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ERIC Number: EJ1161072
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1358-684X
Of Daffodils and Farmers: Literature, Agriculture Students and Ecological Awareness
Fairlie, Charlotte
Changing English: Studies in Culture and Education, v17 n4 p345-351 2010
In a small Midwestern liberal arts college, a class focusing on "Farming and Rural Life in Literature" attracted a large number of agriculture students. Although many disliked and avoided reading, these students began to use literature as a way to understand the natural world, their role in it and the experiences they shared with other farmers half a world away. They were experiencing the transformative power of poetry that Thomas Auxter urges us to consider in his essay, "Poetry and Self-Knowledge in Rural Life". Many critics have argued that the structure of the traditional curriculum reinforces environmentally unsustainable beliefs and practices by discouraging both understanding and creative problem solving. Yet while they advocate for innovative cross-disciplinary models, these critics pay little attention to the role of the humanities in developing the desired grasp of human interconnectedness. The students' performance and testimony is persuasive evidence that the study of literature helps agriculture students cultivate greater appreciation of nature and their membership in a global community. Teachers of English, at all grade levels, should be aware that they can play a key role in encouraging ecological literacy in the generation of farmers who must confront the world's environmental challenges and feed its burgeoning population.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A