The Ecological Identity Concept

I’m in Norway this week and next as part of sabbatical research and learning. I acknowledge and am thankful for my privilege and fortune! One reason I came to Norway is to further explore the concept of, and how to teach, ecological identity. This term was originated by Mitchell Thomashow, has been influential in muchContinue reading “The Ecological Identity Concept”

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Ecological Citizenry

“Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to ‘tell it like it is.’ On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.”Continue reading “Ecological Citizenry”

Petting the Dog to Save Ourselves From Ecological Ruin

In my last blog post, “When life is for the birds,” I introduced the term ecological identity. Let me elaborate on why understanding one’s ecological identity as individual’s is important to know, and especially essential for educators to understand. David Orr said, that “all education is environmental education—by what we include or exclude, we teachContinue reading “Petting the Dog to Save Ourselves From Ecological Ruin”

Context is Everything

I’ve had two insignificant moments this week that have reminded me of this monumentally significant fact in teaching and learning. Context matters. It’s everything when it comes to learning difficult concepts in a way that leads to enduring understanding. The first was listening to, and then joining in a conversation between a retired science educationContinue reading “Context is Everything”

Maybe Life Isn’t a Zero-Sum Game

When did life become a zero-sum game in that for someone to win, another must lose? Maybe there are roots of this thinking in misapplied understanding of natural selection evolutionary theory in the form of social Darwinism. Deeper in the intricacies of natural selection are actually many elements of collaboration and collective action. Life isContinue reading “Maybe Life Isn’t a Zero-Sum Game”

Stop Trying to “Help the Environment”

I often hear other people say they are “helping the environment.” Whenever I hear this phrase I’m a little disheartened. I concede the intentions are good. Everyone wants to “help the environment,” even those that are at the same time actively causing damage, which is almost all of us. My struggle with this phrase isContinue reading “Stop Trying to “Help the Environment””

Why is it so Hard to Change Someone’s Mind? (part 1 of 3)

This post is the first in a series of three. I have been studying a “systems view of life” as a component of a larger three-part goal: First, become better able to leading students to explore their “ecological identity” (their self-described place/role in the natural world). Second, from a systems theory perspective, how a learnerContinue reading “Why is it so Hard to Change Someone’s Mind? (part 1 of 3)”

Yes! That’s it Exactly!

I was nearly brought to tears this morning when what I have been feeling, worrying about, and thinking for the last, well, for a long time, was encapsulated by three New York Times essays. That constant background noise of my thoughts, worries and emotions might be akin to an individual’s constant tinnitus or even theContinue reading “Yes! That’s it Exactly!”

Is This Really a Choice?

Despite a current increase in concerns about environmental issues, at least the most important one in the climate crisis, I believe most people still view nature as separate from them and as a resource valued for its utilitarian purposes. It’s ours to do with as we see fit to maintain our modern lifestyle. As IContinue reading “Is This Really a Choice?”

When Life is for the Birds

When it feels like life is for the birds I like to sit quietly on my deck and watch the birds. The chickadees come, usually one at a time, their actions conveying some kind of internalized guilt. They flit in, a few wing beats at a time interspersed with gliding, land on the feeder, lookContinue reading “When Life is for the Birds”