Curriculum and the Elements of The Earth: Deconstructing Sustainability and Reconstructing Responsibility

Citation data:

Georgia Southern University

Publication Year:
2010
Usage 520
Downloads 478
Abstract Views 42
Repository URL:
https://digitalcommons.georgiasouthern.edu/etd/546
Author(s):
Pollock, Elizabeth Alford
Tags:
ETD; Accountability; Curriculum; Ecofeminism; Ecology; Economy; Ecopedagogy; Eco-postmodernism; Environment; Maintainability; Responsibility; Sustainability; Jack N. Averitt College of Graduate Studies, Electronic Theses & Dissertations, ETDs, Student Research
thesis / dissertation description
In October, 2009, I attended a presentation on Sustainability where the argument was made this concept is an issue for government and administrative agencies. The problem with this summation is in its exclusion of individuals existing outside of these agencies who interact with their environment on a daily basis. This exclusion potentially encompassed an extinguishing effect in that it closed off the term to multiple interpretations and possibilities I believe sustainability possesses; a "closing" that does not provoke the liberating nature associated with more open forms of dialogue and engagements. My dissertation explores the myriad ways sustainability can be interpreted outside of what was presented as authoritarian agencies. I seek to open the term to contestation in ways that demonstrate its potential for maintaining economic, patriarchal and scientific narratives. Through this "opening up" of sustainability, I engage in a critique of the term as an effort that maintains these structures through the economy of accountability. Accountability is becoming its own dominant narrative as it works its way through science, governmental policies, corporate actions, and educational settings. The field of education is currently experiencing the effects of accountability that is reducing children, not to products associated with the factory model metaphor, but to by-products and secondary concerns to the line being drawn between teachers and the accounting device. This line is also evidenced in sustainability as it is being drawn between ecological and environmental issues and the authoritative agencies that will be discussed, thus reducing those who were excluded in the presentation that evening to byproducts and secondary concerns of the lines being drawn between sustainability and the authoritative agencies who are constructing environmental accounting devices. By exposing this link between sustainability and accountability, I hope to redirect our attention from narratives of environmental and educational accountability to issues of ecological and curricular responsibility. I also demonstrate how an ecopedagogy constructed out of a love and generosity for the ecological interconnections we experience may lead towards more responsible approaches regarding our children in particular and the environmental and ecological future we may pass down.