitment in doing

so. This included determining if they incorporated environmental education within their

own classrooms, or if their students had ever been visited by any of the local organizations

offering environmental education. If so, I asked them to describe the programs, providing

yet another perspective on the programs offered in the schools. Like in previous interviews,

I asked them to identify and rank the activities that had a negative impact on the Park and if

they thought these activities could be controlled or influenced by education programs.

At the end of the interview, I inquired about the possibility of working with their

students. I explained the overall plan of activities, which included an "ice-breaker" game, a

survey, a group discussion and individual interviews, and finally a group mapping exercise.

If they agreed, and their schedule permitted this time-intensive set of activities, we set up

dates to proceed. I took time to carefully explain that I was not testing their students, nor

evaluating their teaching as part of any formal national evaluation of the Reform. Rather,

the activities were designed to teach me what the students knew about the Park and to give

me an understanding of teaching practices in the buffer zone of the Park.










The interviews with the children focused on similar issues and followed the same

general protocol used with educators, but the language was adjusted for children. I asked

them to tell me about Parque Nacional Podocarpus. We discussed the natural resources

found in the Park and then identified and ranked the activities that had a negative impact on

the Park. I asked them about the environmental education programs they had participated in

and what they thought of them. I wanted to understand how they defined environmental

education. I then asked them generally about education and what they thought of their

schools and teachers. If they responded with a lack of enthusiasm, I asked them their

perspectives on how their schools and education could be improved, and what would make

it more interesting and fun to them.

As outlined above, the interviews with children were never done in isolation, but were

part of a series of activities. The interviews came after rapport-building activities had taken

place, including games and group discussions, and generally after they had completed the

written survey, which is discussed later in this section. Therefore, these interviews gave

students the opportunity to clarify responses given on the survey, and to give detailed

explanations of their illustration of the Park. As you will see in Chapter 6, the explanations

and descriptions are wonderfully rich, and without this input, it would have been impossible

to analyze their drawings.



Focusing on teachers

In my final field season in 1999, I narrowed my focus almost exclusively to teachers

working in the buffer zone of the Park. Previous years had given me ample information

regarding environmental education programs and student perspectives, but I still needed

more input from the educators. Thus, although I continued to work with local NGOs, as

well as with students, the majority of my time was spent working with teachers to document

their perspectives regarding education and conservation issues. I followed the protocol










outlined above, except that I generally omitted the activities with the students. This allowed

me to travel to more schools and talk with more teachers.

The primary difference between the 1997 and 1999 teacher interviews was the

addition of questions regarding teacher training. Preliminary analysis from 1997 indicated

the need to investigate both the process and content of teacher education. Therefore, I asked

teachers to share information about their own experiences in school and the process they

underwent in order to gain their teaching credential. The significance of teacher training

was a topic that everyone felt strongly about, and it is discussed further in Chapter 7. I also

asked them to rank how they felt about a variety of issues related to their schools, curricula

and materials.


Focusing on community members, parents, resource users

Throughout all three field seasons, I also interviewed a variety of community members

as the opportunities presented themselves. I obtained a diversity of interviews this way,

from taxi drivers to professional loggers to many more. Oftentimes I got to talk with the

parents of the children with whom I worked. Frequently someone would introduce me to

someone who would turn out to be intimately involved in the management plan for the Park,

or in the miners' cooperative or the indigenous federation. In this way, I filled my free time

(that time when I wasn't working with NGOs or in the schools), talking with local people.

Since women have traditionally been underrepresented in rural community

development research, I took special care to talk with the women to insure that their

perspectives were heard in my research. Gender analysis has illuminated ways in which

women are often under-represented due to logistical constraints, so I sought to make sure

that interviews were scheduled at convenient times and places. Interviews often took place

in family fields, or while doing laundry or cooking. In addition, I often took advantage of









the long taxi and bus rides between the communities I worked in to conduct interviews.

