Bastions of Mechanism, Castles Built on Sand: A Critique of Schooling From an Ecological Perspective

Sandy Steen


The realization of the goals of environmental education may involve a critique and transformation of the dominant model of schooling. Specifically, a greater emphasis onsecond-order change is necessary in order to address the mechanistic structures and dynamics of schooling that may frustrate environmental education. Several of themechanistic practices that define the dominant model of schooling and that may inhibit the adoption of holistic or ecological thought are systematically identified and discussed. The paper is primarily a critique, pointing to future work needed in reconceptualizing schooling so that it is more compatible with the goals of environmental education. Thepiece concludes with the suggestion of revisiting the deschooling movement for what it may be able to contribute to the questions at hand.

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