Transforming Environmental Education: Making the Cultural and Environmental Commons the Focus of Educational Reform
Bowers, C. A.
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Bowers, C. A.
Abstract The primary focus of this book is on 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 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 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. Content: Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: Understanding the Cultural and Environmental Commons Chapter 3. Integrating Environmental Education into Commons Education Chapter 4: Teaching Sustainable Cultural Assumptions Chapter 5: The Classroom Practice of Commons Education Chapter 6: The Political Context of Commons Education Chapter 7: Toward Culturally Grounded Approaches to Teaching and Learning Afterword: A Case of Linguistic Complicity: How the Formulaic Thinking of George Lakoff Supports the Market Liberal’s Agenda of Enclosing What Remains of the Commons