Integrating environmental problems into psychology courses can be a daunting task for faculty because of limitations to training, time constraints in class, and the vast and changing scope of environmental problems. An efficient and effective method for addressing environmental issues is to introduce general principles based on an ecological worldview. Example principles include: all life is interconnected; natural resources are finite and limited in their ability to regenerate; upstream solutions are more effective than downstream solutions; and circular, closed-loop systems are preferred to linear systems. Students participating in two recent psychology courses enhanced by this method demonstrate significant improvement in familiarity with the concepts and self-reported use of the concepts outside of class. These general ecological principles link easily to many different psychological topics, encourage deeper cognitive processing of environmental content, and help students ask insightful questions, analyze problems, and propose meaningful solutions.
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