Environmentalism As An Experiential Education

Half a century ago, a wave of student protests swept over Europe and the Americas. Sparked by the Vietnam War and social and racial injustice, the protests saw the widespread emergence of social, ecological and political movements and reforms.

Today, students are once again spearheading a new social and ecological revolution. A notable difference, however, to the 60’s protests is that this time the students revolting are not in college — they are schoolchildren.

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The Ecology Of Ecological Behavior

Last year, I was assigned with the task of overseeing the registration desk at an academic conference. Finding this a rather dull affair, I chose to employ my time doing what idle observers often do best: people watching.

The registration desk was preceded by a door – not just any door, but a very cumbersome door designed in the late 1930’s (which, ironically, is representative of the architectural style of functionalism). Now, the door had an obvious protrusive vertical handle, designed for grabbing and pulling. What mad the door unique, however, was the sticker next to the handle. In bold capital letters, it read: “PLEASE TURN THE HANDLE”. This pointed to another unremarkable horizontal handle hidden behind the more obvious vertical one.

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