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In: Contemporary Studies in Environmental and Indigenous Pedagogies
In: Contemporary Studies in Environmental and Indigenous Pedagogies

Abstract

In this chapter, the authors call attention to—and critically question—the epoch now referred to as the Anthropocene, possibly more accurately recognized as the Capitalocene (Haraway, 2015), in relationship to Western industrial assumptions rooted in the understanding of human beings as separate from and superior to all other life-forms and the environments upon which they depend. Drawing from an ecocritical framework in education, the authors share how social anarchism (Amster et al., 2009; Bookchin, 1982; Kropotkin, 2012), EcoJustice Education (Martusewitcz et al., 2015), and Earth Democracy (Shiva, 2006) frame their approach to teaching elementary social studies methods for preservice teachers. The course emphasizes how the hierarchies of racism, sexism, classism, ableism, and speciesism are cultural rather than inherently natural, and how the aforementioned “isms” are amenable to social change via stronger decentralized and democratic decision-making coupled with learning through consensus and consent. The authors take the critical position that goals of human rights and children’s rights are interwoven with equity, decolonizing, and sustainability in ways that can be learned through (re)imaging a curriculum and pedagogy of consent and consensus. Furthermore, the authors share how lessons framed by unapologetically utopian desires for just futures on the planet center on (re)claiming democracy from the enclosures of neoliberal subjectivities (Ross, 2014). The authors argue that such radical change is imperative in light of environmental degradation, climate change, and the multitude of social and ecological problems that follow as a consequence. Concluding this chapter the authors share how they teach concepts of consensus as key to democratic decision-making with what they refer to as a radically (re)imaged social studies education aimed at helping PreK-8 social studies teachers, and specifically teacher educators, to (re)imagine social studies for Earth Democracy and to examine how current dominant worldviews are implicated in maintaining human (and male, white, heteronormative, able-bodied) supremacy.

In: Ecocritical Perspectives in Teacher Education

Abstract

The authors are three critical educators in teacher education programs who value multi-modal arts-based methods to disrupt the monoculture of text in instruction. Adorno’s aesthetic theory, Haraway’s speculative fabulation, and Freire’s critical literacy intersect to form a conceptual framework that situates EcoJustice pedagogy as an arts-based activity. In this chapter, the authors discuss how the film mother! could be used as a catalyst for critical analysis in a Social Foundations or Multicultural Education course. Teachers lead a discussion deconstructing the scenes in terms of the discourses of curriculum or educational policy that most likely led to characters’ behaviors. For instance, teachers might ask students in what ways humans have been systematically taught superiority over other species; or, they might question the ways humans learned a narrative of separation from the environment. Following this discussion, students outline the anthropocentric curriculum that they believe results in the dystopian vision of mother! Next, students imagine a utopian counterpart to the film, in which more-than-human species are involved and mother, the film’s protagonist and representation of Earth, is resituated as a respected and respectful character. Students design another curriculum, one that would most likely lead to their alternate visions. They do so by relying on storytelling as a critical use of what Freire calls “envisagement,” allowing them to both critique and revise reality.

In: Ecocritical Perspectives in Teacher Education

Abstract

By sharing the experiences of two teacher educators, this article interrogates a tendency in ecojustice education to position humans-as-saviors in climate crisis narratives. The authors postulate the use of film—specifically, Darren Aronofsky’s (2017) mother!—to facilitate the complex process of a critical ontology that decenters humans in stories of ecological relationality. The authors ask: How might we use film to disrupt the ways future teachers are commonly positioned as protagonists in the human-as-savior narrative? How might teachers be positioned to promote Holland, Lachiocotte, Skinner, and Cain’s (2001) pillars of ecological democracy: intelligent communication, recognized identity, and critical agency between multiple species? The authors share how they work with/in teacher education to address these tensions in a Social Foundations or Multicultural Education course. They conclude with pedagogical examples of how the authors envision film as part of a teacher education curriculum.

In: The International Journal of Critical Media Literacy
In: Ecocritical Perspectives in Teacher Education
In Ecocritical Perspectives in Teacher Education, the editors share a collection of chapters from diverse critical scholars in teacher education.

Teachers, and their students, are faced with demands that require teacher educators to work toward better preparing them to teach in a changed world—a world where diversity, human rights, sustainability, and democracy must be paramount. This text calls together teacher educators who address the complex ways that social and environmental injustices—like racism, sexism, classism, ableism, and speciesism—weave together to produce dangerous conditions for all life. The volume shares with readers a glimpse into alternatives possible for teaching that are situational, local, and in support of social justice and sustainability.

Contributors are: Marissa E. Bellino, Melissa Bradford, Greer Burroughs, Nataly Chesky, Brandon Edwards-Schuth, Alison Happel-Parkins, Kevin Holohan, Agnes C. Krynski, John Lupinacci, Emilia Maertens, Rebecca Martusewicz, Emma McMain, Michio Okamura, Clayton Pierce, Meneka Repka, Graham B. Slater, Silvia Patricia Solís, JT Torres, Rita Turner, Robert G. Unzueta and Mark Wolfmeyer.