Back when Legends and History Collide

Posted in: Talks and Presentations

A good day in Birmingham on Saturday chairing NAEE's AGM.   I wrote this recently for an Association News Bulletin:

The argument that education programmes should help (young) people to have a critical understanding of the relationship between the environment quality and human development was as integral to the idea of environmental education as it now is for ESD, although this has not always been emphasised, or even understood.  In tracing the development of arguments, ideas and emphases within both environmental education and ESD in relation to both international policy and institutional practice ... it does not matter whether it is EE, ESD, or any of the many other ‘adjectival educations’ that is being pursued.  What is important is that institutions and teachers contribute to people’s learning about the issues that really matter to all our futures, and how well they are doing this, both individually and in collaboration.  In other words, it’s important to be the (environmental) educator you want to be, and to be good at what you’re interested in, but you should not pretend that you can cover all the issues by yourself.

An effort of will is now needed if practitioners are to play to their strengths (and to learners’ needs) through working with others, and overcome the considerable barriers that favour intellectual and practical isolation, and the limited learning opportunities that inevitably result.  This is not to underplay the value of teaching through subjects or disciplines that help learners to develop specialised tools with which to explore and understand their world, but it should go some way to eliminate the waste inherent in such teaching where little reference is made one to the other.  Thus it is that it is perfectly fine to be an environmental educator (once more), but not in the same narrow and self-satisfied way as before.

Posted in: Talks and Presentations


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