Ecopedagogical Literacy of a Pandemic: Teaching to Critically Read the Politics of COVID-19 with Environmental Issues
Greg William Misiaszek, Beijing Normal University, China / Paulo Freire Institute, UCLA, USA
Politics of public pedagogies that systemically obscured, ignored, and/or flat-out lied about COVID-19 realities that led to, and worsened, the global pandemic coincides with education that falsely justifies environmental violence, unsustainability, and dominance of Nature. I discuss how ecopedagogy, grounded in the popular education models of Paulo Freire, are essential to critically compare and contrast COVID-19 aspects with environmental issues to construct effective environmental pedagogies for critical literacy (i.e., ecopedagogical literacy) to disrupt and “unlearn” ideologies that sustain and intensify unsustainable acts of environmental violence. The following three disruptions are argued as essential for socio-environmental justice and planetary sustainability: disrupting Northern, dominate epistemologies that instills world-Earth distancing (i.e., “us” humans (anthroposphere) from the rest of Nature); disrupting “development” defined within neoliberal and neocolonial framings, including being solely grounded upon epistemologies of the North, and disrupting academic scholarship and structures that lead to the first two aspects needing disruptions as mentioned.
|Bio: Greg William Misiaszek, Ph.D. (UCLA) is an Assistant Professor at Beijing Normal University’s (BNU), Faculty of Education. He is an Associate Director, Paulo Freire Institute, UCLA, and an executive editor of Teaching in Higher Education journal. His work focuses on critical environmental pedagogies (e.g., ecopedagogy) through theories of globalizations, citizenships, race, gender, migration, Indigenous issues, linguistics, and media, among others. His most recent published book (2020, Bloomsbury) focuses on this analysis (Ecopedagogy: Critical Environmental Teaching for Planetary Justice and Global Sustainable Development). www.ecopedagogy.com|