Like all the other interviews described above, I sought similar insights into their

perspectives on education and conservation issues in the region.

To conclude this section on ethnographic interviews, it is clear that I relied heavily

upon these interactions. However, they were not the sole tool I used in my quest for

understanding. Below I describe the other methods I used to complement these interviews.


Participant Observation

Another fundamental and standard tool of anthropology is participant observation, and

it was a major component of my work. This method is exactly what it implies-the

researcher participates in and observes the lives and activities of the people they are

studying. Bernard defines it as,

the foundation of cultural anthropology. It involves getting close to people and
making them feel comfortable enough with your presence so that you can observe
and record information about their lives. [It] involves establishing rapport in a
new community; learning to act so that people go about their business as usual when
you show up; and removing yourself every day from cultural immersion so you can
intellectualize what you've learned, put it into perspective and write about it
convincingly. [Bernard, 1994: 136-137]


However simple it may seem, it entails a considerable amount of work and practice to

master the art of participant observation. 6 The principal thing to realize is that unlike other

disciplines where research is confined to a laboratory, or to making discrete measurements

in the field (i.e., walking transects, measuring plots or mammal skulls), participant

observation occurs twenty-four hours, seven days a week. The most common of daily

events, like eating and sleeping habits, reveal information about a culture, and thus the

anthropologist is always collecting information, always developing understanding.

Conversations over dinner or at the local bar often lead to critical understanding. By living










with local residents, and working in the offices ofFundaci6n Arcoiris, the information

shared in surveys and interviews was greatly expanded upon and contextualized.

Likewise, the local people are observing us and how we dress, what we eat, where we

sleep, and what gear we bring. We become part of the social dynamics that we are studying,

and our ability to "fit in" affects the quality of the information gathered. Since

anthropologists are interested in observing how life normally is, not how life is when we are

present, the ability of the researcher to "fit in" with local circumstances becomes critical.

On the flip-side, observant participation was also part of my research. When I was

invited to meetings and workshops and asked for my input, I was given the opportunity to

address the challenges educators and conservationists face first-hand. Not only was I able to

meet new people, but I experienced the frustrations they felt as we grappled with the

complexities of multiple stakeholders and conflicting agendas. I gained an intimacy with

the issues that would have been impossible from the surveys alone. When I was invited to

schools to help facilitate environmental education programs, I was given the opportunity to

experience these programs first-hand. By participating, I experienced the difficulties faced

by educators-from the lack of equipment and materials to the problems of securing

vehicles and traveling to distant schools. The issues came alive.



Focus Group Discussions

I supplemented the knowledge gained through ethnographic interviews and participant

observation with focus group discussions. A focus group is a tool that brings together a

small group of generally homogeneous people to discuss a specific topic in a casual and

informal way.7 "Small" implies no more than ten people, and my groups generally included

from five to eight participants. "Homogeneous" implies that the idea of a focus group is not

to facilitate a debate between different factions, but rather to learn about how a certain group

feels about an issue. Having a homogenous group allows participants to build upon each

other's comments, often providing greater depth into an issue than is obtained through










individual interviews or surveys. Having single-sex (or single-class, single-ethnicity, etc.)

groups often provides a forum to hear voices that traditionally have been unheard. The

focus groups I facilitated included groups of teachers, groups of students, and groups of

community members (women or men).

"Casual and informal" means that these discussions can take place anywhere, from

sitting on the floor of a woman's house cleaning corn together, to in the taxi that takes

teachers to and from their rural schools. Creating a casual and informal setting entails

beginning with introductions all around. It also entails clearly establishing the two basic

guidelines: 1) all opinions, comments, and perspectives are valuable and welcomed-there

are no right or wrong answers; and 2) the moderator (me) is neutral. This point cannot be

emphasized enough. It was important for the success of the focus groups I facilitated to

state at the beginning that I was not working for the government, any multi-national

development NGO, any other community, or anyone else. Clarifying my role as a graduate

student collaborating with, but not working for, Fundaci6n Arcoiris was challenging, but

critical. In addition, in communities which have been disillusioned by unfulfilled promises

by the government, development organizations, and researchers alike, it is also important to

clearly explain how the results will be used and if they will receive any benefits from

participating. In my case, I did not pay those participating in focus groups, so any benefits

they received were abstract, intangible, and personal rather than tangible, hard, cold cash.

