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ERIC Number: EJ1045833
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Reference Count: 33
Situating Systems Thinking between Past & Future: Hannah Arendt's Discourse on the Multicultural "World"
Multicultural Education, v21 n1 p7-12 Fall 2013
In this article, the author contends that there is by now a devastating catalogue of evidence revealing the depth and breadth of corporate-sponsored, government-sanctioned acts of violence against the environment across the globe. British Petroleum's (BP) oil spill, for instance, is a testament to large-scale catastrophic ecological damages resulting from corporate over-expansion and systemic ecological ignorance (Martusewicz, Edmundsun, &Lupinacci, 2011). What can be no longer hidden from public consciousness, she states, is that the earth's natural resources cannot sustain the excessive consumption habits, persistent exploitation of human labor, and willful degradation and depletion of resources, particularly in underdeveloped nations: the world is collapsing. That the ecological crisis continues to be rendered inconsequential at the structural level depicts a disturbing image of our society; we are a society stuck in the midst of an ecological crisis that tests our values, ideology, politics, and education. Chanthou Thoeun maintains that, through education, we can begin to address the local and global ecological crises systematically through multicultural educational pedagogies. In particular, the manner in which teachers are trained to become knowledgeable and informed scholars can initiate a series of actions that resist social injustices, particularly environmental exploitation (Nieto, 2000). Embracing multicultural education as a system of networks connecting professors, teachers, students, and parents with community and environment, Thoeun argues that inculcating teacher education programs with theoretical knowledge relative to ecological intelligence plays a critical role in addressing the culturally rooted environmental crisis. Scholars of multicultural education assert that multicultural education arms students with skills and knowledge to engage in their local and global community, while remaining cognizant of social justice issues endemic to globalization (Banks, 2007; Banks & Banks, 2009; Nieto, 2000). To this end, Thoeun utilizes a theoretical lens to juxtapose and ultimately link systems thinking and critical theory through Hannah Arendt's conception of "wordlessness" to prevent the world from further collapse.
Descriptors: Environmental Education, Ecology, World Problems, Multicultural Education, Teacher Education Programs, Social Justice, Global Approach, Teacher Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
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