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Ecoliterate: How Educators Are Cultivating Emotional, Social, and Ecological Intelligence Paperback – August 14, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1118104576 ISBN-10: 1118104579 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews


“In this pioneering book, Dan Goleman and his collaborators demonstrate—in vivid and compelling fashion—how education can be transformed through a synthesis of these intelligences.”—Howard Gardner, Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education 

"In the 21st century, we need a new relationship with nature, a redefinition of both environmentalism and ecoliteracy. Ecoliterate offers a roadmap for educators—and the rest of us—to that future, one based on empathy, kinship, natural intelligence, and hope. We're in their debt for showing the way."— Richard Louv, author of The Nature Principle and Last Child in the Woods 

“Gutsy, eloquent, moving, Ecoliterate is a masterpiece of motivation and practical guidance. Yes, it is perfect for educators, but it is also perfect for students, parents, grandparents, and all of us yearning to contribute to life on our planet. Ecoliterate will help young people discover their own power—and that genie is impossible to get back in the bottle! I love this book.”—Frances Moore Lappé, author of EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want 

“Beautifully written, accessible, and urgently important, Ecoliterate introduces us to individuals and communities around the country who in very real, practical ways are demonstrating that a new world is possible. No harangue here; this is about hope, embodied in educating our children—head, heart, and hands—to deeply understand how to take care of themselves, their neighbors, and the natural world on which we all depend.”—Michael Ableman, farmer and author of From the Good Earth, On Good Land, and Fields of Plenty 

“To be Ecoliterate is to be equipped to be Earth Citizens, to reach our full potential as human beings. This important book shows us how."—Vandana Shiva, Founder, Navdanya International and author of Soil Not Oil 

“Timely, important, healing, and hopeful—Ecoliterate is a ‘must read, must implement’ guide to a healthy and sustainable present and future.”—Cheryl Charles, President and CEO, Children & Nature Network 

“The Center for Ecoliteracy has for years been a preeminent thought leader for how we can educate our children in a way that creates generations of earth-stewards. Ecoliterate is a much-needed guide for exactly how to accomplish this goal and includes great examples that demonstrate the success of their approach.”—Oran B. Hesterman, Ph.D., President and CEO, Fair Food Network

From the Back Cover

Hopeful, eloquent, and bold, Ecoliterate tells stories of educators, activists, and students who embody a new integration of emotional, social, and ecological intelligence. Building on the success of bestselling author Daniel Goleman's emotional and social learning paradigm, Ecoliterate shows how educators are extending the cultivation of these essential dimensions of human intelligence to include knowledge of and empathy for all living systems.

Through stories ranging from the Arctic to Appalachia and New Mexico to New Orleans, the authors reveal how education that engages in some of the most pressing ecological issues of the day advances academic achievement, fosters resilience, and helps school communities play a vital role in protecting the natural world. The book also includes a professional development guide and exploration of five practices of engaged ecoliteracy: developing empathy for all forms of life, embracing sustainability as a community practice, making the invisible visible, anticipating unintended consequences, and understanding how nature sustains life.

Praise for Ecoliterate

"One of the most urgent issues facing humanity is fixing our broken relationship with the earth, on which all life depends. To do that, we have to think, feel, and act differently. With vivid examples and lucid analysis, this powerful and persuasive book shows just how much inspired educators and students can achieve together. It should enlighten and invigorate schools and communities everywhere."
Sir Ken Robinson, creativity expert and author of The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

"Ecoliterate provides a veritable how-to guide for educators to creatively engage young people in the most important ecological issues of the day, helping them gain knowledge of and empathy for all living systems, which is bound to enrich their lives and protect the future of our planet."
Gail Connelly, executive director, National Association of Elementary School Principals


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (August 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118104579
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118104576
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

DANIEL GOLEMAN is the author of the international bestsellers Emotional Intelligence, Working with Emotional Intelligence, and Social Intelligence, and the co-author of the acclaimed business bestseller Primal Leadership. His latest books are What Makes a Leader: Why Emotional Intelligence Matters and The Triple Focus: A New Approach to Education. He was a science reporter for the New York Times, was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and received the American Psychological Association's Lifetime Achievement Award for his media writing. He lives in Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a perfect way for English and Social Studies teachers to exercise their constitutional rights to express themselves. Young people tend to love this type of material anyway. They're got a longer life left to live, and hence more interest in seeing the ecology treated responsibly. They generate strong feelings on issues having to do with inequities caused by traditional ways of managing complex issues.

