ERIC Number: EJ861396
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
On Ecological Reflections: The Tensions of Cultivating Ecojustice and Youth Environmentalism
Mueller, Michael P.
Cultural Studies of Science Education, v4 n4 p999-1012 Dec 2009
I respond to Zeyer and Roth's (2009) "A Mirror of Society" by elaborating on how the idea of interpretive repertoires is grounded by education philosophy and sociology. Vernacular languages are carried forward collectively from individuals who lived during a particular period of time, inculcated as root metaphors, which frame our relationships with others. It follows that metaphors (or interpretive repertoires) frame Swiss relationships with others, and what serves as Swiss goals for the environment and environmental protection are deeply embedded in some past conceptualizations of how a society should develop in the world. Indeed these youth's repertoires are "a mirror of society." But how do we know whether Swiss ideals are cultivating good, right, or just relationships, and embody a morally defensible environmentalism? Zeyer and Roth emphasize that teaching is a cultural process, which I agree with, but there is a contradiction in the idea that curriculum should be designed in a way that allows students to expand their existing repertoires without culturally mediated changes. Clearly students in Zeyer and Roth's study feel limited as to what they can do about the environment and environmental protection, in relation to outside influences such as US consumerism. Ecojustice, environmentalism, and sustainability should begin to dissolve this feeling of powerlessness. The purpose of this response is to show why cultural mediation is needed for defensible youth action.
Descriptors: Figurative Language, Literacy, Reflection, Foreign Countries, Educational Philosophy, Sociology, Environmental Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Switzerland