Educational Reform and Environmental Concern: A History of School Nature Study in Australia

Educational Reform and Environmental Concern: A History of School Nature Study in Australia

Dorothy Kass  (Author)
A crucial component of the New Education reform movement, nature study was introduced to elementary schools throughout the English-speaking world in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Despite the undoubted enthusiasm with which educators regarded nature study, and the ambitious aims envisioned for teaching it, little scholarly attention has been paid to the subject and the legacy that nature study bequeathed to later curricular developments. Educational Reform and Environmental Concern explores the theories that supported nature study, as well as its definitions, aims, how it was introduced to curricula and its practice in the classroom, by focusing upon educational reform in the Australian state of New South Wales.


This book explores nature study within the context of broader educational reform movements in a period characterised by a transnational exchange of ideas. It is the only book on nature study available to date that focuses on the history of the movement outside the USA, providing a much-needed alternative perspective. Kass considers nature study as it adapted and changed throughout the twentieth century, addressing the extent to which the nature study idea represented, responded to and even influenced concern about the natural environment.


Educational Reform and Environmental Concern will appeal to researchers, academics and postgraduate students engaged in the study of educational and environmental history. Researchers with an interest in a transnational or imperial approach to the history of education will also benefit from the wealth of comparative material that Kass presents.
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