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Learning about Environmental Issues with the Aid of Cognitive Tools

Author(s): Mikael Jensen

Journal: Environment and Natural Resources Research
ISSN 1927-0488

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2011;
Original page

When looking at the issue of learning about environmental problems many difficulties stem from their inherent abstractness which causes difficulties because humans have a problem understanding information that is not directly perceivable. We primarily create our lives on perceivable information and by imitating other people. This paper will examine the limitations of the human mind and it will discuss environmental problems that we can't grasp, but on the other hand it will discuss our cognitive capacities and the kind of tools we can use, and how these might be handled by educators. The tools discussed are: models and miniatures, metaphors and analogies, tracking, key questions, and (participatory) stories. The cognitive science approach is just one way of looking at the issue but it can be useful when dealing with educational challenges.
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