Date of Award
Throughout my ten year career as an environmental educator, I have observed that a common goal in environmental education is the replication of curriculum and content. Domination and oppression in our trainings, programs, curriculum and work cultures is often perpetuated through this emphasis on unexamined replication and centering of knowledge mastery. Often, there is no real consideration of who is in the room, or of the relevance of the content to the participants. Additionally, there is little possibility for change or for co-creation of environmental education experiences. I examined domination and oppression in environmental education, in an effort to avoid replicating oppressive models and to embody leadership that focuses on relationship, possibility and liberation. I set the intention to engage with a statewide program on a deeper level that would nourish community between educators, critically examine the programming for the vast diversity of kids across the entire state, and imagine beyond these long perpetuated practices of oppression and domination. I engaged with personal learning, deepening awareness practices, conversations, small scale facilitation and pausing. These methods evolved, overlapped and emerged based on relationships, reflections, and global changes. I turned to the wisdom of nature to truly practice emergence, allow for collaboration, authentic relationship building, and consciously examine domination and oppression. I gained a deeper awareness of my own sovereignty, accountability and positionality as a white female environmental educator in a leadership role. I learned the essentiality of leading from a place of connection and embodying a leadership that allows for right relationship, possibility and recognizes the sovereignty of myself and others.
Matt Kolan, Ph.D.
Professional Affiliate Coach
Connor Stedman, M.S.
Henninger, Trudie, "Master's Project: An Emergent Journey Towards Relationship, Possibility, and Liberation in Environmental Education" (2020). Rubenstein School Leadership for Sustainability Project Publications. 24.