A New Ecology of Learning: Ecological Systems as Pedagogical Models

Pavel Cenkl – Sterling College – August, 2012

A SEAD White Paper Proposal

This proposed white paper introduces a new ecology of learning and innovative connections between ecological and a humanities curriculum. Drawing on points of intersection between experiential liberal arts education, digital humanities, biomimicry, and ecopsychology, this paper will engage instructors and administrators in course development strategies and in helping students plan their own learning by using a systems approach to curriculum design. The paper will propose to reground liberal arts curriculum design by considering (1) how ecological thinking can provide a model for a more intentional and dynamic liberal arts pedagogy; (2) how digital technologies can help us develop more ecologically-focused learning environments and curricula; and (3) how instructors can integrate ecological thinking into new and existing courses, units, and overall curriculum design.