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Eco- Technological Literacy for Resiliency

Leo Elshof

In terms of education, Rifkin suggests that “our ideas about education invariably flow from our perception of reality and our conception of nature— especially our assumptions about human nature and the meaning of the human journey. Those assumptions become institutionalized in our education process. What we really teach, at any given time, is the consciousness of an era” (2011, p. 234).

This has significant implications for the sustainability crisis that envelops the planet. It is primarily a symptom of human ecological dysfunction: our propensity for cognitive dissonance and collective denial concerning the enormity of our impact on the ecosystems that sustain us. The environmental crisis reflects our collective dysfunctional consciousness, a consciousness that perpetuates a profound misunderstanding of who and what we are—that is, only one of many interdependent animal species living on a very finite planet that is rapidly becoming “human full” (Rees, 2010). Unfortunately, the consciousness of a bygone era still clings to our conceptions of technological literacy to the extent that ecological transparency and mindful attention to issues of equity and environmental justice used to inform the design, manufacture, and use of technologies remains marginalized, underemphasized, or simply neglected altogether. Technological education is often the only opportunity in formal education for young people to enter into a sustained and critically reflective relationship with physical materials, tools, processes of design and manufacture, and the human ecology dimensions of design and consumption. This chapter will examine the nature of eco-technological literacy and the urgency in advancing it as an integral component of twenty- first-century literacy.

J.R. Dakers (ed.), New Frontiers in Technological Literacy © John R. Dakers 2014

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