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Environmental Values

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Environmental Values

Environmental Literacy and Educational Ideal

Andrew Brennan

Environmental Values 3(1994): 3-16. doi: 10.3197/096327194776679827

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.

KEYWORDS: Environmental literacy, frameworks, education, ecology, Dewey, Freire, economics, liberal education, Hirst, bureaucracy

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Moral Pluralism and the Environment. Andrew Brennan

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