Three for Thursday

Here are three options for you to check out to see what’s going on in a discipline other than your own:

~Declining Student Resilience: An article from Psychology Today about the massive spike in recent years of student needs for psych services. I have MANY criticisms of our district office, but I cannot deny that they did a really great thing in establishing Wellness Centers across the colleges and putting Michael Russell in charge of all of them. I have not seen as much of the kinds of things discussed in this article as they report–perhaps our students are more resilient than the typical, traditional student?

~The Hit Charade: From The Atlantic, an eye–opening article for anyone interested in Pop Culture (or with kids who listen to a lot of Top-40) about how a handful of unknowns who are the architects of the ear candy that dominates the pop radio airwaves. Also has some interesting stuff about re-use, artistry, and the music market.

~What Does the Giraffe Say: Speaking of music hits from Scandinavians, it turns out that giraffes DO have something to say, though not quite as catchy as “Jacha, chacha, chacha, chow!”

Environmental Education Under Consideration

This article was an interesting enough read:

James’s approach to teaching includes key components of what experts consider sound environmental education practices, and those practices are very different, experts say, from what one might think. “Often people have the misconception that environmental education is training tree huggers,” explains Brian Day, executive director of the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE). “That couldn’t be farther from the truth.”

Teaching students about the environment does, indeed, lend itself to controversial issues—climate change, coal mining, oil spills, and coastal erosion, to name a few. But the intent, Day says, is not to take sides. Instead, he says, environmental education has two main objectives: to teach students about the complex interactions between human systems and natural systems, and to show them how to make informed and responsible decisions about their lives and the environment. To achieve these goals, environmental educators say, there are certain guidelines teachers should keep in mind. One of those is to do what James does and encourage students to draw their own conclusions.

I’ve always been interested in teaching an ethics class with an environmental ed angle, but I don’t think I know enough, and I’ve always been hesitant to put myself in the position of a proselytizer for any specific position rather than for philosophy in general. Still not sure about it, though…