Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Environmental Program

First Advisor

Dr. Amy Seidl

Second Advisor

Dr. Karen Nordstrom

Keywords

Alternative Pedagogy, Anthropocene, Place-based Education, Sense of Place, Students-teaching-students

Abstract

Contemporary environmental education is tasked with the acknowledgement of the Anthropocene - an informal but ubiquitous term for the current geological epoch which arose from anthropogenic changes to the Earth system - and its accompanying socio-ecological implications. Sense of Place can be a hybridized tool of personal agency and global awareness for this task. Through the creation, execution and reflection of a 14-student students-teaching-students (STS) course at the University of Vermont in the Spring of 2019, Giannina Gaspero-Beckstrom and Ella Mighell aimed to facilitate a peer-to-peer learning environment that addressed sense of place, social justice and community engagement. The students-teaching-students framework is an alternative educational approach that supports the values and practices of the University of Vermont’s Environmental Program, as well as an intentional breakdown of the hierarchical knowledge paradigm. Using alternative pedagogies (predominately critical and place-based), we attempted to facilitate meaningful learning through creative expression, experiential education, community dialogue and personal reflection. Our intention with this was to encourage awareness and action.

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