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ERIC Number: EJ916732
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
ISSN: ISSN-1871-1502
Emerging Beliefs Frustrate Ecological Literacy and Meaning-Making for Students
Fleischer, Stuart
Cultural Studies of Science Education, v6 n1 p235-241 Mar 2011
In their treatise, Mitchell and Mueller extend David Orr's notions of ecological literacy (2005) to include biophilia (Wilson "1984") and ecojustice (Mueller "2009"). In his writings, David Orr claims that the US is in an "ecological crisis" and that this stems from a crisis of education. The authors outline Orr's theory of ecological literacy as a lens to understand Earth's ecology in view of long-term survival. In their philosophical analysis of Orr's theory, Mitchell and Mueller argue that we move beyond the "shock doctrine" perspective of environmental crisis. By extending Orr's concept of ecological literacy to include biophilia and ecojustice, and by recognizing the importance of experience-in-learning, the authors envision science education as a means to incorporate values and morals within a sustainable ideology of educational reform. Through this forum, I reflect on the doxastic logic and certain moral and social epistemological concepts that may subsequently impact student understanding of ecojustice, biophilia, and moral education. In addition, I assert the need to examine myriad complexities of assisting learners to become ecologically literate at the conceptual and procedural level (Bybee in "Achieving scientific literacy: from purposes to practices," Heinemann Educational Books, Portsmouth, 1997), including what Kegan ("In over our heads: the mental demands of modern life," Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1994) refers to as "Third Order" and "Fourth Order" thinking: notions of meaning-construction or meaning-organizational capacity to understand good stewardship of the Earth's environment. Learners who are still in the process of developing reflective and metacognitive skills "cannot have internal conversation about what is actual versus what is possible, because no "self" is yet organized that can put these two categories together" (p. 34). Mitchell and Mueller indicate that middle school learners should undergo a transformation in order to reflect critically about the environment with a view toward determining critical truths about the world. However, if this audience lacks "selective, interpretive, executive, construing capacities" (Kegan in "In over our heads: The mental demands of modern life," 1994, p. 29), assimilating the notions of ecojustice and biophia may be problematic.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A