Curricular Framing of An Environmental Contamination Curriculum: Power, Positionality, and Intention
AuthorKnox, Corey J.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe ability to critically analyze, understand, and take action on environmental issues in one’s community and to contribute to larger regional and global solutions, is a responsibility that should be accepted as central to K-12 education, most especially in communities that have been subjected to racism, neglect and environmental degradation. Such is the case in environmental disasters as the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan or as is the subject/place of this research project—trichloroethylene (TCE) and 1,4 dioxane water contamination caused by over 30 years of dumping of deadly contaminates by military defense contractors in the largely Latinx community. This research analyzes a locally developed multidisciplinary secondary high school curriculum entitled, “The TCE contamination and cleanup curriculum.” This research begins with a content analysis that focuses on how environmental justice is defined and enacted within the curriculum. Additionally, through interviews and analysis of artifacts, this historical case study explicates the processes by which multiple stakeholders including, teachers, community activists, affected residents, curriculum designers, scientists, and representatives of the responsible parties (military contractors/government entities) participated in the development of this curriculum. This study sheds light on how critical local environmental issues become embedded in formal education, foregrounding themes of environmental justice, power, student empowerment, and community environmental knowledge. It also seeks to illuminate the processes, challenges, and benefits of co-creating and implementing curricular materials that focus on immediate, complex, politically charged, environmental issues.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Teaching & Teacher Education