Identifying ecoliteracy in the El Paso Borderplex

Anthony Dean Feig, University of Texas at El Paso


Ecoliteracy is a pedagogy that values earth ecology and sustainable, nondestructive human relationships to natural systems. This is in contrast to the pedagogy of economics-based education, which views natural systems as raw materials for unlimited economic growth, usually at the expense of the environment and citizens with less economic and political power. Ecoliterate thought is scarcely developed among sampled residents of the Borderplex, and by extrapolation, people at-large. However, individual themes did manifest. The values behind these expressed themes were cultivated primarily through lived experiences, to a lesser extent media exposure, and to a minimal extent, education. No significant results were yielded by the pilot statistical study I conducted to determine if conservation attitudes and behavior were related to ethnicity, sex, country of origin and age. However, conservation and ecoliteracy resist attempts to be defined and characterized by the observation of behaviors because of their holistic, iteratively complex natures. The implementation of an ecoliterate educational model is recommended for El Paso. Content and curricula must based on the four thematic texts of ecoliteracy including stewardship, environmental justice, deep time and systems/processes thinking. This would serve to connect learners and teachers to their environment, to empower groups equally regardless of socioeconomic status and to cultivate the natural scientific abilities of children and adults. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Curriculum and Instruction|Environmental Sciences

Recommended Citation

Feig, Anthony Dean, "Identifying ecoliteracy in the El Paso Borderplex" (2004). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3125567.