Ecopedagogy is most often defined as a project and a model for a new sustainable civilization from the ecological point of view (Antunes & Gadotti, 2005). Ecopedagogy can also be viewed as a new kind of science for how to create a more Just, more Ecological and more Peaceful sustainable civilization (Grigorov, 2011). It is a project that strives to transcend the educational, institutional and organizational limitations of the concept of Sustainable Development (Gadotti, 2008) and to realize in practice a more sustainable, beautiful and humane vision of future.
While the history of Ecopedagogy can be traced to Latin America and the works of world famous pedagogies and authors such as Paolo Freire, Moacir Gadotti, Francisco Gutierrez, Cruz Prado, and Richard Kahn (in North American context), today its meaning is global and Ecopedagogy turns more and more into a Planetary educational project for peace and sustainability that integrates the wisdom and the worldview of traditional culture of all latitudes (Gutierrez & Prado, 1999).
As a pedagogy, ecopedagogy is an alternative to the contemporary top-down pedagogies which “see kids and students simply as “depositories” to be uncritically filled with information and which are based on oppressive practices of education turning students into objects that patiently receive, memorize, and repeat information. It is not surprising that this “banking concept” of education regards men as adaptable, manageable beings. The more students work at storing the deposits entrusted to them, the less they develop the critical consciousness which would result from their intervention in the world as transformers of that world. The more completely they accept the passive role imposed on them, the more they tend simply to adapt to the world as it is and to the fragmented view of reality deposited in them” (Freire, 2002, 1973).
Contrary to this, Ecopedagogy represents a participatory and creative education that is centered on life and on love to life and Nature! It does not separate artificially students from the real world and its problems but rather poses these problems and teaches students how to cope with them through action, creativeness and dialogue, how to create a more just, sane and sustainable civilization instead just to adapt to the world.
As an educational interactive program, Ecopedagogy:
- Cultivates in students critical thinking, consciousness raising (conscientization), culture of dialogue and active democratic participation in society;
- Promotes new crucial ecoliteracies and socially responsible lifestyles, new sustainable policies;
- Educates critically students for taking action for sustainability and social justice in local and global society.
“Prevent – Preserve - Build“
The BCSLDE offers an Action-based Ecopedagogy Education and Socialization Programme“Prevent-Preserve-Build” that aims at deep sustainable social transformation.
Prevent: Preserve: - Pollution of Air, Water, Soil; – Natural parks, Nature & Biodiversity; - Resource depletion; - Cultural heritage; - Unsustainable (over) Consumption; - Traditional ecological knowledge; - Drugs and alcohol dependency; - Human communication and values. - Technology dependency and PC addiction; - Violence and Crime; - Fast food and chemical-based food; - Noise pollution.
Build: Sustainable relations and structures of: - Eco Agriculture; - Eco Energy; - Eco Transport; - Waste sorting & recycling; - Eco Tourism; - Active integration of disadvantaged people, minorities and children at risk; - Social equality and justice; - Culture of active sustainable lifestyle and sport; - Peace all over the world !
Other structures engaged with Ecopedagogy:
Instituto Harmonia na Terra, Florianopolis, Brazil http://www.harmonianaterra.org.br/
Green Theory and Praxis: The Journal of Ecopedagogy http://greentheoryandpraxis.org/