Green Pedagogy in a Culture of Decay: A Post-Ecological Vision


  • Simon Jorgenson


In this essay I theorize a green pedagogy fit to critically engage the greening of culture and education. Using Batchelor's (2000) idea that color can be both dangerous and trivial, I propose that as the darker end of the green movement represents a radical and potentially dangerous threat to existing structures, green is discursively trivialized in general education. Green pedagogy combines complex nostalgia with the cultural and ecological perspective of the Romantics to critique denatured ecologies in the social sciences and dominant discourses in green education. In the end, John Elder's (1996) notion of "culture as decay" is used to re-theorize the role of the green teacher as a fruiting body of dissent, a teacher who combines an attentiveness to nature with a critical edge, cultural eye, and rhetorical playfulness. This teacher roots her pedagogy in soil, where nature and culture participate in a process of regenerative decay.


Author Biography

Simon Jorgenson

Simon Jorgenson is a doctoral student at the University of Cincinnati and an instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School. His research interests include pedagogy, rhetoric, and green foundations.