Towards a Linking Activist Pedagogy: Teacher Activism for Social-Ecological Justice

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Yi Chien (Jade) Ho


The world is currently in the midst of a social-ecological crisis. We cannot ignore that the primary cause of this change in our planet's ecological balance and the increase in social injustices is our heavy dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels and a capitalist economic system, which encourages exploitation of both human and more than human resources with no regard for the consequences. In such a reality, it is alarming that education treats knowledge as disconnected fragments and that environmental and social issues are often addressed separately in education. In order to live in environmentally healthy and socially just communities, we need ways of thinking and teaching that integrate rather than fragment issues. There is a need to recognize that the ecological crisis is a “cultural crisis”. With the need for such an approach in mind, Morgan Gardner (2005) formulated the term “linking activism” to describe one's “blended social-ecological justice practice” when “being positioned in a single construct” (p.3). I extend this into a consideration of environmental and social-justice educators as agents of change whose daily activism works to change the current cultural paradigm and bring social-ecological order and harmony. This paper will argue for the importance of engaging in linking activism in education by critically examining the mainstream environmental educational field in order to critique its paradigm that is imprinted by the current dominant culture, which in turn perpetuates social-ecological oppression.


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How to Cite
Ho, Y. C. (Jade). (2015). Towards a Linking Activist Pedagogy: Teacher Activism for Social-Ecological Justice. SFU Educational Review, 8.
Author Biography

Yi Chien (Jade) Ho, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University

Jade Ho is a teacher, research assistant and PhD student in education at SFU, where she studies ecological education and social justice. She is currently working with the Maple Ridge Environmental School Project as a research assistant. She is interested in unpacking the social and ecological oppression through a cultural lens. Growing up in the Caribbean, she loves the water and dancing her heart out.