ERIC Number: ED045532
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1970-Nov-24
Reference Count: 0
Environmental Issues are Controversial Issues.
Hepburn, Mary Allaire
The extensive social-scientific interest and continuing relevance of environmental study assure its immediate and long-range importance in the social studies. But the crisis atmosphere surrounding this issue threatens a thoughtful, systematic approach to the subject, and poses the danger of a careless rush to activity. As social studies educators, we have three major obligations: 1) to familiarize teachers with the ecological framework in which environmental issues must be viewed; 2) to alert teachers to the range of opinions on environmental action and stress that this, like other social issues, are controversial and must be so treated; and 3) to prepare teachers to lead effective inquiry into questions of social action. The issue of population growth, for example, can be placed in the ecosystem framework by examining how increases affect food supply, proportion of land available to man in relation to other species, and overall support capability of the system. The range of opinions runs from warnings of imminent disaster to accusations by ethnic groups that birth control serves only to reinforce existing white dominance. Inquiry should proceed on the basis of an analysis of the underlying values and the kinds and sources of data upon which differing conclusions rest. (JLB)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council for the Social Studies, Washington, DC.
Note: Paper presented at the annual convention, National Council for the Social Studies, New York, New York, November, 1970