IDS 1920


The Earth Literacy Colloquium


Catalog Course Description: This course is an in-depth exploration of the principles of Earth Literacy from multiple perspectives with an understanding of the interconnected role that science, education, culture and cosmology play in the formation of human attitudes towards the natural world.


Credit Hours: 3 lecture hours
Prerequisites: none; permission of Earth Ethics Institute


Course competencies:


Competency 1: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the principles Earth Literacy and the basic components of a cosmology by: 


A.     describing the basic principles of Earth Literacy

B.     comparing and contrasting the principles of Earth Literacy with the prevailing scientific views on origins of the Universe and operations of natural systems

C.    defining cosmology and identifying factors that create and modify an individual’s worldview

D.    summarizing the connections between one’s worldview and nature

E.     examining their own cosmology and evaluating its implications


Competency 2 – The student will identify Earth ethics issues facing the world today by:


A.     defining cultural paradigms; comparing and contrasting their roots and connections to patterns of consumption

B.     summarizing how loss of habitat, resource depletion and human population growth have ethical components

C.    defining environmental justice and its application to ecological issues


Competency 3 – The student will demonstrate an understanding of the principles of ecological sustainability by:


A.     defining ecological sustainability

  1. describing the characteristics of an ecosystem; an ecological community; and ecological sustainability.

C.    identifying strategies that communities, governments and businesses can use to become more environmentally friendly



Competency 4 – The student will explain the connections between food and environment by:


  1. comparing and contrasting methods of food production and their impact on the environment.
  2. defining the basic National Organic Standard and what it means to be "certified organic."

C.    researching, designing and evaluating a plan for a home organic garden from construction to harvest.



Competency 5 – The student will demonstrate an understanding of the role of individual responsibility and action in contributing to a sustainable world by:


A.     relating the role of service-learning in influencing an individual’s sense of socio-environmental responsibility.

B.     identifying and adopting at least three personal practices that move the student toward a more healthful, environmentally-mindful lifestyle.

C.    researching and appraising an ethically-related environmental topic for classroom presentation and discussion.

D.    critically examining and evaluating their own educational experiences as they relate to the principles of Earth Literacy