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Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World
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Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  141 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Our efforts to build a sustainable world cannot succeed unless future generations learn how to partner with natural systems to our mutual benefit. In other words, children must become “ecologically literate.” The concept of ecological literacy advanced by this book’s creators, the Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, California, goes beyond the discipline of environmental e ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Sierra Club Books (first published November 1st 1991)
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Jonna Higgins-Freese
Advisory: Most of the reviews posted for this title appear to actually be for Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World by Michael K. Stone (Editor), David W. Orr (Editor), Fritjof Capra (Preface). The book with Orr as single author is a collection of his essays from the mid-'90s. At the time I initially read it, I would have given it 5 stars. Orr is a good human being and a brilliant thinker, committed and wise. It's just that I no longer already-agree with much of his ...more
This is an ecological literacy reader- full of excerpts from the best people in the field. This book is all about the aspects of education that should be a huge part of all schools- place-based education, garden classrooms, learning kitchens, farms-to-schools, bio-region study- except that unfortunately we are too obsessed with standardization to turn towards the real subject matter we should learn in school.
Erik Akre
Aug 29, 2015 Erik Akre rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: brave, concerned ecologists of any kind
Orr's book offers an incredible challenge to the reader, and by extension to the world at large. In the process of addressing (describing, exposing) the social, political, and economic hurdles that humanity faces in the late 20th century and beyond, he asks his readers who they are ecologically, whether they have "stood up and been counted" in the struggle to save the already-mostly-failed integrity of Earth and the human race. The book reads not unlike an extremely coherent and eloquent litany ...more
Sean Glover
Check out the chapter "Dancing with the Systems."
Learning how to raise my family green.
Erik Akre
Jul 26, 2015 Erik Akre rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: educators looking for sustainable alternatives
A barrage of different visionary viewpoints on education, not strictly from a stuffed "ecoliteracy" approach. A wide range of essays: indigenous education practices, the concept of slow food and the "slow school," grassroots environmental justice in ghettos of San Francisco, and lots about sustainability of food systems (in and out of the school system)... The book offers all of these, and many more approaches to the broad concept of ecoliteracy. It's a great book for varied, unorthodox, interes ...more
Autumn Waddell
This book is SO IMPORTANT! Can't reccomend it enough. Plan to read it again and again as I pursue my career with educating children.
I found these essays incredibly helpful as I thought through environmental education lesson plans, as well as my future in the environmental nonprofit field. I caught myself being reminded of students and learning situations as I read, wondering how I could have taught or handled a situation differently. Incredibly helpful theoretical book as I engaged the practical.

I particularly resonated with the systems thinking "dance" chapter.
Some essays were better than others. However the overall topic is very interesting and the combination of essays made for a compelling read. It was especially fun to be able to personally relate to at least one of the essays, which was about Davis, CA, in part. It was inspiring and could potentially be used if one wanted to start something similar in other states such as Wisconsin.
I have made so many emphatic underlines and bookmarks on this book! It captures a lot of what I learned about in grad school. Not a textbook but quality information that is inspiring and educational.
Jul 30, 2009 Ann is currently reading it
I'm writing proposals about teaching children about sustainability and social responsibility with a big view, so I look forward to this one. Fritjof Capra wrote the Preface.
Jennifer Wyld
I think I was inspired by every single program written up in this book. If you are interested in environmental or sustainable education- this book is a must!
Nov 02, 2008 Fumi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ecological minded who want to take it a bit deeper than what everyone tells you
this is one of my on-and-off dry geeky book, and I have to say- it's awesome. I read one section at a time, and there are a lot of wisdom here.
Critical but creative ideas about where we're heading and where we should head...
Overly simplified with little theory. Okay for case studies, but not much else.
Very Inspiring for teaching young people!!!
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“The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it.” 193 likes
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