center for ecoliteracy
by Tim Willmott : Be the first to leave a comment
Located in Berkeley, California, the stated mission of the Center for Ecoliteracy is to support and advance education for sustainable living.
It was founded in 1995 by philanthropist Peter Buckley, physicist/author Fritjof Capra, and think tank director Zenobia Barlow to apply ecological, systems thinking principles to K-12 (from kindergarten to school leaving age) education.
Its origins arose from a shared belief in the importance of promoting systemic leadership and change in the context of whole schools, honouring the wisdom of indigenous people, and nurturing a reverence for all life.
The Center for Ecoliteracy has supported projects in habitat restoration, school gardens and cooking classes, partnerships between farms and schools, school food transformation, and curricular innovation. Together with the Chez Panisse Foundation and Berkeley Unified School District, the Center for Ecoliteracy implemented the School Lunch Initiative to provide local, seasonal, and sustainable meals for students as well as experiential learning in gardens, kitchen classrooms, and cafeterias. Using a systems approach, the Rethinking School Lunch program offers a planning strategy for revamping food service programs.
The Center for Ecoliteracy’s initiatives include Smart by Nature: Schooling for Sustainability, which aims to provide a framework based on four guiding principles: “Nature is Our Teacher,” “Sustainability is a Community Practice,” “The Real World is the Optimal Learning Environment,” and “Sustainable Living is Rooted in a Deep Knowledge of Place.” It identifies four potential pathways to schooling for sustainability—food, campus, community, and teaching and learning. The book won the 2010 Green Prize for Sustainable Literature.
Their website contains many useful and interesting resources, from book-length publications to essays and videos.
There are a number of organisations around the world which promotes the idea that indigenous wisdom has much to offer people in the developed world. This new way of thinking, of perceiving the world in terms of context and connectedness, is also ancient wisdom. Indigenous peoples have sustained themselves over time in communities that included not only humans, but also other living beings, and the land.
This is a subject that will be explored by sustainapedia.com and our sister site The Web of Hope.