From Environmental Awareness to Environmental Responsibility: Towards a Stewardship Curriculum

Ajayi C. Omoogun, Etuki E. Egbonyi, Usang N. Onnoghen

Abstract


The period of environmentalism heightened environmental concern and subsequently the emergence of Environmental Education that is anchored on awareness. It is thought that increase in environmental awareness will reverse the misuse of the environment and its resources. Four decades after the international call for Environmental Education, Earth’s degradation is far from abating as it’s pristinity is consistently and irreversibly being eroded by no less than from anthropocentric activities. Humans have seen themselves as the dominant species that is apart and not part of the organisms that constitute the environment. The philosophical value free nature concepts and the theological assumption that human are the ultimate species together with the rise of capitalism and its surrogates consumerism together conspire to diminuate environmental health. To protect the environment therefore, we must refocus EE to change human’s view of the environment and attitude towards the utilization of its resources. Environmental education can become more effective in creating respect for the environment. This paper examined the failure of efforts at addressing environmental issues via environmental education. The paper posits that environmental problems are on the increase due to lack of deliberate responsibility and stewardship, lack of a unique EE curricula and ineffective pedagogy. We suggest therefore that EE can target human perception and attitude and direct then towards biocentric stewardship for the environment. This can be achieved through a deliberate pedagogy of environmental values that promotes sustainable attitude and respect for the environment. Humans must bear the burden of responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of the environment. We must replace the philosophical value free nature concepts that nature is a common commodity and the theological assumption that humans are the ultimate species. We must also rethink our consumerism nature and the endless faith in the efficacy of technology to solve reoccurrence human induced ecological problems. These issues must be embedded in the school curriculum. Pedagogical approach to EE should essentially be the experiential model. The school curriculum must be the carrier and doer of these values that are crucial to the sustainability of the environment. Environmental ethics, environmental code of conduct, environmental nationalism, nature as manifestation of God, ascetic consumerism are recommended as key component of environmental curricula and pedagogy.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jei.v2i2.9265

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Journal of Educational Issues  ISSN 2377-2263

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