While looking back and analyzing my previous writings and perspectives, one view of mine that has grown throughout the semester is my understanding of how significant of a role history plays in the environment. What first made me think about the history of particular environments is when Curthoy, Cuthburtson, and Clark stated, “[History] is our heritage, this is what we value in our environment, this is part of us; this is what we want to share and how we want you to know us” (pg.175). From then on, especially during our class nature walks, I began to think about all the people who have experienced this exact same environment over the years and the different meanings it meant to them at the time.
Reflecting on my first blog post, I wrote about Michigan and how the physical, beauty I saw in nature influenced my mood. Lake Huron (as I mentioned as being my favourite places in my introduction post) has always been a place that I adore, and as I now consider all the history that has made the lake what it is today, I am thrilled that I have discovered a new way of understanding this space. I now wonder about who has been here before, and what experiences have people encountered? What has changed? What species used to roam here? All these questions drastically have impacted what the environment currently looks like and represents today, and I am shocked that I had never viewed the historical aspect of these spaces before. Even on my daily commute to school, I now have a whole new idea of what this environment means to me.
As I have also discovered while reflecting my writing/thought process, as seen in my ecoliteracy poem and ecoliteracy braid, is my reoccurring theme of viewing the environment in a very imaginary way, often emphasizing the unique beauty of it’s physical traits. As Melayne explained, my poem provided, “descriptive image[s] of what a wonderful place the environment and nature is around us.” While connecting this to Lacey’s post, I realized that I do have a very positive, abstract view on the environment, and I tend to focus on it’s present state and how much I appreciate the beauty of nature. It is not that I have never thought about ways to be more environmentally friendly before, I just have never defined that environment through that perspective before. So now, after hearing Victoria’s and Lacey’s letters, I now understand how critical it is for me to also work towards ways of maintaining our beautiful environment and as a future educator, to educate my students on how to do the same. As Capra (2007) states, one should “create possibilities for developing abiding relationships with the natural world” (pg. 17).
Additionally, Melayne’s ecoliteracy braid also made me realize how my reoccurring theme and personal view of the environment can inspire others when she wrote “”Capra also reminds us of this using the wonder and excitement of children as an example by saying “Properly cultivated and validated by caring and knowledgeable adults, fascination with nature can mature into ecological literacy and eventually into more purposeful lives.” (Capra, 2007,pg.17).” This also has significant meaning to me as a future teacher; I strive to be a role model and inspiration to my students, and I want them to love and appreciate environment like I do, and learn how to work towards ways of protecting it.
Evaluating my second blog post, I discussed the important goal of achieving worldwide sustainability, and how, unfortunately, through our food process we are making this goal harder and harder to achieve. One of the main foods contributing to this is the mass production of corn, which directly connects to the current research I am doing for my Action Learning Project on the drastic bee decline, for the pesticides used on crops are the number one cause for bee deaths. So, with the more detailed knowledge I have learned about the issue, my environmental view has continued to grow and I have discovered this chain like effect pattern that shows how all aspects of the environment are related to one another. I am excited to see where this research continues to take me, and I am grateful for this new knowledge and new connections I have discovered for I believe it has made me “… more mindful in my work as an environmental educator” (Capra,2007,pg.32).
Fritjof Capra, 2007, “Sustainable Living, Ecological Literacy, & the Breath of Life” Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, pg. 9-19.
Curthoys, L., Cuthburtson, B., & Clark, J. (2012). Community Story Circles: An opportunity to rethink the epistemological approach to heritage interpretive planning. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 17, 173-187