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Conservation Psychology: A Gap in Current Australian Undergraduate Psychology Education?
School of Psychology, Social Work & Social Policy, University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia
Received: 20 December 2012; in revised form: 7 March 2013 / Accepted: 7 March 2013 / Published: 19 March 2013
Abstract: Human actions have contributed to numerous environmental challenges, including climate change and a significant loss of the world’s biodiversity. As the scientific study of human thought and behaviour, psychology has much to offer in better understanding these issues, as well as fostering greater sustainability in human actions. Yet, despite this recognition, and increasing calls from leaders in psychology education to produce graduates capable of applying their disciplinary knowledge to such real-world issues to solve worldwide behaviourally-based problems; this may not be adequately addressed in current psychology training. The present study assessed the content of all APAC (Australian Psychology Accreditation Council) approved psychology programs within Australia to determine the proportion which offered a psychology-focused course (unit) specifically in conservation or sustainability. Based on the data advertised through each university website, it appears that only one of 39 programs currently offers such a course, with one other university implementing a conservation psychology course in 2013. Thus 95% of current APAC-accredited programs in Australia do not have a strong focus on training psychology graduates to contribute to addressing these important issues. The need for greater integration of conservation psychology content into undergraduate psychology education in Australia and beyond is discussed.
Keywords: conservation psychology; psychology education; environmental problems
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Pearson, E. Conservation Psychology: A Gap in Current Australian Undergraduate Psychology Education? Sustainability 2013, 5, 1266-1281.
Pearson E. Conservation Psychology: A Gap in Current Australian Undergraduate Psychology Education? Sustainability. 2013; 5(3):1266-1281.
Pearson, Elissa. 2013. "Conservation Psychology: A Gap in Current Australian Undergraduate Psychology Education?" Sustainability 5, no. 3: 1266-1281.