Engaging Students’ Imaginations in Their World
It is becoming increasingly clear that our survival as a species depends on re-imagining our relationship with nature. We need to cultivate ecological understanding – an awareness of our interconnectedness with the natural world based on particular knowledge and emotional connections with the local, natural world. Unfortunately, current approaches to developing students’ ecological understanding, what might be described as ecological education, are missing the mark due, among other reasons, to a theoretical and practical neglect of the imagination. What can IEE offer those teachers/administrators/schools interested in cultivating ecological understanding amongst their students?
IEE brings the emotional and imaginative engagement of the child to the center of theory and practice. By designing pedagogy around the distinctive features of students’ imaginative lives, IEE can more routinely engage the body, emotion and imagination in the local natural and cultural context in which students live and learn. This is a new approach to ecological education. Because IEE is a cross-curricular approach to teaching suitable for students in elementary through secondary school in urban, sub-urban, or rural contexts, IEE makes it possible for the development of ecological understanding to take place alongside the fulfillment of curricular requirements. Learn more about us.
JOIN the CONVERSATION
Please share your ideas with our IEE members and join the conversation by responding to our question of the month:
Can we educate for ecological understanding in urban settings?
If so, how? If not, what does this mean for an increasingly urban world?