Identifier

etd-03092012-103220

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Sociology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Within environmental education the promotion of environmental activism is still considered contentious despite being a major goal since its inception. While some argue on simply raising awareness a growing number believe an action component is necessary to produce citizens capable of addressing environmental issues. Critical environmental education (Critical EE) is one method of integrating action into an educational program that teaches students to better understand the social and natural environment through an integrative participatory teaching-learning culture which allows students to construct contextual value-laden knowledge. This study uses data gathered from six months of participant observation at Our School at Blair Grocery, an urban farming school which teaches from an environmental justice perspective, to examine how critical education promotes student action. Results indicate that critical reflection and action within an egalitarian, youth-centered community located in a disadvantaged neighborhood produces students who are more enlightened and empowered to create change. However, concerns around funding and safety led staff to not adhere to maintaining an egalitarian ethic, undermining the individualism and unpredictability that critical EE thrives upon and producing “disconnects” in student’s education.

Date

2012

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Becker, Sarah

Included in

Sociology Commons

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