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Ecological Education in Everyday Life

Ecological Education in Everyday Life: ALPHA 2000

Edited by Jean-Paul Hautecoeur
Copyright Date: 2002
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    Ecological Education in Everyday Life
    Book Description:

    Western and Arab researchers look at adult education, and discuss how an ecological approach to education, focussing on the cultural traditions and natural environments of communities, can be more useful than education in specialized institutions.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7423-3
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-xii)

    ALPHA 2000 explores the links between ecology and community education in the everyday context. It explores the links between adult basic education, as it has been defined in previous ALPHA publications,¹ and sustainable living.

    Since education above all means making links, it is fundamentally ecological. But reality is not fundamental, and current education barely ecological. Usually it destroys ′natural′ links with experience, cultural heritage, community, and environment. The question posed at the start of our research venture washow to restore links with people′s experience in their natural, social, and cultural environment.

    The link between education and sustainable living is...

  4. Open Carriage
    (pp. xiii-2)
    Lisa Zucker
  5. Introduction Ecological Approaches in Basic Education
    (pp. 3-18)
    Jean-Paul Hautecoeur

    Ecological Education in Everyday Lifeis the last publication in the ALPHA series, produced since 1990 at the UNESCO Institute for Education. In this volume, we continue to be interested in what we call non-formalbasic education, which includes a range of literacy practices in vernacular cultures, knowledge transmission practices in communities, and education practices that prove useful to the needs of life. What is new is the ecological component, the strategic objective of lifelong education directed towards sustainable living.

    In our view, ecological education is not a specialized discipline within the field of educational sciences that also studies the...

  6. PART ONE Shifting the Education Paradigm

    • Ecological Education in the Living Environment
      (pp. 21-43)
      Laila Iskandar Kamel

      Years of work in developing countries have led many development practitioners to the conviction that development has become an activity which breeds and perpetuates the dependence of recipient countries on donors. The overarching principle of empowerment and enablement which true development calls for seems lacking in the bilateral and multilateral aid scene. Development projects appear to be governed more by a ′terms of reference′ imperative than by true change and transformed lives. Donors seem more preoccupied with the input-output considerations than by lasting change in communities brought about by a transformed way of viewing and doing things.

      Concomitantly, the growing...

    • Abundance As a Central Idea in Ecological Approaches in Education
      (pp. 44-50)
      Munir Fasheh

      I started my career as a math and physics teacher. Then, the 1967 Israeli-Arab war broke out. It raised the first doubts in my mind about formal education. One question that became dominant in my mind was how could we make education more relevant, meaningful, and effective? More specifically, in my case, the question was how could I make the teaching of math more relevant to Palestinian society, where I was teaching?

      While I was looking – as an educated person faithful to tradition – for answers in books and magazines, I realized that I was living with a very...

    • Ecology and Basic Education among the Indigenous Peoples of Canada
      (pp. 51-70)
      Serge Wagner

      This text explores the frequently forgotten relationship between education and ecology. The author considers that systems of adult basic education pay too little attention to the populations concerned and sometimes even contribute to the degradation of their environments.

      Of the two poles, ecology and education, the more important is the former. In the conventional sense, ecology studies the interactions between people and their environments, natural, interpersonal, social, and cultural. While ecology appears to focus on relationships with the natural environment, the notion ofhuman ecologyis explicitly interested in interactions between people (individuals and groups) and their environments (Quinn 1971)....

    • From Reaching In to Reaching Out: El-Warsha 1987–1999
      (pp. 71-81)
      Hassan El-Geretly

      El-Warsha is an independent theatre troupe which had its beginnings in a working group that gradually came to be sustained by a shared language. Its work evolved out of the process of evaluating the Western model predominant in Egyptian theatre. This re-evaluation neutralized for us the role of foreign theatre as a single pivot and defined it instead as one of several important resources for our theatre.

      El-Warsha represents a group of people who have come together through a shared attitude and sensibility. Its members, whether amateurs, professionals, or aspiring professionals, work together united by the quest for horizons of...

    • The Creation of Knowledge through Environmental Education
      (pp. 82-93)
      Paolo Orefice

      Adult education has to meet the needs of the contemporary world. It cannot evade that task for to do so would result in abandoning the role of innovation and transformation that is typical of educational activities, and to be reduced to the status of a tool for the maintenance of the huge contrasts and inequalities that mark the end of this century.

      The key issues of development are the stuff of adult education, which engages with the social actors involved. Adult education can thus make a crucial contribution in addressing these issues, thereby helping to build, in the creative sense...

    • An Ecological Culture for Teachers
      (pp. 94-106)
      Viara Gurova

      Let us imagine a blue sea, a young man who looks like a Greek god, and a baby dolphin. The young man goes up to the dolphin and holds out his hand to touch it. His blue eyes are full of goodness, tenderness, and love. They seem to say, ′Don′t be afraid, I am a friend.′ The baby dolphin responds with a trusting look: ′I′m not afraid. Do you want to play?′ ′Let′s play,′ answers the young god. The baby dolphin happily approaches him and kisses him on the cheek. The young man returns the kiss and embraces the dolphin...

  7. PART TWO Stimulating Participation through Social Action

    • Education for Regional Sustainable Development
      (pp. 109-121)
      Jan Keller

      The literacy rate in the Czech Republic is almost 100 per cent. Although the rate of higher education is lower than in the most developed countries, the general level of education is satisfactory. This education has naturally been forged by the needs of an industrialized society. It has aimed above all to prepare men and women to meet the requirements of the major industrial and bureaucratic organizations. In short, the population continues to be trained to fulfil the goals of mass production and consumption, within an orientation that shapes a particular mentality characterized by conformity and passivity.

