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Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment, and the Human Prospect Second Edition, Revised Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Orr argues that the ecological crisis is not technological problem that we can fix with some new-fangled gadgetry or updated economic models. Rather, the "disordering of ecological systems and the great biogeochemical cycles of the earth reflects a prior disorder in the thought, perception, imagination, intellectual priorities, and loyalties inherent in the industrial mind." In other words, ecological crisis is a crisis of education. And yet, as Orr makes so clear, "we continue to educate the young for the most part as if there were no planetary emergency."
The effects of our educational system are not only bad for the planet, according to Orr, but bad for us as well. Contemporary "education...alienates us from life in the name of human domination, fragments instead of unifies, overemphasizes success and careers, separates feeling from intellect and the practical from the theoretical, and unleashes on the world minds ignorant of their ignorance." In effect, we educate a society to get straight As and fail Life.Read more ›
This book by David Orr reminded me of that advice from Randi. While progressives and environmentalists make worthy efforts to control the worst aspects of industrial civilization through regulation and policy changes, what often gets short shrift is education. What is the use of treading water in the adult world of environmental destruction, if our children are still being taught to contribute to those very processes of civilization that do all of the damage? Orr reminds us that the most difficult change that needs to happen is one of mindset, of formative ideas. There are plenty of appropriate technologies out there to change the world, but we lack the political will and cultural mindset to implement what needs to be done.
The best way to create that ecological mindset, or worldview, is to teach children from the earliest age that they are part of a wonderful but fragile ecosystem, one that needs their help and devotion to survive. If we don't teach our daughters and sons that the earth is their home, and that processes that kill their home are ultimately suicidal, then all of the policy work and regulatory stop-gaps are worthless. This is good stuff, well worth reading.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The answers to many of our earth-sustaining problems and taking care of this planet are found in this great book!Published 12 months ago by Eric McDuffie
Fantastic book...evokes compassion and rekindles the lost connection with earth.Published 14 months ago by Frank Murray VI
Excellent introduction to nature. I think the book will motivate readers to pursue their interest in nature and many will be motivated to find ways to contribute to the... Read morePublished 17 months ago by h.l.
Orr shares with us the current apathy in the classroom and television politics and gives a voice to ideas that gives hope to restoring our lost virtues and saving ourselves from... Read morePublished on January 29, 2014 by Christopher
As a sustainability manager at a southwestern university this book really opened my eyes to better ways to teach students, faculty, and staff. Read morePublished on October 29, 2013 by Doc jojo
My environmental class requires this book. It includes a lot of interesting ideas which I never thought of before. Read morePublished on October 8, 2013 by Lan