Soldier Hollow Charter School and Environmental Education   1 comment

Dear Principal Weber,

Thank you for giving my son and me a tour of your beautiful campus last week.  You were gracious to spend so much time with us, and we were impressed with the skiing and other wonderful programs your school offers, and with the care you show for the individual student.

Prior to the visit, we were not aware of the extent to which sustainable development is a part of the school’s educational emphasis.  The posters on the walls and the students’ artwork heavily promoted sustainable development.  Also, the information packet stated that the school’s charter is environmental education.

While studying nature is neutral, the sustainable development movement is not academically nor politically neutral. I don’t think it would be reasonable nor kind for me to have him attend the school and at the same time be critical of its main emphasis.  I am sorry we will be missing out on the other wonderful benefits of Soldier Hollow.

Thanks again very much for your kindness and time, and we wish you and your school the very best.

Christel

P.S. Here is a journal article that explained to me how environmental education is not academically neutral.

http://trumpeter.athabascau.ca/index.php/trumpet/article/view/325/497

http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ491963&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ491963

Excerpt:  “[E]ducation is concerned with enabling people to think for themselves.

Education for sustainable development, education for deep ecology (Drengson, 1991), or education “for” anything else is inconsistent with that criterion.

In all cases these phrases suggests a pre-determined mode of thinking to which the pupil is expected to prescribe.

Clearly, I would not want my children to be taught sustainable development. The very idea is contrary to the spirit of education.

I would rather have my children educated than conditioned to believe that sustainable development constitutes a constellation of correct environmental views”   - Bob Jinkins, Yukon College

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One response to “Soldier Hollow Charter School and Environmental Education

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  1. Please explain to me in further detail, how “The sustainable development movement is not academically nor politically neutral.”Over the past 3 years I have been heavily involved in all aspects of Soldier Hollow Charter School, including their ciriculum. I have even sat in on multiple classes of the higher grades, mainly 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grades. Yes, politics was taught about. Yes, sustainable development was taught about as well. However, neither subjects were taught about together, let alone the same class. Politics was spoken of in Social Studies class. Sustainable Development was taugh about in Enviromental Science class. I might also add that both classes are taught by two different people!

    I think you are grossly misinformed about the main emphasis of the charter of the school. The main emphasis is Enviromental Education.
    I ask that the next time, before you go making assumptions and critizing a school that has one of the highest honors a school can achive nationally for the academic standards, you get your facts straight.

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