What is education for? Six myths, six principles
Wise words from David Orr
David Orr has been an advocate for environment education for yonks. He makes six points to back up his call for a concerted effort to ramp up our eco-literacy. In his article, What is Education for? Orr says unless we position nature at the top of our education agenda, then we are selling our children short when it comes to life-long-learning and learning for earning. If our learning sidelines mother earth as a bit player, rather than the main game, then we will reap the consequences, and they won’t be pretty, let alone sustainable in the long term. Orr is concise in his use of words and doesn’t beat about the bush. After noting six myths, here is the first of the six principles, he suggests we must teach at all levels of education, from pre-school to university and beyond.
First, all education is environmental education. By what is included or excluded we teach students that they are part of or apart from the natural world. To teach economics, for example, without reference to the laws of thermodynamics or those of ecology is to teach a fundamentally important ecological lesson: that physics and ecology have nothing to do with the economy. That just happens to be dead wrong. The same is true throughout all of the curriculum.
When we ponder on the content of this article and look around for examples, we find that the non-human community that lives in nature – that inhabits Munibung Hill for example – in their own way, know about these myths and teach their offspring these principles. What does this say about how we have distanced ourselves for earth law?
The full story is at the link. Education, David Orr, InContext. Suggestion – neatly package a copy of it as a gift to family and friends this Christmas. Be prepared for some lively conversations.