Landscapes as Contexts for Learning

Authored by: Carol B. Brandt

International Handbook of Research on Environmental Education

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415892384
eBook ISBN: 9780203813331
Adobe ISBN: 9781136699313


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As environmental educators, we find ourselves enmeshed with landscape in both our personal and working lives. Several years ago, I visited the Outer Hebrides in western Scotland, drawn to this landscape after reading Soil and Soul, a memoir that chronicled a Scottish grassroots environmental movement (McIntosh, 2004). As I walked the rugged coastline, I gazed upon breathtaking scenery that stirred my imagination. For residents of Isle of Lewis, this landscape is an indelible part of their collective identity—a fact that was revealed by the signs I saw posted in the window of homes and businesses: No to the Turbines! These signs protested the construction of a wind farm in nearby Stornaway. Locals saw the project as a threat to ecotourism; they feared that visitors like me might avoid Scotland if the towering wind generators marred the skyline. Similarly, ecologists speculated how the turbines would impact the nesting bird populations along the rocky shore. Others argued that it was yet another way for the energy hungry, industrialized south to colonize the land of the rural north.

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