Contributing to sustainability education of east asian university students through a field trip experience: A social-ecological perspective

Tae Kyung Yoon, Seongjun Kim, Takako Takano, Sun Jin Yun, Yowhan Son

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This study reports the effects of a field trip environmental education program with a social-ecological perspective on the experience and learning of university students from China, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam. The students visited Jeju Island, the SaemangeumSeaDike, theDemilitarized Zone and Seoul, South Korea. Their experiences and learning about social-ecological interactions were analyzed using the new environmental paradigmtest, an evaluation questionnaire, group presentations and individual reports. Across demographic characteristics, the participants believed the program fairly presented the concept of social-ecological systems. Some developed new ideas of social-ecological systems through interpreting, transforming and contextualizing their field trip experience based on prior knowledge bases; others compared the sites to case studies. They preferred the sites where social-ecological issues were clearly presented by well-preserved landscapes, successful environmental management or environmental conflict. The results show the need for an advanced multi-dimensional methodology to evaluate students' learning through constructive processes. The program design of this study from planning to field trip and evaluation, the field site design in which regional site resources were organized in a social-ecological context and the analysis of participants' learning and experiences could contribute to attempts to couple the social-ecological perspective with the practice of sustainability and environmental education in field trip design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1067
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Oct 21

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We appreciate the anonymous private environmental foundation that organized and supported the field trip program. We also appreciate the passionate NGO directors and activists who devoted themselves to helping and guiding the field trip in Jeju, Saemangeum and the DMZ. This study was supported by research grants from the National Research Foundation of Korea (2015R1A6A3A01058445) and the Korea Forest Service (S211216L030120).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by the authors.


  • Constructive learning
  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
  • Environmental education
  • New environmental paradigm (NEP)
  • Resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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