Focus groups take on different flavors depending upon their purpose and I used focus

groups in a variety of ways throughout my research. In 1996, my focus groups were

exploratory and non-structured, since at that stage my goal was to generate ideas and

stimulate local input into the design of my research. I presented the initial topic of

conservation and development and they provided the rest. Later, in 1997 and 1999, the

focus groups were much more structured and addressed specific topics such as education,

mining, logging, and the management ofPNP. I worked from a prepared topic guide that

included the issues outlined above in the discussion on ethnographic interviews. The idea










behind using a guide was to ensure that all the relevant issues were covered. Generally this

worked, although in some cases the conversation took on a life of its own and I found it

more interesting and useful to let it go rather than bring it back to my outline.

In some instances focus group discussions led to the generation of community history

time-lines, and in other cases I got more personal life histories. In all cases, these focus

groups provided extremely rich and detailed information on the perspectives of different

groups-including teachers, communities, and resource user groups. They allowed me to

hear a variety of people's perspectives, and illuminated some internal dynamics between

various individuals that I would not have become aware of otherwise. They also let me

work with some groups that might not have been comfortable filling out written

questionnaires or talking with me one-on-one. These discussions also helped me decide

what the key issues were to explore further in individual interviews and in the questionnaire.


Survey Questionnaire

Questionnaires are a common method used to gain relatively superficial information

relatively quickly. As Bernard notes, survey research is a major industry in the United

States, and in many countries around the world (1994: 256). Questionnaires can be

conducted through personal interviews, over the phone, or through the mail and they can last

anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours. They usually ask closed-ended questions that

are relatively easy to answer, and they have been used to collect data on everything from

demographics, such as the U.S. Census, to voting and consumer behavior.

In my research, I relied upon face-to-face administration of questionnaires. The

rigidity of this method is a major weakness. Since surveys are pre-printed, they obtain

information only about a specific set of items, and the format usually does not permit

informants to share other information that they might consider more relevant or more

important.










The way to address this weakness is to begin with interviews and focus group

discussions, which can then help determine the content included in a survey. I drew on

insights from initial interviews and discussions to design surveys to use with teachers and

students. My objective was to complement the rich qualitative data I already had with some

quantitative data. The questions followed the key themes that had surfaced in the interviews

and focus group discussions. I asked about the Park, its resources, and management issues.

Teacher survey. As described previously, my original plan was to interview teachers

before I started working with their students. In addition to getting vital information

regarding their knowledge and attitudes about the Park, my intention was to build rapport

and gain permission to work with their students. However, it turned out that in most cases,

teachers were more than willing to turn over their classes after seeing a letter of introduction

from Fundaci6n Arcoiris and the University of Florida. Rapport building was completely

unnecessary. In addition, I had originally assumed that the teachers would prefer an

interview to filling out a survey, possibly taking offense if I administered a survey to them

along with their students. However, teachers were frequently unable to spare an extra hour

or two for an interview. Early in 1997, one teacher suggested that I simply prepare a survey

for the teachers to fill out while I worked with the students. I followed this advice and

prepared a survey that followed the same line of questioning as outlined for the interview.

This survey underwent significant revisions in 1999, when I received the valuable

input of two local educators who took a special interest in my project. In addition to their

insightful suggestions on how to revise the survey, they also provided assistance in pre-

testing it. I was then fortunate to have one of these educators accompany me to the field.

We conducted the first surveys together to establish protocols and then we divided up the

schools that had been selected for the samp le. Without this assistance I would not have been

able to reach the same number of schools and teachers.

