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ERIC Number: EJ1054757
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1350-4622
Against Neoliberal Pedagogies of Plants and People: Mapping Actor Networks of Biocapital in Learning Gardens
Pierce, Clayton
Environmental Education Research, v21 n3 p460-477 2015
This paper attempts to answer this question: what should ecoliteracy mean in a biocapitalist society? The author situates his analysis of this question within the general context of the neoliberal reconstruction of education in the US. Specifically, focus is given to the shared model of governmentality GE food industries and education policies both utilize to manage life in the field and classroom--one where optimizing the value of plants and people for "flat world" economic competition is the defining goal. Given this landscape, I suggest that what some environmental educators have called "ecological literacy" or "critical ecoliteracy" must now include a dimension that rejects the ways both human and nonhumans are progressively being implicated into biocapitalist enterprises. I offer an example of how biocapitalist industries educate market understandings of life by looking at how the GE food industry's educational projects attempt to teach students and the public to think of nature and themselves as entrepreneurial actors. In the final section, I provide an example from my research using actor network theory in learning gardens as a way to develop a theory and practice of ecoliteracy that is capable of identifying and resisting the ways both human and nonhuman life are being captured and reconstructed within biocapitalist development ventures.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Grade 7; Elementary Education; Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A