Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1986


In agricultural economies, environmental learning and the use of environmental knowledge are central practices of social reproduction. The former is important because it encompasses the acquisition of important vocational skills and knowledge, and the latter because it is often integral to the work of providing or procuring basic needs goods and services. In these societies children learn about the environment--that is, about agriculture, animal husbandry and the use of local resources-- largely in the course of their work and play in a variety of settings. In rural areas of the Third World the transition to capitalist relations of production is commonly effected by inclusion in a government-sponsored agricultural development project. Such projects not only transform the political-economy, but often change the local ecology fundamentally as well. In the course of this transition the knowledge necessary to reproduce the society as a socio-economic and cultural-ecologic formation is altered along with the means and settings for acquiring and using this knowledge.


This article was originally published in Children's Environments Quarterly, available at



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