Monday, November 1, 2021

Sources of Strength for Regenerative Teaching and Learning 2: Intimations of the Ecopsychology of Deeper Learning

Given that educators have a desire to support students deepening beyond surface curiosity to deeper learning, what can ecopsychology offer?  What might deeper learning look like, including in online learning contexts?

As a follow-up to a recent post about grappling with grief as a way through to shifted perspectives and greater empathy, including grappling with Earth grief, I want to open an exploration of deeper learning. I noticed in two current online course discussions, how students can move towards convivial kibbitzing and avoid deeper lines of inquiry. 

 Is this because of a tension between relationship building and a fear of online attack, particularly because of intersectional dynamics with fewer interpersonal cues, including along dimensions of genders, sexualities, and social constructions of race? In feminist education this has sometimes been termed a "cozy" environment. We can all stay safe by agreeing, right? Here's a few online social technologies that can open things up:

  • Brave space guidelines can open up discussions (Backgrounder: Arao & Clemens, 2013; Guidelines for Brave Communication (AWARE-LA, n.d.)
  • Approaches that elicit deeper, creative and evaluative critical and innovative thinking, leveraging the inversion of Bloom's Taxonomy such that creative work is the zenith; its horizontalization in the Bloom's Rose (see Figure 2), applied to thinking and learning

Source: Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching, 

Source: Education Endowment Foundation (2018, 2021) - Source Page

Francis, 2016 - Source Article

Supporting students being metacognitive in their own teaching and learning has profound gains. I can model and encourage learners to dig deeper to ask creative questions (see EEF, 2021 Diagram above). These creative questions can catalyze mutual inquiries - very useful in generating deeper conversations. 
What might be an ecopsychological dimension to these questions that can take us deeper? I wonder how nimble perspective shifting, lithe creativity, and compassion sourced from the wellspring of ecoconnection and ecojustice ethics might support this deepening as well. How can we  with resilience. Perhaps we can apply these principles from Earthflow (Hauk, 2014, p. 361) to our shared explorations ...


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