ERIC Number: ED335171
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
The Educational Philosophy of Wendell Berry.
Theobald, Paul; Snauwaert, Dale T.
This paper provides a guide for those interested in the educational philosophy of author and ecologist Wendell Berry. It is divided into three sections. The first discusses the foundational dimensions of Berry's thought in terms of his conception of human nature, knowledge, and the good society. Berry sees human beings as creators and moral agents who achieve their humanity only in relation to their surrounding land and community. He conceives knowledge as being fundamentally experiential, imaginative, relational, and interactional with nature. He envisions the good society as being unified with nature, community-based, and democratic. The second section focuses on Berry's educational philosophy in terms of the purposes of education, curriculum, and pedagogy. His general orientation translates into an educational theory favoring the cultivation of highly literate individuals capable of exercising critical judgement concerning a variety of social, political, and economic issues. He sees current schooling as little better than "babysitting, job training, or incarceration," supporting environmental exploitation. His outlook advocates a liberal curriculum and an experiential, critical pedagogy. The third section attempts to place Berry's educational thought in the context of the history of educational ideas. Berry's philosophical tradition is rooted in Greek antiquity, which linked education, or character development, with the quality of community life. Berry's advocacy of critical consciousness is also similar to the cultural hegemony theory of the Frankfort School. The document concludes that Berry's philosophy is best described as "ecological," concerned with cultivation of truth, justice, and geological space. (TES)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A