Student Knowledge. In addition to the teacher survey, I designed a four-page survey

questionnaire in collaboration with Fundaci6n Arcoiris, to test student knowledge of PNP.










The questions related to the information provided in their environmental education program,

particularly focusing on the natural resources and biodiversity of the Park. The dependent

variables measured were students' knowledge and attitudes regarding conservation and their

conservation behaviors. The independent variable was the amount of exposure to an

environmental education program.8

During the pre-testing phase I learned that it was necessary for me to facilitate the

questionnaire with the students. This entailed reading each question and walking around

the room to verify that they understood each question. (This also allowed me to check that I

could read their answers.) Without this guidance chaos reigned, with students flipping

ahead, skipping questions, and constantly getting up to ask me, their teachers, or their

friends the "correct" answers. I also found that I needed to include a more explicit

introduction that stressed that there were no right or wrong answers, and that I needed them

to do the survey individually. Regardless of this assurance, many students were still

apprehensive and timid about expressing themselves. I think that spending more time in

each school might have addressed this to some extent. However, I also believe this is

indicative of an educational system that limits learning to rote memorization rather than

promoting individual critical thinking skills. This is discussed further in Chapter 4.

From this experience I got the idea to color code the pages of the survey. Although

drawing different color borders on each page of the survey was time intensive, it was well

worth it. Not only was I able to verify that we were all working on the same page by

glancing across the classroom, but the colors also sparked the interest of the children. They

made the dreary questionnaire, which I am sure seemed rather like a test, into something a

bit more palatable (at least according to some of my respondents). It was just one way that I

tried to create a fun, light atmosphere to dispel their fear of not knowing an answer or not

understanding a question.

Second, the pre-testing was critical not only for learning about the children's responses

to the questionnaire, but also for learning about how to respond to the teachers. I found that










I needed to take more time to emphasize that the survey was designed to provide an idea of

student knowledge, and was not intended to evaluate their teaching. I stressed that there

were no right or wrong answers, and therefore they should not assist their students. Still,

there is a natural tendency for teachers to interject answers, opinions, and comments that

bias the results. Thus, arranging for the teacher to be away from the classroom while

conducting any of the activities with the students was important.

Depending on the class size and the number of questions the children had, surveys

took from forty-five minutes to an hour and a half to complete. The survey concluded with

a drawing exercise, which is described next.



Individual Drawings

The final question asked students to draw Parque Nacional Podocarpus. These

individual drawings, or maps as they are referred to interchangeably throughout this study,

complemented the survey by allowing students an opportunity to express their knowledge in

a visual format. For those students uncomfortable with writing, this provided an alternative

way for them to express themselves. The main objective behind working with drawings was

to obtain a visual representation of each individual's understanding of PNP. Following

guidelines developed by Thomas-Slayter et al. (1993), I left the instructions wide open,

letting them choose what they felt represented PNP. I had all children (n=60) from the four

schools participate in the drawing activities, asking those who did not know about the Park

to draw "su medio" (your environment). When students finished their drawings, I talked

with them about what they had created in order to understand fully the intention behind each

drawing. Fortunately for me, students generally did not finish their drawings all at once,

which allowed me time to review the survey to verify that all questions had been answered

(and answered legibly) and to talk with each student about their responses and drawing.

This time was very valuable for clarification. The students who finished very early were

given puzzles and other activities to do until the others finished. Once everyone was










finished with their drawings we moved into a group discussion of the questions from the

survey. I used flipchart paper to capture their responses, which gave me comprehensive lists

of their responses.

I analyzed the drawings by asking four principal questions that reflected the key

ecological relationships and issues discussed in local environmental education programs.

