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Putting Social Studies at the Center of Place-Based Education Ethan Lowenstein Annual Place-Based Education Conference, Grand Rapids November 8, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Putting Social Studies at the Center of Place-Based Education Ethan Lowenstein Annual Place-Based Education Conference, Grand Rapids November 8, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Putting Social Studies at the Center of Place-Based Education Ethan Lowenstein Annual Place-Based Education Conference, Grand Rapids November 8, 2014

2 Some important questions: How can adapt policy to fit neatly within a place-based educational framework? How can we use the curriculum standards that exist to change our culture to be more inclusive of diverse members of the web of life? Why should Social Studies be at the center of this mindset shift?

3 Identity and Social Studies “Social studies is about understanding why people do the things they do.” (Socials Studies for the Next Generation, xii) We are the stories we tell We are our relationships

4 C3 Standards-Arc of Inquiry Developing questions and planning inquiries Applying disciplinary concepts and tools Evaluating sources and using evidence Communicating conclusions & taking informed action.

5 “Social Studies is about understanding why people do the things they do…”

6 An EcoJustice Framework Centuries-Old Cultural Discourses Anthropocentrism Commodification Individualism Ethnocentrism Androcentrism Mechanism “Progress” and “Growth” Scientism

7 Language matters… “…symbolic maps we make are like a road map to understanding the world. But, just as a road map leaves out much of the reality of the land it maps so the symbolic maps (our words and concepts) only reveal part of the world—or as Bateson puts it ‘the map is not the territory.’” (Martusewicz, Edmondson, and Lupinacci, 2011, 54-55)

8 Is the language of civics as we currently us it anthropocentric? Democracy δημοκρατία (dēmokratía) "rule of the people” (Wikipedia) A republic affairs of state are a "public matter" (Latin: res publica) (Online Etymology Dictionary) Public directly from Latin publicus "of the people; of the state; done for the state,” (Online Etymology Dictionary) Citizen

9 How do we expand our universe of responsibility to all denizens of the world? It is not quite imaginable that people will exert themselves greatly to defend creatures and places that they have dispassionately studied. It is altogether imaginable that they will greatly exert themselves to defend creatures and places that they have involved their lives in. ~Wendell Berry

10 What if we used different language to describe community, different metaphors…. Ecology: From the root “Oikos” meaning “home” A strong emphasis on relationships and interdependence Disrupts the managerial model introduced mid- 20 th C. where science is applied to manage and control problems “out there.” How might going from “Democratic” to “Eco- Democratic,” Or from “Democracy” to “Earth Democracy” change our thinking and behavior?

11 What would happen to our definition of democracy? Earth democracy: recognizing the need for collective decision making by those who are most affected by the decision Recognizing the importance of decisions that take seriously the right of other living creatures to renew themselves. AND….WOULD WE STILL BE MEETING THE STANDARDS?

12 C3 Civic: By the end of Grade 12… D2.Civ.7.K-2 Apply civic virtues and democratic principles when working with others D2.Civ.8.K-2 Evaluate social and political systems in different contexts, times, and places, that promote civic virtures and enact democratic principles. D2.Civ.9.K-2 use appropriate deliberative processes in multiple settings D2.Civ.10.K-2 Analyze the impact and the appropriate roles of personal interests and perspectives on the application of civic virtues, democratic principles, constitutional rights and human rights.

13 Step 1 – Community Environmental Inventory Boundaries defined by teacher or students Observations using all senses Guided Walking Tour Students & staff Neighbors Local businesses What changes has community seen? Interviews Can be guided by teacher Great opportunity to partner with tech teacher Include city web site News Media Search Can be used to narrow down long list of issues- what is community most passionate about? Surveys & Opinion Polls Can get bird’s eye view of community Shows community’s natural environmental resources Maps Find reputable online sites that provide peer- reviewed, unbiased information. Great source for maps! Internet Searches Online DBs Water quality testing Indoor Air Quality testing (Tools for Schools) Energy audit Waste audit Environmenta l Inventory Activity!

14 Step 4 Strategy Selection Step 5 Taking Action Step 6 Looking Back & Ahead Sep 3 The Earth Force Process Earth Force Process Video!

15 Criteria-Based Issue Selection

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