Drawing on the theories of author and conservationist Wendell Berry for the field of EcoJustice Education, this book articulates a pedagogy of responsibility as a three-pronged approach grounded in the recognition that our planet balances an essential and fragile interdependence between all living creatures. Examining the deep cultural roots of social and ecological problems perpetuated by schools and institutions, Martusewicz identifies practices, relationships, beliefs, and traditions that contribute to healthier communities. She calls for imaginative re-thinking of education as an ethical process based in a vision of healthy, just, and sustainable communities. Using a critical analytical process, Martusewicz reveals how values of exploitation, mastery, and dispossession of land and people have taken hold in our educational system and communities, and employs Berry's philosophy and wisdom to interrogate and develop a "pedagogy of responsibility" as an antidote to such harmful ideologies, structures, and patterns. Berry's critical work and the author's relatable storytelling challenge taken-for-granted perspectives and open new ways of thinking about teaching for democratic and sustainable communities.
Rebecca Martusewicz is Professor of Social Foundations in the Department of Teacher Education at Eastern Michigan University, USA.