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Environmental Literacy and Educational Ideal

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Environmental literacy is not encouraged by discipline-based education. Discipline-based education is damaging not only because it breaks the link between experience and theory but also because it encourages learners to believe that complex practical problems can be solved using the resources of just one or two specialist disciplines or frameworks of thought. It is argued that discipline-based education has been extremely successful, and its very success is a factor which explains some of our poor thinking about environmental problems. These problems are highly complex, and it is important for learners to discover the limitations of particular frameworks of thought and disciplinary approaches. This is particularly important in the case of economics. An education which emphasises the limitations of specialist approaches to complex problems can also be used to help overcome the depersonalising effect of bureaucracies.
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Keywords: Dewey; Freire; Hirst; bureaucracy; ecology; economics; education; environmental literacy; frameworks; liberal edsucation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1994-02-01

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has a Journal Impact Factor (2016) of 1.279.
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