ECO Literacy

When thinking about the two readings for this blog post I was draw to the idea that we people need to have an understanding of a large number of ecological ideas before graduating from any sort of educational institution. Some of these included thermodynamics, carrying capacity, energetics and environmental ethics. This appeared to be a problem to me. In high school I maybe learned about two of these things… both of them in classes that are considered electives. Anybody wishing to simply graduate from high school could have very easily avoided all of the items on David Orr’s list of mandatory education. Today when I read David Orr’s list I can only confidently give an explanation for one item on his list; carrying capacity. (Carrying capacity is the number of an animal that can exist on the planet before the numbers start to decline due to lack of food, over population, lack of shelter, etc.) Does this mean that I am not eco literate? I do not think so, however I definitely understand that I have a lot left to learn. I am at least in a place where I think I could teach something of value about the environment to a class of grade 3 students. The only reason I know I can do this is because I have in fact taught a unit about plant growth and changes to my internship classes. Now does this mean that my grade 3s were eco literate? Absolutely not. I do think however that I helped to instill the value of taking care of the environment to my students long before I would have ever thought about taking care of nature when I was in school. These articles made me think of the “Get Back Outside” initiative, purposed by David Suzuki, that my class took part in. We did things such as adopting a tree, going on nature walks, and even having math class outside. When I think about the idea that everything is environmental education my first thought would be “okay but how can I teach math and environmental education at the same time?” I think that we can accomplish this by getting our students outside. Even if we are not explicitly stating that we are learning about the environment, students will begin to understand the importance of nature simply by taking part in it. IMG_3683


One thought on “ECO Literacy

  1. This was a very interesting post. I liked how you brought up your own high school experience, and the knowledge you have does not fulfill all of list made by “Orr”. I personally don’t think you need to know everything on the list, because you have been so influenced by the environment around you. Becoming future educators we have or should have the sources to help us teach about environment.
    When you brought up the fact that you have been in the classroom and taught a portion of the unit about environment, you have experienced how to do it.

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