Friday, April 22, 2011

Place-based education

Good Discussion here by David Greenwood. Follow the link:
It is possible, though, that the energy around place-based education is part of something new—a new social and educational movement—and that the old way is just going to be around with us for quite some time. For example, people are now talking seriously about peak oil and a post-carbon economic system—but still, most of us are still burning a lot of gas and coal just getting through the day! I think place-based education and community-based knowledge is to high status knowledge what renewable energy is to oil and coal. People know it works and that it is important, but we are just not able to let go of what we have depended on for so long. Our entire infrastructure—both institutionally and I believe epistemologically—is just too wrapped up in high status knowledge to allow for any quick changes to new ways of knowing and doing.  As Nathan Hensley says in the forthcoming book, Curriculum Studies Gone Wild, we need to de-carbonize the curriculum as well as our energy use. It is just going to take a lot of time, a lot of unlearning as we learn new ways. So I think that place-based education might be as much about unlearning or challenging old assumptions as it is about learning. Wherever place-based education is working, it needs to be supported so the movement can deepen and spread—much like the movement for renewable energy in the context of continued record profits for the oil industry! In fact, it might be best to keep the elites away from successes so that such successes are not co-opted and killed like the electric car was some years ago by the oil and auto industry!

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