Details of Thesis

TitleSpiritual Ecological Consciousness Towards Ecological Conversion: Experiential stories of senior secondary students and an autoethnography of the researcher
Author Bannan-Watts, Margaret Elizabeth
Institution Australian Catholic University
Date 2009
Abstract Pope John Paul II called the Catholic people of the world to an ecological conversion in response to scientific information that the Earth is experiencing a global environmental crisis. To help people to come to an ecological conversion he asked teachers to develop concrete programs and initiatives in order to sensitize young people to the needs of the Earth. This thesis explores one educational pathway to ecological conversion. The thesis begins by presenting the environmental crisis as a spiritual and moral crisis of alienation from the natural world which has allowed us to dominate and despoil the Earth. From the literature on the subject, and from my personal and professional experience as a teacher, a schema was developed which provided a process for ecological conversion. An autoethnography of my personal and professional experience of spiritual ecological consciousness towards ecological conversion is presented as lived experience of the phenomenon. The next step was to design a curriculum to teach for ecological conversion and so a topic titled Creation Theology evolved out of the literature and the schema. The students of this class subsequently provided participants for interviews for research data gathering. The experience of this class inspired an extended learning experience in a unit of study titled Earth Spirituality. Again the students were invited to share their experiences of learning about spiritual ecological consciousness towards ecological conversion. I wanted to know what the experience of learning about creation theology and earth spirituality from religious and scientific perspectives was like for my students. This involved telling the great story of the universe which initiated an understanding of connectedness, interdependence and interrelatedness with the natural world. It also introduced the notion of the Earth as spiritual and sacred to God. The thesis explores: one pathway presented as an innovative curriculum for teaching senior secondary students at Catholic Secondary College for renewal and restoration of God’s Earth; a schema developed as a process for undergoing an ecological conversion; an innovative pedagogy for teaching for ecological conversion; the experience of students who participated in classes with addressed spiritual ecological consciousness towards ecological conversion and an autoethnography of my lived experience of ecological conversion.
Thesis 01front.pdf  238KB
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