ERIC Number: EJ846661
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Educational Reflections on the "Ecological Crisis": EcoJustice, Environmentalism, and Sustainability
Mueller, Michael P.
Science & Education, v18 n8 p1031-1056 Aug 2009
There is a tendency by scholars arguing for a more just and sustainable future to position the "ecological crisis" as a fundamental reason for major educational reforms. Relying on crisis-talk to fuel social and environmental justice and environmentalism reinforces the thinking of the past, which inadvertently perpetuates the acceptance of present cultural attitudes which frame our relationships with others and the natural world. To evaluate previous cultural thinking and associated traditions of Euro-West society, Chet Bowers asserts that we ought to analyze how assumptions are carried forward as metaphors, which are associated with attitudes towards science, technology, and nature. This pedagogy is called "ecojustice education" and serves to conserve and sustain cultural diversity and the biodiversity of Earth's ecosystems, which are threatened and vulnerable. But, also carried forward in the language of ecojustice philosophy (and other ecological works) is a presumption that feeds into scientifically proving that a crisis exists, which is associated with organizing schools around an implicit shock doctrine of fear and urgency. This paper explores these assumptions and others associated with a supposition of ecological crisis. The ecological crisis has the potential to marginalize many diverse people who are needed during these times of increasing ecological awareness and uncertainties. Situating education (and the world) in the frenzy associated with crisis, versus the assertion that schools should increase awareness around the belief that a more sustainable lifestyle is beneficial for the individual, the community and the environment is a worthwhile debate and is rich with respect to research opportunities in education.
Descriptors: Environmental Education, Cultural Pluralism, Biodiversity, Social Justice, Conservation (Environment), Social Attitudes, Cultural Influences, Role of Education, Consciousness Raising, Sustainable Development
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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