      Effective adaptation to...

    • Environmental Adult Education in the Czech Republic
      (pp. 122-136)
      Michal Bartos

      The collapse of the totalitarian political system in former Czechoslovakia in 1989 brought with it the expectation that citizens would readily take an active personal role with regard to extensive ecological problems. Since that time, the former forcibly uniform ecological movement has become an extremely varied collection of ecological groups. Nevertheless, neither the creative dialogue nor the ideological clashes concerning serious social problems seem to have been appreciated by other sectors of the social life of the nation. In addition, minor ideological clashes arising within the ecological movement have threatened the hopes for any significant penetration of ecologically oriented thinking...

    • Literacy Practices in Local Activities: An Ecological Approach
      (pp. 137-149)
      David Barton

      In this paper I want to explain what I mean by an ecological approach to literacy, showing how concepts from ecology can enrich our understanding of literacy. The example of a local community activity serves as a case study to show what can be learned about the role of reading and writing in people′s lives in one place in today′s world. More generally it provides an example of vernacular activity, of literacy embedded in its ecological environment. This paper draws on my earlier work, particularly Barton 1994 and Barton and Hamilton 1998; it has also benefited from discussion with the...

    • Addressing Alexandriaʹs Environmental Problems
      (pp. 150-158)
      Adel Abu Zahra

      Alexandria was the economic, political, and cultural capital of Egypt from the time it was founded by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C.E. until the Arab Conquest in 642 C.E., that is, for 974 years.

      When the Arabs decided to move the capital to Fostat – later known as Cairo – Alexandria started to wane in importance. In 1805, Mohamed Ali became ′Wali′ (ruler) of Egypt. Four years after the French campaign, he found Alexandria to be a small village of merely six thousand inhabitants living in dire conditions in the midst of the ruins of the ancient city. Mohamed...

    • The Campaign against the MAI in Canada
      (pp. 159-176)
      Brian Sarwer-Foner

      As we sit in a new millennium, we are engrossed in what is being touted as the information age. Information is central to basic education; in fact, it is at the very heart of the matter.

      Access to information is a key issue within basic education: people who have it can use it to support their goals and advance their causes; those who are uneducated or are left out of the loop of information access usually find themselves with limited options. Information is a form of power, but by no means is information the whole story.

      The larger power in...

  8. PART THREE For Sustainable Endogenous Development

    • Sustainable Development Literacy in Central Appalachia
      (pp. 179-199)
      Anthony Flaccavento

      On 1 November 1996, the day-shift crew arrived at the Louisiana Pacific Waferboard factory in Dungannon, Virginia. Greeted by a small group of security guards and a management representative, they were told to go home, that the plant was closed. Permanently. No notice had been given. Ten years after opening its doors in this richly forested Scott County community, the plant precipitously laid off nearly one hundred workers. The profits from this plant, it was said, were not sufficient, even though it had been earning profits.

      The Appalachian regions of Tennessee and Virginia are not in crisis. The situation would...

    • Sustainable Community Development with Human Dimensions: The Basaisa Experience
      (pp. 200-216)
      Salah Arafa

      A common misconception often equates learning or education with schooling. It is true that some important learning does take place in schools and that schools can promote some types of learning better than any other institution. It is not true, however, that all learning takes place in schools and that no important learning takes place outside of schools. Indeed, for most people, some of the most important learning and the largest part of their education take place outside of classrooms and schools.

      Learning takes place in three channels: incidental, non-formal, and formal.Incidental educationis what occurs automatically through the...

    • Revitalizing a Depopulating Region in Hungary
      (pp. 217-226)
      Valeria Nagy Czanka and Ildiko Mihaly

      The region of Zselic is one of the areas of greatest natural beauty in Hungary. It is situated in the south of the country, not far from the capital of the District of Somogy, Kaposvar. Despite the beauty and diversity of the countryside, dotted with woods and small lakes, life is not easy for the villagers living in small valley settlements that are relatively isolated from each other. Traditionally, the population has led a simple existence, living from what it could find in the forest, from collecting mushrooms and medicinal plants, and stock-rearing. No major industrial activity has been developed...

    • Agricultural Development and the Preservation of Indigenous Knowledge
      (pp. 227-242)
      Ismail Daiq and Shawkat Sarsour

      The Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC) were established in 1983 in Jericho, Palestine, the fruit of the efforts of a group of volunteer agronomists. Volunteers began to provide free agricultural extension services to the farmers of the region because of the lack of governmental services provided by the Israeli civil administration at the time. That administration did not concern itself with developing the Palestinian agricultural sector. When the Palestinian Authority took over the agricultural sector in 1995, it found the staff of the civil administration unchanged since 1974.

      PARC′s services expanded in the late 1990s, and it institutionalized its management...

  9. Closing Remarks The Nuweiba Seminar
    (pp. 243-258)
    Jean-Paul Hautecoeur

    In spring 1999, all the authors represented in this volume met at the Nuweiba seminar in Sinai, Egypt. The aims of the meeting were to reach a common understanding on what we started out by calling ′an ecological approach to adult basic education,′ to reveal differences, and to spell out the prospects for future action and cooperation. The participants in the seminar wanted the conclusion of the publication that was being prepared to reflect the Nuweiba meeting and the genuine interaction that it would bring about among researchers from a dozen countries. I shall therefore try to remain as faithful...

  10. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 259-263)