The questions were how did the students portray: 1) local topography; 2) the water cycle; 3)

biological diversity; and 4) human interaction with the Park. The specific elements looked

for in each category were directly derived from the environmental educational objectives

and materials. In addition to examining the drawings for the inclusion of these various

elements, I also noted the location and size of the elements in the pictures, which provided

an indication of the importance given to each item by the children. In addition, I was also

eager to analyze the drawings from a gendered political ecology perspective. Thus, I was

curious to see if the children would reveal any information regarding gender roles and

relationships, and if the political and economic instability of the country would show up in

their drawings. Chapter 6 provides a full analysis of this activity.


Group Mapping

In addition to the individual drawing exercise, I also facilitated a group mapping

activity with each classroom. After the somewhat tedious survey and then group discussion,

the students were given free reign to use their creativity and collective knowledge to create a

group map. Through this activity I gained a more in-depth understanding of their

knowledge and attitudes about the Park.

I prepared for using this tool by developing a guideline in which I listed all the items I

thought might appear on their maps, anticipating that I might need to step in and facilitate if

students needed assistance. I created the guideline as a way to ensure that I followed the









same format in each classroom. I soon learned however, that students had no trouble

tackling the maps, and the guidelines I developed were never used.

I began by asking the students if they wanted to help make a big map that showed

everything they knew about the Park. When they agreed, I pulled out a bed sheet and laid it

on the ground, generally to much commotion and excitement as the kids realized I meant a

really big map. Before they began working on the map itself, I facilitated a general

discussion to help organize the activity. We first discussed what a map is, what items it

might include, and what they wanted to include in their map of the Park. I kept track of this

dialogue on a flipchart. The items generally fell into one of two categories: either basic

infrastructure items like roads and schools, or general ecological items like trees, rivers, and

waterfalls. Then they were given materials, including the bed sheet or large flipchart paper,

colored paper and markers, scissors, erasers, and masking tape, and free rein over how they

wished to develop their map.

It is important to note that in this activity, it was the process of the map creation that

was of particular value to me. It was fascinating to listen as they negotiated different items,

and to see what items they finally included and which they excluded. It was just as

fascinating and perhaps even more revealing to observe the inter-personal dynamics and

gender roles being acted out. Not only did I learn a tremendous amount about the local

community through these exercises, but I also was able to gain deeper insight into the

knowledge, attitudes, and misperceptions held by students. In this way, the group mapping

exercise complemented the individual illustrations in the way that focus group discussions

complemented the individual interviews. They provided further depth and understanding in

a group setting.











Conclusion


This chapter described my research objectives, design, and methods. An introductory

overview sketched the progression of my research design over its four years, summarizing

the primary objectives and activities undertaken in each year. A chronological discussion of

the research design, and then an in-depth description of the various methods I used followed.

These components illustrate how the objectives guided the development of the research

design and the development of research tools. Just as I drew from various theoretical

approaches, I also relied on the strengths of various research methods to address the

objectives of my research. Not only did this allow me to obtain both qualitative and

quantitative data, but it also allowed for a triangulation of results. This ability to verify and

double-check information was very useful, and strengthened my confidence in the analysis.



Notes


1 I recognized that sampling from schools created several problems. By categorizing
schools, I was assuming that each student had been enrolled and present in that school on
the day the environmental education program was offered. So I had to verify the presence
of each child at the programs provided. I did this in interviews and conversations, and
backed this up with observations. I found that knowing personal first names was a proxy for
exposure: in schools that were reported to have received the most education, students and
environmental educators knew each others' names. Second, the issue of whether or not I
could consider the responses from students in the same school as independent data points
was raised. However, since the environmental educational programs were being offered in
the schools, and were designed to change individual students' knowledge, attitudes and
behavior, sampling from schools was the most logical method to obtain the information we
were seeking.

2 I found it to be extremely difficult to track the students who had been in the fifth and sixth
grade in 1997, as they were now either at a larger secondary school, or had moved, or had










dropped out. With the limited time I had available, I found it more worthwhile to focus on
gaining an understanding of the perspectives of teachers.

