Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment, and the Human Prospect

Overview

In Earth in Mind, noted environmental educator David W. Orr focuses not on problems in education, but on the problem of education.

Much of what has gone wrong with the world, he argues, is the result of inadequate and misdirected education that: alienates us from life in the name of human domination; causes students to worry about how to make a living before they know who they are; overemphasizes success and careers; separates feeling from ...

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Overview

In Earth in Mind, noted environmental educator David W. Orr focuses not on problems in education, but on the problem of education.

Much of what has gone wrong with the world, he argues, is the result of inadequate and misdirected education that: alienates us from life in the name of human domination; causes students to worry about how to make a living before they know who they are; overemphasizes success and careers; separates feeling from intellect and the practical from the theoretical; deadens the sense of wonder for the created world.

The crisis we face, Orr explains, is one of mind, perception, and values. It is, first and foremost, an educational challenge.

The author begins by establishing the grounds for a debate about education and knowledge. He describes the problems of education from an ecological perspective, and challenges the "terrible simplifiers" who wish to substitute numbers for values. He follows with a presentation of principles for re-creating education in the broadest way possible, discussing topics such as biophilia, the disciplinary structure of knowledge, the architecture of educational buildings, and the idea of ecological intelligence. Orr concludes by presenting concrete proposals for reorganizing the curriculum to draw out our affinity for life.

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Editorial Reviews

Wild Earth

"Earth in Mind is a book for all who are committed to a restructuring of institutions of education."
Edward O. Wilson

"As a rule economists understand economics, ecologists the environment, and educators teaching. David Orr is one of the rare authors who understands all three, and in these finely etched and admirable essays he delivers the revolutionary credo necessary, in my opinion, for the long-term survival of our species."
author of The Distant Land - Wendell Berry

"Justly removing the hide with the hair, David Orr here examines the calamitous 'success' of the industrial economy and of the educational system that subserves it....Earth in Mind is also a manual of ideas and possibilities for those who want to work toward a better end than the one now in view."
author of Epicurean Simplicity - Stephanie Mills

"David Orr is a seasoned doer as well as thinker, whose primary concern—education—could be the very pivot on which our society turns back toward life. If such dramatic and necessary change in our teaching and learning does begin, much will be owed to the ideas herein."
Conservation Biology

"What does one say about a book that is arguably one of the most important books written in recent years, perhaps ever?"
Booknews
Orr (environmental studies, Oberlin College) describes the problems of education from an ecological perspective, and presents principles for re-creating education. He argues that much of what is wrong with the world is the result of inadequate education that alienates us from life in the name of human domination. He discusses biophilia, the disciplinary structure of knowledge, and ecological intelligence. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559632959
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 213
  • Product dimensions: 5.97 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

David W. Orr is chair of the environmental studies program at Oberlin College, and education editor of the journal Conservation Biology  His previous books include Ecological Literacy  and Environmental Responsibility.

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments 
Introduction to the 10th Anniversary Edition
Introduction
 
PART I. The Problem of Education
Chapter 1. What Is Education For?
Chapter 2. The Dangers of Education 
Chapter 3· The Problem of Education 
Chapter 4· The Business of Education 
 
PART II. First Principles
Chapter 5. Love 
Chpater 6. Some Thoughts on Intelligence 
Chapter 7. Reflections on Water and Oil 
Chapter 8. Virtue 
Chapter 9. Forests and Trees 
Chaper 10. Politics 
Chapter 11. Economics 
Chapter 12. Judgment: Pascal's Wager and Economics in a Hotter Time
 
PART III. Rethinking Education
Chapter 13. Rating Colleges 
Chapter 14· The Problem of Disciplines and the Discipline of Problems
Chapter 15. Professionalism and the Human Prospect 
Chapter 16. Designing Minds 
Chapter 17. Architecture as Pedagogy 
Chapter 18. Agriculture and the Liberal Arts 
Chapter 19. Educating a Constituency for the Long Haul 
 
PART IV. Destinations
Chapter 20. Love It or Lose It: The Coming Biophilia Revolution 
Chapter 21. A World That Takes Its Environment Seriously 
Chapter 22. Prices and the Life Exchanged: Costs of the U.S. Food System
Chapter 23. Refugees or Homecomers? Conjectures About the Future of Rural America 
Chapter 24. Hope in Hard Times
 
Conclusion: Earth in Mind 
Index
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