Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Living and Learning Sustainability: Pedagogy and Praxis in Sustainability Education
by Evans, Tina Lynn, Ph.D., Prescott College, 2011, 504; 3449402
Abstract (Summary)

In this dissertation, the author develops a critical pedagogy of sustainability and promotes its application in higher education. This pedagogy is a form of praxis rooted in Gramsci's theory of agency. It weaves together threads of related theory rooted in social critique and analysis of global political economy, recognition of the importance of place as a context and construct for sustainable living, local food action, and counterhegemonic sustainability education praxis. The author also discusses examples from her teaching that illustrate how engaging students in sustainability-oriented action projects, and in reflection on that engagement, can embody sustainability education praxis.

The critical pedagogy of sustainability developed in this dissertation involves inter- and transdisciplinary engagement with students and community members in an effort to catalyze the conceptualization and living of sustainable practices. This transformative praxis departs from practices dominant in higher education today in that it involves students in the process of naming the world and defining desired action. It seeks to (re)integrate fractured modern identities and worldviews. It is counterhegemonic in orientation so that it directly confronts the political economy of late capitalism and its means of production as primary drivers of the sustainability crisis. It seeks to authentically reconnect people with each other and with the land. It embodies sustainable forms of leadership and entails educational processes and content that encourage personal and community engagement. Since the pedagogy the author advocates is also the pedagogy she practices, she draws upon student reflections on their experiences in her End of Oil course as one means to indicate what might be possible in terms of student learning and praxis.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Medrick, Rick
Commitee: Amster, Randall, McLaren, Peter, Seis, Mark
School: Prescott College
Department: Education / Sustainability Education
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 72/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational leadership, Sustainability, Curriculum development
Keywords: Critical pedagogy, Enforced dependency, Place, Political economy, Praxis, Sustainability education
Publication Number: 3449402
ISBN: 9781124563688
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