ESCI 302 Meta – Reflection Script
Hello, today I am going to take you through my eco literacy journey.
Coming into this course I had a few expectations. My roommate had taken it before me and after she had completed it, I noticed she had started doing thing such as recycling more. For this reason, I expected that this class would be teach us how to save the environment. This was wrong. In reality, this course provided me with a new lens to look at the environment through and shifted my perspective of the environment completely. I now feel as though I am better prepared to teach environmental science, and for that matter, all school subjects now that I am aware of the use and benefits of inquiry pedagogies.
Looking back upon by blogs at the beginning of the class has made me realize just how far I have come in terms of ecoliteracy. These blog posts were so embedded in normative narratives and limited in perspective and this can be seen when I said things such as, “I will do things such as shop locally, reduce my use of plastic, eat mindfully, walk or bike, promote reciprocity, and many more”. This is all I had been taught up to this point. But, I am now aware that there is so much more to the environment and that we need to take a leap as a population if we want to make a difference.
As I moved forward with the class, I now notice how much more in depth my posts got. It is clear that I was able to recognize the normative narratives that I was reproducing and could consciously correct them and try to make people more aware of the fact that they exist. This began when I was able to recognize the western worldview that had been taught to us throughout school. Up to this point, I had never considered or was taught about treaties and I recognized this in my blog post that said, “This concept of taking this “unclaimed” land and creating this fort on (which is a large part of Canadian identity) further ingrained the normative narrative of “land belonging to nobody””. The class opened eyes to who really owns the land and that we are permanent guests, we do not own it. This idea was furthered when we did the blanket exercise because I had never been taught the other side of the story before. It was disturbing to see the effects colonization had on the indigenous communities and how the land we know today really came to be.
The embodying eco literacy project opened eyes to how big the environmental issues at hand are and made me realize, again, how we have to take a leap as a population if we want to make a difference in the environment. I was shocked and disrupted when thinking of how small the changes we make are in the grand scheme of things. Such as the fact that there is little impact of me using 1 reusable cup compared to someone ordering 1000 roll up the rim cups to win the Jeep. Also, that the products we recycle are sold and shipped over seas. It was all very frustrating to learn about.
My understanding of wilderness was disrupted by this course. In my initial blogs I expressed that I grew up seeing the wilderness as raw, natural, and unclaimed land like when I said, “There is no service on this lake and the lack of technology really allowed me to take in all the beauty that surrounded me”. This just shows that we are not taught to recognize the treaties that exist and the western world view is being reproduced through our education. This was challenged and, with the knowledge I have, I know there is so much more to “wilderness” and my past thoughts were based on a lack of knowledge of the land we inhabit.
This led me to really question my education up to this point. The inquiry pedagogy made me realise that We need to change the European ways that are so embedded in education today so that students in the future are not faced with the extreme shock that I was. It is not fair to withhold this information for the sake of not only the Indigenous peoples but also the students, knowledge is power and this knowledge will change the way we view and treat the environment. We should educate our students about the treaties that exist and disrupt the normative narratives to stand a chance at making a change. This can be done by employing the inquiry cycle to our teachings. We can guide the students, allow creativity to flow, and have them make discoveries for themselves throughout the process. As the STF says, “The Future is in Today’s Classroom”. The change starts with us.