Day 4

Thursday, May 24th “Urban Environmental Issues: Merging Social and Environmental Justice” (Field Trip) 

8:30 a.m. –  Depart for Chelsea (outside of 160 Packard – Cabot Center)

9:00 a.m. –  Breakfast & Discussion at Chelsea Collaborative

9:45 a.m. –  Tour of Chelsea

Tour will be led by Jovanna Garcia Soto, Chelsea Green Space Organizer. She will explore issues of open space, creek cleanup, restoration and access, polluting facilities, and energy efficiency. 

11:30 a.m. – Depart for Roxbury

12:00 p.m. – Lunch & Discussion at Alternatives for Community & Environment

1:00 p.m. – Tour of Roxbury

Tour will be led by Penn Loh, Professor at Tufts University’s Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning School and former Executive Director of ACE. Penn will explore issues including asthma and air pollution, transit justice, redevelopment, and green economy.

2:30 p.m. – Tour concludes; return to Tufts


Homework Assignment:

How can you begin to bake environmental issues into the classes you teach?  Considering all that we’ve discussed so far in TELI, come up with a few thoughts to share on how you would infuse a class you already teach with some aspect of environmental literacy, or come up with an idea for a new class you might like to teach.   You might want to think about the following:

  • What topic(s) would you want to cover?
  • How is or might this topic be covered in an interdisciplinary fashion, including whether it might benefit from being team-taught, and what are the opportunities and the challenges of doing so?
  • What kinds of materials could be used in this class?  Think of both primary and secondary source materials, scientific, literary, media, historical and other types of sources.
  • Are there ways in which civic engagementopportunities might enhance this class?  What would you need to know/do to include them?


One Response to Day 4

  1. Cory says:

    I think that my future students could benefit greatly from being exposed to the types of community activist approaches we learned about during our trips today. Looking at the list of candidates for next’s year’s common reading book, it’s obvious that they all approach environmental issues from some angle, whether it be pesticide exposure, waste disposal, food production and distribution, or the green economy. As valuable as any of these approaches might be, I think that it would be meaningful to introduce the types of specifically local case studies or community action initiatives regarding the environment that our tour of Chelsea and Roxbury incorporated. Researching the history of such initiatives might provide students with one entre into the field of environmental awareness. It would also be useful to have students situate the groundroots approaches undertaken by the community groups in relation to the narrative the common reading book advances, and thus have them consider the variety of ways in which to promote environmental awareness. Although in using literary approaches we may not organize phenomenological data in the same way that more quantitative fields do, we can interrogate arguments and communicate compelling narratives. Including environmental issues in our teaching could enable us both to impart needed content while honing the discipline-specific skills our students need.

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