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Introduction: unsettling the ESS curriculum

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  • James Proctor

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  • Jennifer Bernstein

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  • Richard Wallace

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Abstract

We launch this mini-symposium, “Status Quo, Conflict, and Innovation in the ESS Curriculum,” with a background and overview of essays, closing with recommendations for future trajectories. The notion of Kuhnian paradigms and the related distinction between settled, “puzzle solving” vs. unsettled, “paradigm shift” moments in the history of knowledge is applied to the Environmental Studies and Sciences (ESS) curriculum to explore its own tendencies toward settlement and unsettlement. We argue that the current moment in ESS is less settled than some believe, and understandably so; moving toward settlement is important and timely, but must be done with proper reflection, which thankfully is evidenced in a range of recent literature. This mini-symposium, which builds upon a number of recent related discussions, includes six articles exploring the contemporary ESS curriculum from a variety of perspectives: high school preparation, the undergraduate student experience, curricular assumptions regarding social change, recent national-scale curricular assessments, the need for greater attention to regionalism, and the creative possibilities afforded by teaching through objects. We ultimately suggest, via this introduction and the following essays, that rather than accept the curricular status quo as a settled trajectory, we can embrace the richness and diversity of current engagement contributing to the future development of the ESS curriculum. Copyright AESS 2015

Suggested Citation

  • James Proctor & Jennifer Bernstein & Richard Wallace, 2015. "Introduction: unsettling the ESS curriculum," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 5(2), pages 195-199, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jenvss:v:5:y:2015:i:2:p:195-199
    DOI: 10.1007/s13412-015-0253-9
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s13412-015-0253-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James Proctor & Susan Clark & Kimberly Smith & Richard Wallace, 2013. "A manifesto for theory in environmental studies and sciences," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 3(3), pages 331-337, September.
    2. Shirley Vincent & Will Focht, 2011. "Interdisciplinary environmental education: elements of field identity and curriculum design," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 1(1), pages 14-35, March.
    3. James Proctor & Jennifer Bernstein, 2013. "Environmental connections and concept mapping: implementing a new learning technology at Lewis & Clark College," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 3(1), pages 30-41, March.
    4. Paul Robbins & Sarah Moore, 2015. "Teaching through objects: grounding environmental studies in things," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 5(2), pages 231-236, June.
    5. Eric Kennedy & Jacqueline Ho, 2015. "Discursive diversity in introductory environmental studies," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 5(2), pages 200-206, June.
    6. Steven Cooke & Jesse Vermaire, 2015. "Environmental studies and environmental science today: inevitable mission creep and integration in action-oriented transdisciplinary areas of inquiry, training and practice," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 5(1), pages 70-78, March.
    7. James Proctor, 2013. "Saving nature in the Anthropocene," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 3(1), pages 83-92, March.
    8. James Proctor, 2015. "Theory in, theory out: NCSE and the ESS curriculum," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 5(2), pages 218-223, June.
    9. Susan Clark & Richard Wallace, 2015. "Integration and interdisciplinarity: concepts, frameworks, and education," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 48(2), pages 233-255, June.
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    1. Richard L. Wallace & Susan G. Clark, 2018. "Environmental studies and sciences in a time of chaos: problems, contexts, and recommendations," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 8(1), pages 110-113, March.
    2. James D. Proctor & Jennifer Bernstein & Philip Brick & Emma Brush & Susan Caplow & Kenneth Foster, 2018. "Environmental engagement in troubled times: a manifesto," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 8(3), pages 362-367, September.
    3. Teresa Lloro-Bidart & Michael H. Finewood, 2018. "Intersectional feminism for the environmental studies and sciences: looking inward and outward," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 8(2), pages 142-151, June.

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    Keywords

    ESS curriculum; Paradigm; Theory;
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