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Environmental Science and Policy
David Orr’s 1994 book, Earth in Mind, takes a focused and deep look at the intricacies of the higher education system and the effects of academic schooling on the environment and ecology. His clear insight and profound questioning indicate a fundamental flaw in today’s college education system. The flaw is that of division and departmentalization. Orr’s astute observations determined that today’s education system is obsessed with compartmentalizing subjects, creating students who have little interest or knowledge outside their specialty and almost no knowledge of important aspects that will later affect all humans on the planet. Orr describes his ideal curriculum to include the basic principles of ecology, carrying capacity, appropriate scale and environmental ethics among others (14). Ideally, creating students with understandings in these fields would create an environmentally savvy population, one which could institute change and create new policies to preserve and better what resources they have left. Schools should seize every opportunity to educate students about Earth and the mechanisms that drive it. These opportunities include campus-wide initiatives as well as course-offerings and educational programs.
© 2007; Lauren Rizzo
Rizzo, Lauren, "Advancing Environmental Literacy at Smith College: the best route to an informed student body" (2007). Capstone, Smith College, Northampton, MA.
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