Environmental education has received widespread recognition over many years as being an important process in the preservation and improvement of the world's environment (Lucas, 1979; UNESCO-UNEP, 1988). Environmental education assumes this importance through its potential to involve people at local, national and global levels in a socially active, problem solving, critical and participatory process (Greenall, 1987, 1990; Robottom, 1987) to ultimately develop environmentally literate, responsible and active citizens (Hines, Hungerford and Tomera, 1986/87; Stapp, 1969). Obviously then, environmental education is much more than just a process of knowledge transmission about the environment and awareness raising of specific environmental problems. Rather, environmental education is described by many (e.g. Greenall, 1987; Huckle, 1983; Lucas, 1979; Robottom, 1987) as a process that facilitates the challenging of dominant environmental attitudes and behaviour patterns of individuals, groups and entire societies to bring about positive social transformation and the development of a new environmental ethic.
For environmental education to fulfil this role of social and ethical change, it is internationally recognised that environmental education must address knowledge, awareness, skill, attitude and participation objectives (UNESCO-UNEP, 1976, 1978, 1988). Much of the literature on environmental education encapsulates this range of objectives into three broad categories or forms - education in the environment, education about the environment and education for the environment. Education in and about the environment is intended to develop the knowledge, awareness, attitude and skill objectives, while education for the environment has its focus on the values, ethics, problem solving and action objectives.