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A New Approach to Ecological Education

Engaging Students’ Imaginations in Their World

Gillian Judson

Ecological education is becoming a major area of interest worldwide, and schools are increasingly being called upon to address global and local ecological concerns. Unfortunately, most teachers have limited or no training in the knowledge and skills required to support their students’ sense of connection to the natural world. Moreover, they have been trained to teach in ways that often marginalize the imagination in learning. This book illustrates how imagination and the development of ecological understanding are closely connected. It offers teachers a practical guide to teaching in ecological and imaginative ways – needed support to establishing more ecologically-oriented education in all classrooms. As imagination takes a central position in schools, all teaching and learning can improve as a result.

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List of Figures ................................................................................................ix Acknowledgments..........................................................................................xi Introduction: Re-imagining Ecological Education..........................................1 Part One: A Brief Overview of Current Approaches to Ecological Education ....................................................................................7 Chapter One: What Is Ecological Education?.................................................9 Chapter Two: Problems ................................................................................25 Part Two: A New Approach to Ecological Education—Engaging Students’ Emotions and Imaginations in Their World ...........................33 Chapter Three: What Is Imaginative Education? Principles and Purposes ....................................................................................................35 Chapter Four: What Is Imaginative Ecological Education?..........................65 Chapter Five: Problems and Possibilities......................................................97 Part Three: Lesson Planning Templates and Detailed Examples.........109 Chapter Six: Detailed Examples for Mythic Understanding.......................111 Chapter Seven: Detailed Examples for Romantic Understanding ..............133 Conclusion: Some Final Remarks and Suggestions....................................157 Appendix A: The Cognitive Toolkits..........................................................161 Appendix B: Brainstorming Charts.............................................................167 Bibliography ...............................................................................................171 Index ...........................................................................................................179

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