The Evergreen State College
Jean MacGregor: I am a Senior Scholar at the Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education at The Evergreen State College, where I also teach and supervise theses in the Masters of Environmental Studies Program. I direct the Curriculum for the Bioregion Initiative, whose mission is to prepare undergraduates to live in a world where the complex issues of sustainability—environmental quality, community health and wellbeing, and environmental justice are paramount. This faculty and curriculum development project has involved over 1,000 college and university faculty at 50 colleges and universities in Washington and northern Oregon.
In my “citizen life,” I’m active in bird conservation and strategies for reducing of toxic chemicals in the environment. With others, I helped rewrite the pesticide policy for Thurston County, Washington in order to reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides in all county roads, lakes, and parks.
Curriculum for the Bioregion Initiative part of Curriculum for the Bioregion
Curriculum for the Bioregion engages faculty communities in exploring the complex issues of sustainability - environmental quality, true community health and wellbeing, and social equity and justice - and in building sustainability concepts and place-based learning into a broad array of courses and disciplines.
Don't Just Do Something, Sit There: Suggestions for Observing in Nature part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Reflective observation in nature can be powerful for deepening connections to the natural world. Both in my own classes and in workshops in other academic programs here at Evergreen, I teach workshops called "Don't Just Do Something, Sit There," to develop students' capacity for observation and for contemplation in the natural world. Depending on the particular academic program and its purposes, students engage in these activities to prepare to do field research, to develop their drawing or writing skills, or for more open-ended contemplative time. Often, these field observation experiences are tied to journal assignments that ask students to record observations or engage in reflective writing.
Why Sustainability Education Needs Pedagogies of Reflection and Contemplation part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Essays
This essay sets out a rationale and framework for pedagogies of reflective and contemplative practice and makes an argument for why they are critically important to sustainability education.