Topics like these could never be discussed in the classroom when I was a little kid. There was never a mention of VietNam, the harmful affects of cigarettes or the heavy use of antibiotics in livestock feed. I think it's best for a teacher to embrace verboten topics apart from the approval of administrators.

The case studies are well-thought out and appropriate for the age ranges. Since the case studies are real situations, I think we have to respect them.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lauryn Angel VINE VOICE on February 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a college professor, I see a lot that concerns me in the behavior of my students, particularly with regard to the environment. By the time they get to me, there's a lot of prior programming that has to be overcome, and with everything else I have to convey in 16 weeks, cultivating care for the world around us slips by the wayside, although I try to incorporate this in some of the critical thinking exercises I ask my students to do.

The real target of this book seems to be educators in K-12 and parents, as Ecoliteracy is something that needs to be cultivated over a longer span of time than one or two semesters, or even years, of education. That's not to say that the examples and methods are only for children. Many of them can be adapted to the college classroom or even the workplace. What I mean to suggest here is that the book promotes a concept of Ecoliteracy as a way of life, and, to my mind, that kind of learning needs to take place early in life.

There are a lot of examples/stories here of what other people have done, which is great, but having read Daniel Goleman's works on Emotional Intelligence (Emotional Intelligence and Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence), I was expecting a more theoretical book than practical. Still, a worthwhile read for anyone who wants to develop empathy for nature and embrace sustainability -- both for themselves or those with whose care they have been entrusted.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jed Shlackman VINE VOICE on August 29, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Daniel Goleman and his co-authors have put together a much-needed guide to help those who are seeking to spread the message of ecoliteracy and ecological awareness. Goleman is famous for his research and writings on emotional intelligence, and his recent work has extended these ideas to examine the importance of our relationship with the natural world and its ecosystems.

This book offers a framework for educators and activists to use in teaching others about how we can improve the way we relate to the environment and consider how our actions affect the fate of our planet and humanity in the future. This involves teaching ecological literacy through five core practices: nurturing empathy, building community, making the invisible visible, anticipating unintended consequences and understanding how nature sustains life.

The book is composed mainly of case studies of educators and activists addressing issues such as coal and oil industry impacts, agriculture and food impacts on health, and clean water access. There is also an extensive resource and reference section to help readers research topics further and connect with organizations that work toward protecting the environment and educating about the environment.

The book gives valuable examples of how to present topics to colleagues and students in ways that reduce resistance and increase relevance to others. This field of ecoliteracy is an important one, as our world is filled with environmental hazards and threats to life that are being ignored by the public. Education is essential to address this challenge. I would recommend this book for anyone wishing to learn about these subjects and promote discussion with others about the reality of these concerns and ways of protecting the environment and public health.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Chancellor TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
Just a few centuries back people were well aware of how their actions affected the environment. Since most of the goods they consumed came from their immediate surroundings, they could easily see the impact their daily actions had on their environment. Unfortunately we no longer see the consequences of our actions on our environment.

We take for granted that flipping the light switch will light up the lights. We buy our food at the local supermarket with little thought about the environmental impact producing that food had on the planet. For most of us filling up the gas tank does not involve any consideration of the resources used or the impact of producing, refining and consuming fossil fuels. Because we don't see the impact does not mean we are immune to it. For some time now we have been using the earth's natural resources at a level which is not sustainable. In addition we have introduced thousands of new chemical products into our daily lives with little regard to the damage these chemicals are doing to our planet.

If we wish to sustain life as we know it, we will need to make some drastic changes to the way we use our natural resources. We need to learn to see the unseen consequences of our way of life. We can no longer afford to neglect the plants and animals in our ecosystem. Our ecosystem is a delicate balance - all forms of life are interdependent. The careless destroying of natural habitats will eventually destroy our ability to sustain life here on earth.

Ecoliterate is designed to awaken educators to the ecological problems facing the world and to provide some possible solutions. The book focuses on five practices which if implemented will begin to improve our ecological intelligence.
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