Community building and social development in classroom meetings: does it foster environmental responsibility and concern?





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Looking at facets of social and academic development and environmental education, one understands the importance of being particular in the methods of presentation and integration. Social development is imperative to a child's overall growth. Experience in nature and an understanding of the interconnectedness of social and natural systems plays a substantial role in this development as well. The classroom meeting is an opportune venue for fostering not only social skills and values but also environmental responsibility and concern. This longitudinal study, supported by surveys, evaluates the growth of social skills and values of fourth grade students and the environmental attitudes and practices of their families during the 2009-2010 school year. Conclusions show that classroom meetings are effective in developing social skills and values and are a means to foster environmental responsibility and concern. Literature to support this integration is presented as well as numerical data collected during the study.

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