3 See the Appendices for the letters of support received throughout this research.

4 For more information on how to conduct ethnographic interviews, see Spradley (1979)
and Bernard (1994).

5 I should note that one Professor of Education at the UniversidadNacional de Loja, whom
I asked to review my survey design, warned me that I should be wary of the data obtained
from Likert scales. She explained that due to the culture of domination, acculturation and
conquest, teachers would not admit that they were not happy. This again pointed to the need
to spend more time in each community and in each school, in order to develop rapport that
would permit teachers to speak more freely.

6 For more information, see Bernard (1994) who provides a comprehensive discussion of
participant observation and how to successfully employ this technique.

7 For detailed information on focus groups, including an useful evaluation checklist, please
see Debus (1986). Slocum et al. (1995: 95) also provide useful and concise tips on the
process of focus groups.

8 I also took note of the teachers' sex, age, ethnicity and residency. I also originally wanted
to control for parents' knowledge, attitudes and behaviors, but due to logistical and time
constraints, this was impossible.















CHAPTER 4
THE POLITICAL ECOLOGY OF PARQUE NATIONAL PODOCARPUS


Introduction

In this chapter I use a political ecology framework to describe and analyze the

management issues and conservation strategies for Parque Nacional Podocarpus (PNP). I

focus specifically on the strategy of environmental education with the objective of

illustrating how the ecological, political and economic contexts interact and influence this

conservation strategy and its outcomes in the buffer zone of PNP. I begin by sketching a

picture of the physical landscape and biological diversity found within the Park. I overlay

this with various social considerations, including the historical, political and economic

development of human settlements in the buffer zone and the current national context in

Ecuador. This leads to an examination of natural resource use and the management issues

facing Parque Nacional Podocarpus. I use gold mining as an illustrative case, as this issue is

identified as particularly critical in the management plan.

Then, I introduce the key stakeholders in the management of the Park and describe

their environmental education strategies for confronting these management challenges. This

includes identifying the objectives of these programs, and how the programs, curricula and

materials are being developed. I also look at who was participating in these programs, and

how they were participating, and the facilitation methods and materials used. Finally, I

discuss how the impact of these programs was being measured. This introductory

description and analysis of the environmental education programs in the buffer zone is









further developed in the following chapters as students, teachers, and environmental

education staff add their perspectives.


Examining the Park Through a Political Ecology Lens


Ecological Considerations

Located on the eastern cordillera of the Ecuadorian Andes, within the Central and

Eastern Andes Endemic centers (Bibby et al., 1992), PNP is considered a "hot-spot" of

biological diversity. It has been called the "Andean jewel in the crown of Ecuador's

protected areas" (Rahbek et al., 1995: 114). Overall, the Park harbors 146,280 hectares of

tropical forest, cloud forest, and highland pdramo (alpine tundra) habitat, including the only

conifer genus native to Ecuador, the Podocarpus. With an altitude range of 800 meters in

the Amazonian rain forest to 3,600 meters in the high paramo, PNP protects an impressive

diversity of habitats and species. Five habitat types are found in PNP following the

Holdridge classification system (INEFAN, 1997: 16).1 Six natural community types have

also been identified.2

An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 vascular plants are found inside the Park. Gentry noted

that this area is one of high floristic endemism (TNC, 1995). The diversity of orchids found

within PNP has brought international acclaim, and unfortunately, illegal harvesting and the

threat of extinction for many species.3 In addition to orchids, botanical surveys conducted in

1990 and 1991 alongside the eastern border of the Park in the Rio Nangaritza basin

identified numerous potential botanical resources. These included various species of

Cinchona, an unknown species of Theobroma (cacao), a species of Gnetum

(Gymnospermae) which provides edible fruit, Caryodendron orinocense, which provides









seeds rich in oils, carbohydrates, and proteins, and a species of Croton, popularly known as

sangre de drago (Palacios, 1997:42). The team recommended that "Future scientific

explorations should include the higher parts of the Nangaritza basin, which have never been

visited by biologists" and that it was imperative to protect this area, possibly by extending

PNP to include some of the Rio Nangaritza basin. Another inventory sampled tree species

in one hectare plots between 2,700-2,800 meters and found PNP to be one of the richest

cloud forests in Ecuador in terms of tree species (Rasmussen et al., 1994).

