Ecojustice Pedagogy


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This is a slide show that I use in different education courses at Central Connecticut State University

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Ecojustice Pedagogy

  1. 1. ECOJUSTICE THEORY & PEDAGOGY Kurt Love, Ph.D. Central Connecticut State University
  2. 2. Ecojustice Pedagogy Main Focus: Resisting a colonizing culture of consumerism by engaging in practices connected to the cultural commons Major Contributors: Chet Bowers, Rebecca Martusewicz, Kelly Young
  3. 3. Ecojustice Teaching Practice Students will be more able to: Identify sustainable social and ecological relationships Connect with intergenerational knowledges
  4. 4. Ecojustice Teaching Practice Students will be more able to: Decrease the influence of the media and consumerism: Mental, emotional, and spiritual liberation !om brand names enslavement Be more culturally inclusive and have a greater awareness of interconnectedness, nurturance, and reciprocity
  5. 5. Roots of Ecojustice Pedagogy Ecofeminism - a feminist theory that describes the relationship between nature and women; includes an analysis of the added burden that women face, especially in third-world nations, when environment is compromised. Indigenous Education - rooted in Native American cultures and philosophies; includes a focus on humans as part of nature living with reciprocity.
  6. 6. Summary Points of Ecojustice Theory 1. Eliminating eco-racism 2. Revitalizing the commons to create a balance between market and non-market aspects of community life 3. Ending the industrialized nations’ exploitation and cultural colonization of third-world nations 4. Ensure that the hubris and ideology of Western industrial culture does not diminish future generations’ ways of living and quality of life 5. Support an “Earth Democracy”--the right of nature to flourish rather than be contingent upon the demands of humans From
  7. 7. ECO-RACISM
  8. 8. Eco-racism Eco-racism - the relationship between poor environmental conditions and peoples of color and lower socioeconomic classes disproportionately living in those conditions. Peoples of third-world nations Environmental conditions of poor neighborhoods in cities
  10. 10. Revitalizing the Cultural Commons Cultural Commons Naturals systems (water, air, soil, forests, oceans, etc.) Cultural patterns and traditions (intergenerational knowledge ranging from growing and preparing food, medicinal practices, arts, music, crafts, ceremonies, etc.) Shared with little or no cost by all members of the community nature of the commons varies in terms of different cultures and bioregions The basis of mutual support systems and local democracy
  11. 11. Ladakh and the Loss of the Cultural Commons Ancient Futures Ladakh Part 1 Ladakh serves as an example of what happens when communities lose their cultural commons
  12. 12. Revitalizing the Cultural Commons Increases dialogue Diffuses social power imbalances Invests in relationships Strengthens Increases ecologically democratic sustainable practices participation Revitalizes the arts Strengthens local Lessens the volatility of control economic systems
  13. 13. Cultural Commons & Strong Democracy Cultural commons create a “strong democracy” and resist a “weak democracy” Strong democracy is when people are actively involved in creating their community through dialogue, thought, and action. Weak democracy is when people remain inactive, distracted (largely by practices of consumerism, pleasure and anti- intellectualism), and disengaged in the process of creating their community.
  14. 14. The Cultural Commons as Your Classroom Artists Native Americans Elders Politicians Journalists Experts in various areas Historians Community workers & organizers Mechanics Radio show hosts Writers Athletes Poets
  15. 15. The Cultural Commons as Your Classroom Food shares Museums Community gardens Libraries Transportation shares Art shows Traditional knowledge Craft shows shares Lectures Technology shares Farms Clothing swaps
  16. 16. Revitalizing the Cultural Commons What are specific examples of the cultural commons in our community?
  17. 17. UCONN Mentor Connection 2007 1. John Callendrelli (CT Chapter of Sierra Club) 2.Kathleen Holgersen (UCONN Women’s Center) 3.Lauren Bentancourt (Miss Connecticut 2007) 4.Dale Carson (Native American Elder - Abenaki) 5.Ned Lamont (Democratic Candidate for CT Senate 2006) 6.Matthew Hart (Mansfield Town Manager) 7.Chet Bowers (Ecojustice Professor, University of Oregon) 8.Laurie Perez (Journalist, Fox 61 News) 9.Bobby Sherwood & Colin McEnroe (Producer & Talk Show Host WTIC 1080AM Radio)
  19. 19. A Brief History of Peoples (Part 1) Earth-Based Cultures Industrial Culture First Nations Genocide Indigenous Africans Colonization Enslavement Assimilation Aborigines Tens of Thousands of Focus on colonization, Western Years of Earth- globalization, technology, and Centered Approach profit above relationship with Earth
