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The Renewal of Meaning
in Education

Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis
of Our Times

Edited by Ron Miller

Full electronic book on CD-ROM $14.95

This provocative collection brings together a variety of perspectives on the deeper sources of the problems of contemporary education. Four central themes emerge from this unusual and important book:

1. In response to the degradation of the global ecosystem, education must cultivate a deeper respect for natural systems, for diversity and organic growth. Limited economic and utilitarian concerns are dangerously shortsighted.

2. In a global, postindustrial culture, education must overcome the Cartesian thinking that has fragmented and narrowed our conceptions of teaching and learning; we must now emphasize connection, relatedness, and integration in human experience.

3. Culture is not static; it evolves as people create and recreate meaning through language and metaphor. By developing a critical awareness of our participation in culture, we may consciously guide it toward more balanced and humane purposes.

4. The deepest source of renewal and creativity is the imagination. The educators in this volume speak of "the sense of wonder," "living knowledge," "multiple meaning systems" and "alternative ways of creating and communicating," such as dance, art and music.

Nine of the leading theorists of holistic education have contributed original essays to this volume: Douglas Sloan provides an eloquent overview of the philosophical issues raised by holistic thinkers; C.A. Bowers and David Orr each share their insights on the educational implications of the ecological crisis; David Purpel and Kathleen Kesson launch a stimulating dialogue between critical theory on the one hand, and traditional spiritual teachings and contemporary holistic theory, on the other; John P. Miller places holistic education in the context of changing worldviews, and contrasts it with more limited understandings of educational reform; Jeffrey Kane describes Rudolf Steiner's critique of scientism and the alternative epistemology that underlies his Waldorf education approach; finally, Lois Bridges Bird presents Whole Language as a theory of learning, teaching, curriculum, and community within a socio-political context.

The Renewal of Meaning in Education focuses squarely on the cultural upheaval of our time, and challenges educators to respond with a new moral and creative vision.


Psychology Press/Holistic Education Press
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