The Failure of Environmental Education (and How We Can Fix It)

The Failure of Environmental Education (and How We Can Fix It)

The Failure of Environmental Education (and How We Can Fix It)

The Failure of Environmental Education (and How We Can Fix It)

Synopsis

At a time when wild places everywhere are vanishing before our eyes, Charles Saylan and Daniel T. Blumstein offer this passionate indictment of environmental education--along with a new vision for the future. Writing for general readers and educators alike, Saylan and Blumstein boldly argue that education today has failed to reach its potential in fighting climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation. In this forward-looking book, they assess the current political climate, including the No Child Left Behind Act, a disaster for environmental education, and discuss how education can stimulate action--including decreasing consumption and demand, developing sustainable food and energy sources, and addressing poverty. Their multidisciplinary perspective encompasses such approaches as school gardens, using school buildings as teaching tools, and the greening of schoolyards. Arguing for a paradigm shift in the way we view education as a whole, The Failure of Environmental Education demonstrates how our education system can create new levels of awareness and work toward a sustainable future.

Excerpt

There are noticeably fewer places these days where one can experience the immensity of nature, where one can feel alone and far from the societal order that humanity seems driven to impose on the random wilderness. It is harder to hear the wind howl across some distant ridge, as trees are fewer now, felled by ever-expanding and efficient industry. Not long ago, within the scope of the authors’ personal memories, one might have ventured into the wilderness and found no trace of humans. Today, however, humanity’s footprint is almost everywhere. Out in the woods are anonymous fences that mask the grand exfoliation of mining, hydroelectric plants, or oil pipelines. Gazing up from almost anywhere, one sees jet contrails filling the sky with the graffiti of human presence. Looking deeper into the natural world reveals changes in animal behavior and ecology caused by the long arm of anthropogenic effects, like the presence of human toxins in the fat of top predators that live in remote places where humans are never encountered. Even the . . .

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