Ecological Education in Action: On Weaving Education, Culture, and the Environment

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Gregory A. Smith, Dilafruz R. Williams
SUNY Press, 1999 - Education - 244 pages
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Ecological Education in Action celebrates the work of innovative educators in North America who explore ecological issues in school and non-school settings. These educators demonstrate how to reshape the thinking of children and adults to affirm the value of sufficiency, mutual support, and community.

Courses in environmental education often focus on scientific analysis and social policy -- not cultural change. Children are exposed to information regarding environmental problems and explore such topics as endangered species, the logging of tropical rainforests, or the monitoring of water quality in local streams and rivers. Some adopt manatees or whales, or create school-wide recycling programs. These topics and efforts are without question commendable, however, missing is a recognition of the deeper cultural transformations that must accompany the shift to a more ecologically sustainable way of life.

Contributors to this volume describe courses, programs, or projects that are transformative in nature, aimed at engendering the experience of connectedness that lies at the heart of moral action. The first six chapters describe educational efforts in K-12 schools throughout North America. The next six chapters consider the work of people in higher education and non-formal educational settings and their attempts to install an into the learning of college students and ecological perspective adult community members. The book thus creates an image of what an ecologically grounded form of education for our own era could look like.

  

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Contents

Reengaging Culture and Ecology
1
K12 SETTINGS
19
Stories from Our Common Roots Strategies for Building an Ecologically Sustainable Way of Learning
21
Deepening Childrens Participation through Local Ecological Investigations
47
From Human Waste to Gift of Soil
65
From Margin to Center Initiation and Development of an Environmental School from the Ground Up
79
Exploring Childrens Picture Books through Ecofeminist Literacy
103
Education Indigenous to Place Western Science Meets Native Reality
117
Changing the Dominant Cultural Perspective in Education
161
Environmental Autobiography in Undergraduate Educational Studies
179
Reclaiming Biophilia Lessons from Indigenous Peoples
189
Creating a Public of Environmentalists The Role of Nonformal Education
207
Reassembling the Pieces Ecological Design and the Liberal Arts
229
Selected Programs and Resources that Address Ecological Education
237
Biographical Sketches
239
Index
243

HIGHER EDUCATION AND NONFORMAL SETTINGS
141
Liberation and Compassion in Environmental Studies
143

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About the author (1999)

Gregory A. Smith is Associate Professor in the Education Department at Lewis and Clark College. He is the author of Education and the Environment: Learning to Live With Limits, also published by SUNY Press, a coauthor of Reducing the Risk: Schools as Communities of Support, and the editor of Public Schools That Work.

Dilafruz R. Williams is Associate Professor in the School of Education at Portland State University.

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