Political Ecology of the Classroom

Our 4th year political ecology classroom: tagged

Ben Huff, a fourth year political ecology student working on his Bachelor in Environmental Studies, considered the classroom from a political ecological perspective for his term paper.

He writes, “Regardless of what is taught inside mainstream universities, including alternatives to the current economic system such as ecological and environmental economics, it is the form of the educational system, bound within western neoliberalism, which produces the desired effect of capitalism and undermines content. The classroom emerges as a landscape that reproduces and maintains the ideologies necessary for global capitalism to continue.”

“Our classrooms, as landscapes, adhere to the processes of global capitalism by being place-less, non-descript and easily enter-changeable. Greenwood argues, “place-consciousness reveals how schooling itself, and assumptions about school success and failure, remain a function of the larger process of cultural and ecological colonization endemic to Western industrialized societies” (2009, 1). In sense, the classroom, devoid of a transparent history assists in masking our own participation in colonialism.”

Way to go, Ben!

About Laura Taylor

I'm an associate professor and graduate planning program coordinator in the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University. I am a planning consultant, too. This blog is to share my research on the politics of nature and the negotiation of landscape values in the city and city planning, with a keen interest in the urban-rural fringe and exurbia.
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