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Pedagogy for Restoration

Addressing Social and Ecological Degradation through Education

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David Krzesni

Pedagogy for Restoration seeks to understand the conditions leading to the destruction of Earth in order to discover pedagogy for restoration. As we degrade the planet we degrade ourselves and as we degrade ourselves we degrade the planet. Moral development and socialization significantly influence our participation in, construction of, or resistance to the systems of oppression that degrade us. The process of restorative education recognizes that humans are fundamentally good and moral and seeks to promote healthy moral development. We must help students meet their basic needs, center their own identities and experience, and simultaneously emphasize community and relationships to help them find a sense of purpose. These efforts facilitate social and ecological restoration by allowing students to reach a physical and emotional place that is conducive to learning and self-efficacy so that they may engage with whatever issues they find important in their own way and on their own terms.
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Introduction

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It is written in rage and love, without which there is no hope. (Freire & Freire, 1992/1994, p. 10)

My interest in education is founded in the belief of the fundamental role of education in shaping society. Although I am passionate about sharing and developing knowledge and constructing meaning as an end in and of itself, it is education’s potential to catalyze social change that compels me to aspire to be an educator. The premise of this work is that social degradation and ecological degradation are a single anthropogenic process. As we degrade the planet, we degrade ourselves and as we degrade ourselves, we degrade the planet. I argue that because the processes are inseparable, any activism or educational effort for the benefit of the natural environment must deeply address social justice, and any activism or education toward social justice must significantly include the natural environment.

What we know is no more significant than the way we know it, and the way we know something is inseparable from ourselves and our environment. To deeply know something tacitly rather than just memorize explicit facts—to understand something and incorporate it into ourselves—we must experience it. We must connect our cognition, affect, and the environment in which ← 1 | 2 → knowledge exists. Knowledge has place, time, social, and emotional context and it is conditional. I seek to understand the conditions of knowledge that may cause degradation or support restoration. By understanding the conditions that produce ecological...

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