Descending the Watershed: Rethinking the "Place" of Curriculum

Michael Brody


The watershed provides a definable unit of ecology and community which can be used by educators to frame educational experiences for diverse groups of people. In this paper, a first person phenomenological approach is used to describe an expedition for teachers from the uppermost beginning of a Northern Rocky Mountain watershed to its river output at the bottom. Along the way, the landscape and experiences of the workshop participants are interpreted through principles of teaching and learning drawn from a theory of Educating (Gowin, 1981). The author describes key concepts such as "place," shared meaning, cultural perspectives, complexity, scale, connectedness and interdisciplinarity in the context of environmental education. The conclusions focus on the role of people and "place" in the construction of new knowledge about the environment and takes traditional curriculum theory a step beyond simple educative events.

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Copyright © Canadian Journal of Environmental Education (CJEE) ISSN 1205-5352