To conclude ESCI 302, I have decided to create a video that reflects my experiences and understandings for this past semester. Please find attached at the bottom my video uploaded to YouTube. I would like to thank iMovie for making it look like Stephen Spielberg directed, filmed and edited my video (just kidding).
Before entering and learning about environmental education, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. My understandings of what the Earth means to so many organisms was limited but now reflecting back on re-occurring themes that entered my mind every time I walked into class and looking back on my blog posts, I now know that it goes much deeper than my previous knowledge of the environment. Environmental education has now reshaped my mind and how I will view the environment going forward by helping me understand important themes of what the Earth offers us and spreading that knowledge on as a future educator.
Looking back on the themes in my blogs that were important to me, and what I think needs to be passed onto students as a future educator is the importance of the true meaning of wilderness. We as humans, view land that is not inhabited by humans as wilderness. Understanding that no matter where you go that is deemed as “empty” probably is home to many various forms of wild life that goes as unrecognized. Is there true wilderness? Probably not as we share the land with many living organisms. What true wilderness helps me reflect on is the colonization of European ancestors coming to North America onto First Nations territory and how it’s important to recognize early ancestors and who’s land we are really on.
Looking at this so called “wilderness” and shared land through our eyes as humans is a beautiful thing. There are many aspects of this Earth to appreciate as it provides us with so many opportunities. In order to keep this Earth beautiful, we need to reflect on our acts of reciprocity. We get so caught up In taking what the earth offers that we don’t think of giving back. Looking at my blog posts I found that I honestly don’t give back to the Earth as much as I should but during the embodying eco-literacy project I found out that there are many ways I can give back in more ways than just recycling or picking up garbage while on a hike (as I explained in my first blog). As humans we need to be more ecoliterate, which is understanding what things make life on earth possible.
By understanding what makes life possible on Earth, we need to have everyone on board to disrupt climate change or else these natural systems on earth that make life possible won’t be existing in the future. Doing little things that make you feel better like recycling, isn’t going to fix the problem, it goes much deeper than that. We need to have an environment first mentality, and figure out ways to disrupt climate change and pollution like ways such as carpooling or reusable water bottles for example. There needs to be a major movement in what we do with this planet.
Moving forward, reflecting on my blog posts, learning in class and what I thought beforehand, I now realize that I have become a more eco-literate person and have realized that environmental education is an important subject area to incorporate in school systems. It is an integral part of the future.
To end this video off, I have saved a few of my favourite quotes from this semester. These quotes have challenged my learning all semester and will continue to challenge my thinking as a future educator. The first quote I would like share comes from Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass. Kimmerer states in one of her chapters we read “the world is a gift”. It’s a very simple quote, but when I unpack that quote, I think of gifts being a special gesture. When she states “the world is a gift”, we need to treat it special and to take care of it, but the way she sees it is we are doing the exact opposite.
The second quote that served a meaningful purpose to me came from David Orr’s article. The quote I liked was, “the plain fact is that the planet does not need ore successful people. But it desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, story tellers and lovers of every kind”. We need to start treating the Earth as our friend.
The last and my favourite quote was the one by Leonardo DiCaprio which really struck me at the start of the semester and I continue to think about it. It comes from his movie Before the Flood, which was a very interesting documentary that I encourage people to watch. The quote I want to leave you with is “you are the last, best hope of Earth, we ask you to protect, or we and all living things we cherish are history.” There needs to be a change in the ways humans think of the Earth before it’s too late. We need to have everyone on board in order to be successful.
Kimmerer, R. W. (2013) Braiding Sweetgrass. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Milkweed Editions.
Fisher, S., & DiCaprio, L. (2016). Before the Flood. [Documentary] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj8kRKpOheI
Orr, D. W. (2004) Earth in Mind. Washington, DC. First Island Press. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8VQFXPP3QToTERuYWRMa2ExRzg/view