Critical Ecological Literacy For Multicultural Students

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Critical Ecological Literacy for Multicultural Students Environmental education (EE) is failing to engage non-white, lower-income, urban, and immigrant students. One reason for this failure is the racial homogenization of the environmental movement since its inception in the 1960s (Cermak, 2014). However, some environmental educators are attempting to overcome this issue through the implementation of pedagogical practices, such as place-based education, to engage diverse student groups. Place-based education is an interdisciplinary approach to EE which puts an emphasis on learning about the local environment. However, it is unclear if that is enough. In the literature review that follows I will discuss three articles which attempt to answer …show more content…
The goal of his work was to increase Critical Ecological Literacy (CEL), which focuses on preparing students to address ecological dilemmas (Cermak, 2014). Specifically, Cermak, used hip-hop to transform how students understood environmental studies. They would read a case study, examine the science, listen to a song with lyrics connecting to the issue and then creatively express what they learned through their own poems/raps (Cermak, 2014). When developing his curriculum, Cermak chose to connect his material with the values of his students; as a result, his curriculum focused on social justice (2014). His decision to gear his lessons towards the interests of his students is in line with the suggestions from the two articles mentioned …show more content…
Because the toxins from the chemicals biomagnified, he used the case study to explain food webs (2014). Subsequently, by using examples that focused on humans, his students were able to connect emotionally with the case and the material (Cermak, 2014). Afterward, Cermak had his students channel their emotions into creative expression. It is worth noting that many students infused their raps with information from other case studies they researched independently (Cermak, 2014). Other examples of how Cermak combined hip-hop with social justice include his use of local cases of environmental injustice to introduce topics such as environmental racism (2014). For example, Cermak used real local data to show the number of brownfields in a white community versus the number of brownfields in minority communities. This case invoked an emotional response because of his students were and prompted the students to make connections between environmental issues and activism (Cermak,

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