This website gives information for teachers, institutes, parents and students to promote and practice pesticide management and chemical use reduction in the home. Pesticide management practices and chemical use reduction in the home promotes better indoor air quality, healthier homes and healthier people.
To address these issues, this program creates and demonstrates a new model that can be used by others to successfully engage and educate participants. This model is focused on creating shared meaning through the use of liberating structures (i.e., formats for engagement) that will improve the odds of success of environmental outcomes. This project is specifically designed to have impact and be used as a model for this and other environmental education opportunities. Addressed are EPA’s educational priorities of “Human Health and the Environment” and “Career Development” in addition to EPA’s environmental priorities of “Protecting Air Quality” and “Assuring the Safety of Chemicals and Preventing Pollution.”
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is working through two STEM Centers (affiliated with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) and the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff (UAPB)) to reach teachers, students and parents of multiple schools in diverse communities to demonstrate the use of liberating structures for environmental education on pesticide management practices and chemical use reduction.
By utilizing liberating structures in environmental education we are striving to have a greater and more lasting impact on understanding, especially where behavioral change is required (e.g., following pesticide use labels and engaging in pest management practices in and around the home). To produce behavioral change, we have to create shared meaning and ownership in the problem and in the solution, but as educators, we must also understand all the dynamics of a situation including the predisposing, reinforcing and enabling factors for each group and person involved. In a practical sense, we must understand the factors that can hinder or help progress, and this information sharing can only occur through listening and learning for all involved.