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Bridging Community Development and Environmental Education: Rural WaterConservation in Jordan.
East Lansing, Michigan
East Lansing, Univ., Ph.D., 2010
Abstract: International community development is a fertile area of research for environmental education scholars and practitioners. Although the community development field is well established, there is relatively little focus on education and learning in community development literature, especially in developing country settings. Particularly, environmental education scholars' growing focus on adult learning in nonformal programs can help address challenges to learning in community development contexts. In this three-paper format dissertation, I examine Jordan's water conservation programs from three perspectives relevant to the environmental education and community development literature. The first paper, "Professional assumptions and community experiences: Rural conservation education in Jordan," examines Jordanian water conservation programs. Both environmental education and community development scholars argue that for programs to be effective, their design needs to reflect an accurate understanding of the rural contexts in which they are implemented. Thus this paper explores professionals' assumptions when framing programs and the implications for programs when the assumptions do not match reality. I argue that program planners must understand participants' assumptions and experiences to craft relevant nonformal conservation education programs. The second paper, "Social networks framing resource distribution: Inequitable water conservation education in rural Jordan," applies a community development lens to the water conservation programs. Researchers and practitioners of community development recognize that social structures frame how resources in a community are distributed. For community development programs, social structure influences who participates in and benefits from it. This paper explores the social structures framing participation in Jordan's water conservation programs, using social networks to explain how participants' relations impact their participation in and benefit from programs. I find that women primarily relate in kinship networks which shape water resource access and contend that program planners must understand how resources flow through social networks to assist those most affected by water scarcity. The third paper, "Critical learning processes in rural water conservation in Jordan," investigates the process of learning that takes place in the two study villages. Learning is an integral component of community development activities, so practitioners and scholars can benefit from applying environmental education approaches to their work. In this paper, I examine how learning approaches in rural water conservation programs impact participants' attitude and behavior change. I introduce Bawden's Critical Learning Cycle model to frame the learning process in two case study programs. I find that because programs do not include complete and repeated experiential learning cycles, participants lack attitude and behavior change in both programs. In all three papers, I bring community development and environmental education scholarship together to suggest ways to improve the implementation of community-based initiatives. In these water conservation programs, I find implications which apply to other community programs and educational efforts: (1) that assumptions by planners impact program success and thus planners must take care in adapting to local contexts; (2) that planners must understand how rural community organization impacts program participation and design programs accordingly; and (3) that learning processes must be understood, and programs carefully designed and fully supported in order to create meaningful attitude and behavior changes. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest llc. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:].
Inhaltsverzeichnis :
Professional assumptions and community experiences: rural conservation education in Jordan
Social networks framing resource distribution: inequitable water conservation education in rural Jordan
Critical learning processes in rural water conservation programs in Jordan.
Original-Quelle (URL):