A philosophical analysis of David Orr's theory of ecological literacy
Mitchell, Debra Bailey
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In his writings, David Orr claims that the U.S. is in ecological crisis and that this stems from a crisis of education. He outlines a theory of ecological literacy, a mode by which we may better learn the ecology of the Earth and thus learn to live in a sustainable manner. Although from an anthropocentric view the diagnosis of crisis may be correct, it is not motivational to the youth of our nation. In this analysis of Orr’s theory, it will be suggested that we move beyond the perspective of crisis. By extending Orr’s ecological literacy with biophilia and ecojustice and by recognizing the importance of experience in learning, science education can be shifted to incorporate values and morals in a more sustainable approach to educational reform.