Most environmental learning takes place outside of the formal education system, but our understanding of how this learning actually occurs is in its infancy. By surfing the internet, watching nature documentaries, and visiting parks, forests, marine sanctuaries, and zoos, people make active choices to learn about various aspects of their environment every day. Free-Choice Learning and the Environment explores the theoretical foundations of free-choice environmental education, the practical implications for applying theory to the education of learners of all ages, and the policy implications for creating new and sustainable environmental education opportunities.
John H. Falk is Sea Grant Professor in Free-Choice Learning at Oregon State University and founder and former president of the Institute for Learning Innovation. He is co-author of Thriving in the Knowledge Age, Lessons without Limit, and Free-Choice Science Education, as well as co-editor of In Principle, In Practice: Museums as Learning Institutions. Joe E. Heimlich is a senior research associate at the Institute for Learning Innovation. He has worked in the field of free-choice environmental education for fifteen years. Susan Foutz is a research associate at the Institute for Learning Innovation and is co-editor of In Principle, In Practice.