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Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment, and the Human Prospect


Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment, and the Human Prospect Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In Earth in Mind, noted environmental educator David W. Orr focuses not on problems in education, but on the problem of education. Much of what has gone wrong with the world, he argues, is the result of inadequate and misdirected education that:
  • alienates us from life in the name of human domination
  • causes students to worry about how to make a living before they know who they are
  • overemphasizes success and careers
  • separates feeling from intellect and the practical from the theoretical
  • deadens the sense of wonder for the created world
The crisis we face, Orr explains, is one of mind, perception, and values. It is, first and foremost, an educational challenge.

The author begins by establishing the grounds for a debate about education and knowledge. He describes the problems of education from an ecological perspective, and challenges the "terrible simplifiers" who wish to substitute numbers for values. He follows with a presentation of principles for re-creating education in the broadest way possible, discussing topics such as biophilia, the disciplinary structure of knowledge, the architecture of educational buildings, and the idea of ecological intelligence. Orr concludes by presenting concrete proposals for reorganizing the curriculum to draw out our affinity for life.

About the Author

David W. Orr is chair of the environmental studies program at Oberlin College, and education editor of the journal Conservation Biology  His previous books include Ecological Literacy  and Environmental Responsibility.

Table of Contents


Introduction to the 10th Anniversary Edition



PART I. The Problem of Education

Chapter 1. What Is Education For?

Chapter 2. The Dangers of Education 

Chapter 3· The Problem of Education 

Chapter 4· The Business of Education 


PART II. First Principles

Chapter 5. Love 

Chpater 6. Some Thoughts on Intelligence 

Chapter 7. Reflections on Water and Oil 

Chapter 8. Virtue 

Chapter 9. Forests and Trees 

Chaper 10. Politics 

Chapter 11. Economics 

Chapter 12. Judgment: Pascal's Wager and Economics in a Hotter Time


PART III. Rethinking Education

Chapter 13. Rating Colleges 

Chapter 14· The Problem of Disciplines and the Discipline of Problems

Chapter 15. Professionalism and the Human Prospect 

Chapter 16. Designing Minds 

Chapter 17. Architecture as Pedagogy 

Chapter 18. Agriculture and the Liberal Arts 

Chapter 19. Educating a Constituency for the Long Haul 


PART IV. Destinations

Chapter 20. Love It or Lose It: The Coming Biophilia Revolution 

Chapter 21. A World That Takes Its Environment Seriously 

Chapter 22. Prices and the Life Exchanged: Costs of the U.S. Food System

Chapter 23. Refugees or Homecomers? Conjectures About the Future of Rural America 

Chapter 24. Hope in Hard Times


Conclusion: Earth in Mind 


Product Details

On Education, Environment, and the Human Prospect
Orr, David W.
Orr, David W.
Island Press
Environmental Science
Environmental Conservation & Protection
Environmental Conservation & Protection - General
General education.
Edition Number:
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
9 x 6 in

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Education » General
Education » Teaching » Math and Science
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Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General

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