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Pedagogies of Kindness and Respect

On the Lives and Education of Children

Edited By Paul L. Thomas, Paul R. Carr, Julie A. Gorlewski and Brad J. Porfilio

Pedagogies of Kindness and Respect presents a wide variety of concepts from scholars and practitioners who discuss pedagogies of kindness, an alternative to the «no excuses» ideology now dominating the way that children are raised and educated in the U.S. today. The fields of education, and especially early childhood education, include some histories and perspectives that treat those who are younger with kindness and respect. This book demonstrates an informed awareness of this history and the ways that old and new ideas can counter current conditions that are harmful to both those who are younger and those who are older, while avoiding the reconstitution of the romantic, innocent child who needs to be saved by more advanced adults. Two interpretations of the upbringing of children are investigated and challenged, one suggesting that the poor do not know how to raise their children and thus need help, while the other looks at those who are privileged and therefore know how to nurture their young. These opposing views have been discussed and problematized for more than thirty years. Pedagogies of Kindness and Respect investigates the issue of why this circumstance has continued and even worsened today.
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Chapter Eight: Nurtured Nature: The Connection Between Care for Children and Care for the Environment


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Nurtured Nature

The Connection Between Care for Children and Care for the Environment



“However we treat the child, the child will treat the world.”


Over seven billion people call the planet Earth home. Our current demand for natural resources and waste absorption is estimated to be the equivalent of one and a half Earths. If population and consumption trends continue unabated, within approximately 15 years humanity’s resource demands will be the equivalent of two Earths (McLellan, Iyengar, Jeffries, & Oerlemans, 2014). The ecological implications of taking more than the Earth can sustainably provide are becoming increasingly obvious, with climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and the depletion of fresh water as examples. The social implications are significant as well, with resource-based conflicts, mass migrations, famine, and disease becoming increasingly common, which disproportionately negatively impact Indigenous people, people of color, and lower socioeconomic groups. We live in a time when people are the dominant force of dramatic, unsustainable changes to Earth’s systems and billions of people already are living without reliable provision of basic needs such as water and food.1

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