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The John Dewey Project on Progressive Education, College of Education and Social Services presents:

Fall 2000 Lecture Series
EDUCATION, CULTURE, AND ECOLOGY:

LOCAL AND GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES ON SUSTAIN ABILITY
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!!                                                          AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT



Teaching for Justice: Insights from Ecofeminism 

Stephanie Kaza

Thursday Sept. 21, 2000 
7:00 pm-9:00 pm 
in Memorial Lounge, Waterman Building 


Addressing the Double Binds in an Eco-Justice Pedagogy

C. A.  Bowers

Thursday, Oct. 5, 2000
7:00 pm-9:00 pm 
in L207 Lafayette 


Cultural Renewal and Urban Environments: Ecological Education Through Community-University Partnerships

Dilafruz Williams

Thursday, Oct. 19, 2000
7:00 pm-9:00 pm
in  Memorial Lounge, Waterman Building 
Planting the Seeds of Care: Increasing Life Opportunities of Youth in Oaxaca, Mexico through Regenerating Environment and Cultures

Efrain Aragon Ibanez

Thursday, Nov. 2, 2000
7:00 pm-9:00 pm 
in  Memorial Lounge, Waterman Building 

Education and Healing

Gregory Smith

Thursday, Dec. 7, 2000
7:00 pm-9:00 pm 
in  Memorial Lounge, Waterman Building 



PRESENTERS BIOS AND ABSTRACTS


Teaching for Justice: Insights from Ecofeminism
Stephanie Kaza

Thursday Sept. 21, 2000
7:00 pm-9:00 pm
 Memorial Lounge, Waterman Building
As environmental deterioration accelerates through unprecedented resource use, ecosystem health is at the mercy of global political economic forces.  The gap between rich and poor has become a chasm, the clamor for safe food and water an uproar.  Women and children are often the most affected by environmental pollution or habitat loss.  Ecofeminist theorists and activists have illuminated the logic of domination behind many global assumptions about privilege and poverty.  Parallels between treatment of women and treatment of nature are now well documented.  Today's environmental education must include study of power relations and economic injustice that drive environmentalproblems.  Ecofeminist analysis offers insights about both gender-specific and gender-neutral environmental problems.  Ecofeminist pedagogy demonstrates methods for illuminating the nature of power relations and the associated assumptions, rhetoric, and implications.

Stephanie Kaza  is Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont where she teaches ecofeminism, religion and ecology, nature writing, radical environmentalism, American nature philosophers, and international environmental studies.  She helped to establish and now co-chairs the Environmental Council at University of Vermont, a campus-wide group examining issues of consumption and conservation at the university level. She holds a Ph.D. in Biology from U.C. Santa Cruz, an M.A. in Education from Stanford, a B.A. in Biology from Oberlin College, and an M.Div. from Starr King School for the Ministry.   Stephanie is the author of The Attentive Heart: Conversations with Trees, a collection of essays on deep ecological relations with trees, and co-editor with Kenneth Kraft of Dharma Rain: Sources for Buddhist Environmentalism, classic and modern texts laying a foundation for a Buddhist approach to environmental activism.



Addressing the Double Binds in an Eco-Justice Pedagogy
C. A. Bowers
Thursday, Oct. 5, 2000
7:00 pm-9:00 pm
L207 Lafayette
There is a need for public schools and universities to address the issues surrounding an eco-justice pedagogy, especially the double binds that make the continual references to multiculturalism little more than empty slogans.  The lecture will identify three elements of an eco-justice pedagogy: how educational institutions contribute to the nature and causes of environmental racism, the need to renew the networks of mutual support and intergenerational knowledge of minority cultures (and within the mainstream culture), and the need to achieve a better balance between the non-commodified and increasingly commodified lifestyle that is undermining the environmental prospects of future generations.  The double binds that partly account for the inability of our educational institutions to shift their priorities from furthering the globalization of a consumer/technology dependent lifestyle will be the main focus of the paper.  Four double binds will be given extended treatment.

C.A.(Chet) Bowers has taught at the University of Oregon and Portland State University, and is now semi-retired.  He has published over 75 articles, 9 chapters in other books, and 12 of his own books.  The most recent are Educating For an Ecologically Sustainable Culture (1995); The Culture of Denial (1997); Let Them Eat Data: How Computers  Affect Education, Cultural Diversity, and the Prospects of Ecological Sustainability (2000). His most recent book, The Practice of an Eco-Justice Pedagogy, is now in press.  He gave the John Dewey Memorial Lecture in 1982, and has been invited to speak at universities in Canada, Australia, South Africa, Europe, and China.
 