  20. 20. A Brief History of Peoples (Part 2) “Third World” or “Developing” Industrial Culture Africa Ignored Impoverished East Asia Globalization Enslavement Dumping Grounds Central & South America Disease, poverty, war- Exploit peoples for the purposes stricken, desperate of making profits, unless they conditions have nothing to offer
  21. 21. Industrialized Nations Exploiting Third-World Nations Economic exploitation via cheap labor: Current business practices from transnational corporations in industrialized nations Sweat shop labor
  22. 22. U.S. Exploitation of Hawai`i Cultural colonization via globalization or “global Westernization” Hawaii Molokai
  24. 24. Hubris and Ideology Root metaphors: Words that carry forward cultural value systems; these are often mystified Examples: Individualism Progress Technology Savage The Corporation
  25. 25. Is “Progress” Ecologically Sustainable? Progress Sustainability Technology Cooperation Individuality/Isolation Reciprocity Capitalism Nurturance Competition Interconnectedness with each other and with Movement away from nature nature “Progress” as typically defined in the first world nations is the opposite of “sustainability”
  26. 26. Evolution and Social Darwinism Biological evolutionary theory argues for the “survival of the fittest” Darwin argued that poor people should not be having children because they will create more poor people. The social elites (during the Victorian period) greatly favored this argument.
  27. 27. Applied Social Darwinism How has Social Darwinism been applied to or connected with: Native Americans? African Americans (during slavery, segregation, currently) Australian Aborigines? Eugenics? Nazi scientists? Capitalistic practices? Free-market practices?
  29. 29. Earth Democracy Earth has a right to thrive and not be contingent on the needs of humans Humans are not separate from nature and live in balance with nature Humans not taking resources from nature or creating concentrations of pollution that destroy the environment Vandana Shiva, 1952- Externalities from The Corporation
  30. 30. Living Sustainably in Cuba Cuba Video
  31. 31. “Shapeshifter” Brian Jungen
  32. 32. Plastic Ocean Millions of tons of plastic collectively at least the size of Texas floating in the Pacific Ocean
  33. 33. Plastic Ocean Millions of tons of About 6 times more plastic collectively plastic than plankton - a at least the size of major food source for Texas floating in animals the Pacific Ocean CNN Report
  35. 35. Your Ecological Identity Who are you? What is your history? To what extent are you defined more by technology or by nature?
  36. 36. Footpath = Your View of Reality? Home Building Nature? Sidewalk Sidewalk Driveway Parking Lot Vehicle
  37. 37. Our View of Ecology Creates Our Culture Our ecology is anthropocentric Our daily living ecology is seen as being separate from nature. Our technology is our ecology! Because our culture is separate from nature, our culture is separate from ancient wisdoms which are sustainable practices of living with each other and living with the Earth and all its inhabitants.
  38. 38. Technology = Ecology What happens to people when technology replaces ecology as the main viewpoint of “reality”? Do we see buildings as “progress” and areas of nature as “empty lots?”
  39. 39. Technology & the Ecological Self How have our identities been shaped and reshaped by the larger cultural mindset of “progress” and technology? Is ours a Western Industrial Culture? Consumer Culture? What has become of our culture? knowledge? economics? value systems? health? relationships? views of dependence and interdependence? views of interconnectedness? systems of power? equity?equality? religion? sex? spirituality?
  40. 40. Western Industrial Education Technocistic - methods, tests, static view of knowledge Technology uncritically viewed as inherently “good” Devaluing nature, valuing human “progress” Monoculture - Western Globalization Capitalism, competition, profit Devaluing interconnectedness Short-term views over long-term relationships
  42. 42. Ecojustice Pedagogy Community-Based Learning Questioning “root metaphors” in language Questioning human domination over nature practices Exposing “technology as our ecology” in curriculum Analyzing history through an anti-anthropocentric lens
  43. 43. Ecojustice Teaching Methods Exploring the intersections of cultural value system and ecology 1. Teacher-as-mediator 2. Exploring anthropocentric thinking and language 3. Using the cultural commons as place-based learning experiences 4. Deconstructing our technological/ecological selves
  44. 44. Ecojustice Methods and Examples Community Garden Green Construction (Earthships Part 1 & Part 2) Sustainable Practices within a School (Composting, gardening, raising chickens, recycling, solar water heating, solar power, hydrogen fuel cell, greenhouse, etc.) Example: Common Ground High School in New Haven
  45. 45. Ecojustice Methods and Examples Sustainable Energy Projects (How can sustainable energy be used in the community?) Community Mapping (What is in our immediate neighborhood? What sustainable practices are already in our neighborhood? What possibilities are there for more?) Sustainable Feast (Using food only in season and within 100 miles)