Transforming Environmental Education: Making the Cultural and Environmental Commons the Focus of Educational Reform

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Date
2006
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Volume Title
Publisher
Ecojustice
Abstract
"The book I am asking you to consider has an entirely different focus; with the primary one being the need to integrate environmental education into a more general curriculum that engages students in terms of their daily experiences in their community's cultural and environmental commons, and in terms of providing them the language necessary for articulating what is being lost as more aspects of their commons are enclosed by market forces. If effect, this book is focused on the pedagogical and curricular reforms that are a necessary part of making the renewal of the cultural and environmental commons a central focus of educational reform. The how-to-do-it discussion of fostering the student's communicative competence for articulating the difference between a commons-based experiences and market-consumer based experiences introduces examples that would be appropriate in the early grades as well as how courses at the university level need to be refocused in order to clarify how the development of different disciplines contributed to the marginalization and silences that now characterize most North American's relationships with the commons. The emphasis on pedagogical and curricular reforms are set against a background discussion of how such terms as the environment and environmental education are now being politically contested, as well as against the background of economic globalization, and the rapid rate of global warming and other changes in natural systems' such as the changes in the chemistry of the world's oceans. The book can also be seen as laying out an approach to educational reform that makes the renewing of the cultural and environmental commons the responsibility of classroom teachers and university professors across the disciplines."
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Keywords
education, environment, common pool resources, commodification, globalization, environmental change
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