Likewise, ornithological research has demonstrated that PNP is one of the world's

richest areas for avifauna and that several globally threatened species may depend on the

Park for their long-term survival (Rahbek et al., 1995; Rasmussen et al., 1994). These

species include the endangered Hapalopsittacapyrrhops, the vulnerable Leptosittaca

branickii, and Pyrrhura albipectus, an endemic parrot considered to be vulnerable (Collar et

al., 1992; Toyne et al., 1992). Other notable birds listed as "vulnerable" include: the

Penelope barbata, endemic to southernmost Ecuador and northern Peru (Medina, 1991;

Rahbek et al., 1995); the Galbulapastazae, endemic to the east slopes of the Andes in

Ecuador (Poulsen and Wege, 1994); and the newly described Dolirnis remseni (Rahbek et

al., 1995).

Indicative of the habitat diversity of the Park, PNP contains a high number of

specialized Andean forest taxa. For example, over half of Ecuador's species of tanagers

(Thraupidae) and hummingbirds (Trochilidae) are found in PNP (Rahbek et al., 1995).

Unprecedented rates of deforestation in the Andes place these species in danger, and

increase the already valuable role that PNP plays in protecting biological diversity. In

addition, Andean cock-of-the-rock (Rupicolapervuviana), torrent ducks (Merganetta









armata), lanceolated monklets (Micromonacha lanceolata) and gray-breasted mountain

toucans (Andigena hypoglauca), are among the many birds that attract ornithologists and

birders from around the world. Bloch et al. (1991) have suggested that as many as 600-800

species may be found in the Park, and the number is expected to increase as more surveys

are conducted, since only a very limited area of the Park has been studied.

In addition, PNP is the only area in southern Ecuador with large tracts of undisturbed

forests, which provides refuge to jaguar (Panthera onca), puma (Felis concolor), mountain

tapir (Tapiruspinchaque), and spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus). The Park also

supports populations of giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus), northern pudu deer (Pudu

mephistophiles) and woolly monkey (Lagothrix lagotricha) (Bloch et al., 1991; Toyne and

Jeffcote, 1992). Many of these large mammal species are threatened or endangered

throughout their ranges, and the Park provides an important sanctuary for them.

Finally, the Park is critical for watershed management, as it is the principal water

source for the communities surrounding the Park. The cloud forest plays a crucial role in

water storage, and is vital for soil conservation. As Colby and Keating (1998: 1483) report,

the highlands of PNP receive more than 4,000 mm of rain each year and are characterized

by sharp ridges with slope angles of up to 57. With numerous streams cascading through

this rough terrain, high rates of erosion are not surprising. Erosion would be even more

severe in this steep terrain if the forests were cleared or degraded, and a permanent year-

round, clean water supply would be severely jeopardized. Therefore, ecosystem services of

the Park are an important component of the biological value of the Park.









Local Political, Economic and Social Considerations

Established in 1982, PNP is the southernmost protected area in Ecuador and is located

in the Provinces of Loja and Zamora-Chinchipe. The latest management plan has divided

the communities surrounding the Park into four distinct regions and identifies the principal

management issues for each region. 4 These regions and issues reflect historical, economic

and political factors as well as issues of ethnicity, identity, cultural practices and integration

into the national political and market system.

The first region encompasses the northwestern section, from the city of Loja south to

Yangana. It is the most densely populated region in the buffer zone, with approximately

44% of the total buffer zone population living here. The city of Loja is the largest human

settlement in the buffer zone with 95,000 inhabitants. In terms of education, Loja is

considered to offer the best educational opportunities in southern Ecuador. In addition to the

numerous state schools, there are various private schools that are recognized for their

excellence. Two universities, the UniversidadNacional de Loja and Universidad Tecnica

Particular de Loja offer higher educational opportunities.