Cultural Renewal and Urban Environments: Ecological Education Through Community-University Partnerships
Dilafruz Williams
Thursday, Oct. 19, 2000
7:00 pm-9:00 pm
 Memorial Lounge, Waterman Building
What does it take to renew culture and environment in urban areas? What are the possibilities for seeding our concretized cities to regain human connections with soil, water, air, flora, and fauna even as elder's stories capture our imaginations? What role can a university play in revitalizing itself ecologically from within and without as it reaches out to its communities?

In this presentation, Professor Dilafruz Williams will share her experiences of ecological education as practiced through community-university partnerships. Drawing upon her experiences of partnerships at Portland State University, she will present two categories of examples from the Portland metropolitan area:  (i) k-12 schools, vis a vis The Environmental Middle School of which she is a founding member; and (ii) watershed stewardship programs that deal with multiple constituencies in the community and attract faculty across disciplines. She will argue that these partnership experiences can create possibilities for ecological renewal if critical reflective thinking is an equally important pedagogical component.

Dilafruz Williams, Ph.D., is currently the Director of Community-University Partnerships in the Office of Academic Affairs, and Professor of Education, at Portland State University (PSU).  As Director, Dr. Williams manages the Learn and Serve Grant from the Corporation for National Service, extending the reach of community-based learning throughout the university and the surrounding urban community, promoting faculty development for community outreach, and providing leadership for improved documentation and evaluation of service learning programs.  Her experience and record of connecting university scholarship to the community are extensive especially in the areas of environmental education and cultural diversity. Dr. Williams received her Ph.D. from Syracuse University in the Cultural Foundations of Education and Curriculum and a postgraduate degree from Harvard University. A native of  India, she has degrees in Botany and Chemistry.  Dr. Williams has published on the importance of community, ecological education, and cultural diversity including her latest co-edited book, Ecological Education in Action: On Weaving Education, Culture, and the Environment.



Planting the Seeds of Care: Increasing Life Opportunities of Youth in Oaxaca, Mexico through Regenerating Environment and Cultures
Efrain Aragon Ibanez
Thursday, Nov. 2, 2000
7:00 pm-9:00 pm
Memorial Lounge, Waterman Building
This talk will describe how COVORPA,  a grassroots organization in rural Oaxaca, assists in the regeneration of environment and community in Oaxaca through a vernacular education program focused on environmental care and appropriate technologies and skills that would assist young people to remain in Oaxaca as productive and contributing members of their communities.

Efrain Aragon is the founder and director of COVORPA, a rural grassroots organization devoted to the promotion and implementation of environmentally sound community projects related to income generation, environmental technologies and intercultural dialogue. He describes his work as vernacular education with the objectives of recovering and promoting the capacities of youth so that they can transform their desires and aspirations into fulfilling life projects that contribute to their communities.



Education and Healing
Gregory Smith
Thursday, Dec. 7,  2000
7:00 pm-9:00 pm
Memorial Lounge, Waterman Building
The field of restoration ecology has much to teach educators about how they might contribute to the development of a culture more ecologically sustainable than our own.  Partnering with the earth in this way makes it clear that human beings can neither control nor save anything; we simply donít know enough.  What we can do is help create conditions that allow natural processes to heal themselves.  Doing so requires trust in the self-organizing capacity of ecosystems, close attention to phenomena with which we are interacting, the willingness and ability to respond appropriately, and a deep respect for the reciprocal nature of our relationship with everything around us.  Such an orientation has relevance to our interaction with one another, as well.  This way of being in the world was once much more common than it is today.  Educators could potentially play a role in restoring this orientation and in doing so help heal our relationships with one another and the earth.

Gregory Smith is an associate professor in the Graduate School of Education at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.  He is the author or editor of four books that deal with the theme of interconnection--either among people or between people and the ecosystems in which they live.  His most recent volume, co-edited with Dilafruz Williams, is entitled Ecological Education in Action: on Weaving Education, Culture, and the  Environment (SUNY, 1999). It includes chapters written by a number of the presenters in this fall's Lecture Series.  He is currently at work on a book that explores the link between environmentalism, culture, and spirituality.



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