Addressing Social and Ecological Degradation through Education
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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