The Failure of Environmental Education by Charles Saylan

By Charles Saylan

At a time while wild locations all over the place are vanishing sooner than our eyes, Charles Saylan and Daniel T. Blumstein provide this passionate indictment of environmental education—along with a brand new imaginative and prescient for the longer term. Writing for common readers and educators alike, Saylan and Blumstein boldly argue that schooling this present day has did not succeed in its power in battling weather switch, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation. during this forward-looking booklet, they determine the present political weather, together with the No baby Left at the back of Act, a catastrophe for environmental schooling, and speak about how schooling can stimulate action—including reducing intake and insist, constructing sustainable nutrients and effort assets, and addressing poverty. Their multidisciplinary point of view encompasses such methods as institution gardens, utilizing tuition structures as educating instruments, and the greening of schoolyards. Arguing for a paradigm shift within the approach we view schooling as a complete, The Failure of Environmental schooling demonstrates how our schooling procedure can create new degrees of know-how and paintings towards a sustainable future.

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Overprotectiveness, motivated by simply wanting to protect the ones we 50 / What Went Wrong love, may have a darker side, a societal undercurrent of fear and mistrust that it may inadvertently foster. We long for safety and security, but our leaders and our media teach us to seek it through insulation, fortification, or avoidance. There are risks in the world, indeed, but learning to temper the exaggeration of fear with reality may help us become stronger, more compassionate and tolerant people.

Using natural resources to support the war effort was more important than saving natural resources. Yet its failure was not complete: it inspired midcentury conserva- 24 / Foundations tionists, who have had a much more direct impact on our current thoughts on nature conservation, biodiversity, and environmental education. By the mid 1930s, Aldo Leopold was expressing ideas that would later be published in A Sand County Almanac. In this book, Leopold shared his observations of nature—to which he was deeply and poetically connected—under the threat of overuse, mismanagement, and pollution.

The degree of functional literacy in society is hard to calculate, considering the broad scope the term encompasses. There is strong speculation that the percentage of functionally illiterate adults in Western society has increased in the last fifty years. If true, this would help explain a decline in civic concern and an increase in political apathy. Environmental education must foster functional literacy if it is to accomplish any measurable impact on environmental problems. The barrage of information confronting us today is unparalleled in human history.

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