It wasn’t enough to observe and have a front row seat at issues I felt were important. The students had to care about what they were studying. It had to be relevant to their lives.
In other words – let’s give every drop of our sweat and spirit into pondering and practicing – making civic and political engagement/reimagination a core value in our teachings.
How might we collaborate to design a highly interactive and creative online learning environment to share, in a popular, accessible format what we have been learning over the 8 years?
We believe that people armed with particular skillsets and understanding of the world, who together form a community able to harness the power of the collective wisdom can, and will, embrace an emerging regenerative world.
Most of my students do not go on to become professional educators. But all, I hope, do see themselves as stewards of our educational systems, understood as powerfully entwined with environmental systems, underpinning all hopes of inclusive, sustainable prosperity.
We need to move fast and with bold aspiration, while retaining critical reflexivity, as we create a new chapter in the evolution of our ways of educating on this—as yet—still beautiful planet.
The question for those of us in the business of thinking, propagating ideas, and equipping youth for lives in a confusing and uncertain world is what do we do? Living in the shadows or the sunlight of our legacy, what would our great-great-grandchildren wish us to have done?
The Design Studio course and Ecovillage Design Education programme are empowering courses that helped me learn how to think in a systemic holistic way and become aware of privileges and biases along the process.
Mitchell Thomashow’s most recent book, To Know the World: A New Vision for Environmental Learning, arrives when we need it most.
Students need to make a real connection between natural resources, the infrastructure we live in, the things we buy, the tools we use, and the energy it all demands. For that, we need to connect education to the Earth System for students to understand why it is so essential to change the way we live in a time of climate crisis.
Climate literacy, which should by now be universal, lags out of all proportion to the crisis — and yet it promises large returns for a relatively small investment. If every student was climate literate, we could begin to effect change on a large scale. If every person was truly climate literate, imagine the change we could make.
The better that one understands a problem, the greater the chance of solving it. So it is with climate change, a crisis demanding far-reaching social transformation.
But just how far-reaching? A broad curriculum that develops activists’ clarity and unity of vision could be an essential pillar to advance the climate movement’s preparation, ambition, and cohesiveness.