Assignment Two

I was fortunate to grow up in a school system where at least in the younger grades, I had teachers and adults in my life that made an active effort to use the environment around me to give myself and other children the opportunity to connect with and attempt to understand nature to a certain extent. As I read “Lessons from a Garden Spider” by Kate Lyman, I found myself smiling being able to relate to the excitement and fascination the children in that classroom felt by having a personal connection to a living thing and watching its life cycle. As a child in school I was able to watch caterpillars turn into butterflies in my classroom, and then outside of school I was in a program part of which involved hatching chicken eggs in an incubator, then feeding, caring for and raising them until they were old enough to be brought to a local farm. As a child the way watching creatures separate from oneself is an experience guaranteed to make a lasting impression. The child develops a sort of love for that creature. However, I have to agree with certain points made in “How My Schooling Taught Me Contempt for the Earth” by Bigelow. Especially when he talks about how “…harmful ecological messages were woven into the curriculum.” I was taught to appreciate and care for those individual creatures, but without being taught about how I could protect the environment around me. It was a central lesson based on that specific type of butterfly, which as I said was a great experience, but perhaps what would make a greater impact on students long term is learning how to love the environment as a whole. I felt an obligation to take care of those creatures I was watching grow and develop but I did not feeling the same way about the environment I was living in. 

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