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Environmental literacy in higher education—Overview

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

In the next series of posts, I’d like to continue the conversation about environmental literacy initiated in the context of why people don’t engage climate warming.  In that discussion, EL was mostly framed as a matter of knowledge about climate warming and the earth system:

  • People don’t know enough about how human and environmental systems work and interact.
  • Personal actions don’t match required solutions.
  • Bad mental models facilitate underestimation of the problem and the time scale to deal with it.
  • Environmental literacy is affected by how we structure disciplines in higher education

Let’s build on this last point and broaden the focus to higher education and environmentalism.

Many thanks in advance to friends and colleagues, most notably Matt Klingle (Bowdoin), Joe Bandy (Bowdoin), David Hecht (Bowdoin), Kim Smith (Carleton), Jen Everett (DePauw), and David Orr (Oberlin), who helped shape my thinking about this issue.

Related post: Why don’t people engage climate warming? Problem 1: Environmental literacy

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