Throughout this region, mestizo farmers raise cattle and grow corn, sugar cane, coffee,

and a variety of other crops for sale in Loja and for personal consumption. Loja is the

economic clearinghouse for most products being grown in southern Ecuador. Census data

reveal that this region is not experiencing population growth, but on the contrary, population

is slightly declining. This is thought to reflect the inability of the region to support further

agricultural activities due to a loss of soil productivity (INEFAN, 1997: i).5

Hand-in-hand with its dominant economic role in the region is Loja's significant

political power. In regard to the Park, this has meant that although a majority of PNP lies in









Zamora-Chinchipe, Loja has enjoyed greater influence in its management. This is

demonstrated by the fact it was not until 1995 that an administrative office was established

in Zamora. Thus, for the first thirteen years of the Park's existence, the administration of the

Park was handled exclusively in Loja. In regard to management issues and priorities,

governmental entities and local stakeholders in this region are concerned with ensuring a

permanent and sufficient water supply to the large urban areas in this region, along with

developing sustainable tourism.

Loja's current economic and political power can be linked directly to its historical

roots. Loja was founded in 1548 by Alonso de Mercadillo on the main route connecting the

audiencia of Quito with that of Lima. By the 1580s Loja was the third largest town in the

audiencia (Newson, 1995: 243). It became the main supply point for Zamora and for

numerous other Spanish towns to the east and south. So, from the very beginning Loja was

strategically located, which helps explain why Loja is an economic and political hub in the

southern region today.

The second buffer zone region encompasses the northeastern section, including the

city of Zamora. The region has a population of approximately 28,074, of which

approximately 17,000 live in the city of Zamora. In contrast to Loja, and reflecting its lower

elevation, Zamora is tropical, lush, and green. It has the feel of a small frontier town.

However, the population is rising and as INEFAN (1997: ii) noted in the management plan,

El crecimiento de la poblaci6n [de Zamora]... estd relacionado con la importancia
que estd tomando la actividad minera en la economic de la zona, la misma que ha
crecido desde una insignificant participaci6n del 0.1% en la PEA de 1974, al 3.2%
en 1982y 13% en 1990.

Population growth in Zamora is related to the importance that mining is taking in the
economy of the region, having increased from an insignificant 0.1% of the









Economically Active Population (EAP) in the management plan of 1974, to 3.2% in
1982, tol3% in 1990.


Zamora is also home to several local mining federations and provides the entry point for

illegal mining activities within the Park.

In regard to education, the city of Zamora supports six elementary and six secondary

schools.6 In addition, most of the rural communities throughout this region have a small

elementary school, usually with only one or two teachers. In these areas, schools from both

the state and bilingual educational systems are found. As is true throughout the whole

buffer zone, environmental education programs are not yet integrated within the curricula,

but some schools do occasionally support fieldtrips to PNP. Justicia noted (1992: 10) that

relationships are strained between mestizo and indigenous communities in this region, as

evidenced by the lack of integration and collaboration regarding education.

A recently renovated highway connects Zamora to Loja, but the road is still considered

treacherous by locals, and huge mudslides are not uncommon. The cost of living in Zamora

is reported to be one of the highest in the country (Justicia, 1992: 11). Highland Saraguro

Indians have migrated from the north of Ecuador to this region and have founded small

communities along the NE border of the Park, where they raise crops and livestock for their

subsistence and for sale in Zamora and in Loja. Mestizo migrants from southern provinces

arrived in this area during the extreme drought of the late 1970s.7

The far-eastern side of the Park is identified in the new management plan as Region

Three. Accessible only by river, it is sparsely populated by Shuar Indians.8 A total of six

Shuar Centros border PNP on the southeastern side, with an estimated 8% (546 persons) of

the total buffer zone population. Although home to a relatively small population, these