Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lessons in Environmental Policy

Here's a quick lesson that can be used with the Transitions in Society textbook for a grade 12 Challenge and Change in Society class. The aim is to have students familiarize themselves with some of the language of social science, and at the same time learn about change in one piece of environmental legislation over whatever time span the teacher wants to use.

Challenge and Change in Environmental Policy

Research one local environmental challenge in society today to determine the current challenges of this issue such as....

urban sprawl, landfill sites overfilling, automobile use, wind power, nuclear power, ecotourism, organic food, pesticides, reducing consumption, urban sprawl, air pollution, global warming, endangered animals, environmental issue of your choice....

Some website of use...
www.csa.com, www.ecopsychology.org, www.alternet.org, www.amnestyca.org, www.foecanada.org, www.wwfcanada.org, www.ontarionature.org, www.sierraclub.ca,
www.cec.org, www.cpaws.org, www.cleanair.web.net, www.panna.org, www.projectearth.com, www.rco.on.ca, www.greenpeacecanada.org, www.nature.org, Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, The Record, www.bbc.com, and governmental sites

Read the case study on pages 95-97 to get a better understanding of the terms used here.


1. What is the specific dominant paradigm to be addressed in this issue? A dominant paradigm insists that we have a duty to create materials wealth to make this and future generations richer, and we have a right to dominate, change, or even corrupt the natural world in order to do so.

2. What is the specific alternative paradigm to be addressed in this issue? An alternative paradigm insists that society must place a higher importance on non-material values, encourage stronger communities built on better personal relationships, and act with greater respect for nature.

3. The dominant and alternative paradigms are competing realities or worldviews (or perspectives on the issue). What argument are most often used when the two opposing groups are bargaining for reality, each trying to prove that their paradigm is more accurate?

4. How would Structuralism-Functionalists and Neo-Marxists view this issue?

5. What forces are impeding or motivating change in this issue?

6. How has this issue changed in the past several decades (e.g. since the 1970s)?

7. In what direction is the issue changing?

8. What forces would be necessary to change this issue to a point of resolution (to solve the problem)?

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