Eco-Justice Ministries
   Eco-Justice: "the well-being of all humankind on a thriving Earth"
 

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Eco-Curriculum Review for the title
Faithful Earthkeeping: The Church as a Creation Awareness Center

This is the full report format.

Short Description:   This three-part video, produced by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, includes The Biblical Call to Earthkeeping (21 minutes), Creation´s Praise Creation´s Cry (27 minutes) and Earthkeeping: The Church Responds (31 minutes).
Reviewed by:   Donna Lindsay, a United Church of Christ Director of Religious Education from California

Bibliographic & Purchasing Information
Author:   Lindy Kay, Director Dr.Calvin B. DeWitt
Publisher:   Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Publication date:   1997 Website for this resource:   none known
We know of 1 source for purchasing this resource.
Address Environmental Justice Resources
National Council of the Churches of Christ
PO Box 968
Elkhart, IN   46515-0968  
Phone 800-762-0968   219-264-3102 Fax 219-262-0966  
Website www.nccecojustice.org/printedresources.htm E-mail    
Price $16.00  Order # EJ 9735 

Target Audience & Course Sessions
Age levels Preschool    Primary    Jr. High     Sr. High     Adult
NOTE: Our reviewer may have checked a wider age range than specified in the curriculum itself.
Optimum class size N/A 
Normal number/length of sessions If the curriculum's normal lesson plan is followed, there will be 3 class sessions each lasting about 60 minutes
Are suggestions included for expanding/contracting the series? N/A  
In the judgement of the reviewer:
 using these materials, or even just one session from them, a reasonable, coherent and self-contained class can be offered in a single session of about an hour.
 using these materials, a class can be offered that runs for at least two sessions.
Are learners expected to do homework? No homework is expected  
Target audience:
 Interfaith - addressed people of many faiths
 Judeo-Christian - addressed to Jews & Christians
 Christian - addressed explicitly to Christians
 Not explicity faith-based - not much religious content
Note: The reviewer says that this curriculum is especially appropriate for members of the denomination or agency that developed it (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America). For example, it may explore a denominational policy statement. The reviewer also believes that it is possible for groups outside that tradition to make good use these materials.

Materials provided
Materials include:
 Leader's guide
 Student book
 Discussion questions
 Class activities - arts & crafts
 Class activities - group participation 
 Video
 Reading materials
 Presentation or lecture notes
 Prayer or worship resources
 
Other materials required:none specified
Description of the Leader's Guide:The leaders guide gives discussion questions and scripture references. The worksheets for participants need to enlarged and copied. This means taking apart the leaders guide. Because of the age of the curriculum, the resources in the back of the guide are over 10 years old.
Description of the Student's Book:There is no student book. There is only handout sheets for students which need to be enlarged and copied.

Materials review & Assessment of usability
Are all necessary materials provided in an accessible format? Adequate - all necessary information is present  
Is the leader's guide comprehensive? Adequate - all necessary information is present  
Are class sessions clearly outlined? Yes - materials are very well laid out and comprehensive  
Will it be helpful to have a teacher with above-average expertise in the subject matter? Not Necessary to have teacher expertise  
Preparation time required by the leader:
Subjectively rated as heavy, medium or light
Light to Medium: Need to review the video and copy the handouts so that each person attending has one 

Content focus
Is this curriculum explicitly focused on environmental awareness or action? Yes, as one of several emphases  
Does this curriculum deal with a specific environmental issue or problem? No, it doesn´t deal with one specific issue or problem. It covers lightly many enviromental issues.  
How is the scope of the environmental impact positioned?  Impact on specific human communities
 Impact on humans in general
 Impact on humans and non-human parts of creation
 Impact on non-human parts of creation only  
Does the curriculum address questions of social or economic justice in relation to environmental issues? Yes - as part of the topic  
Does the curriculum provide detailed content in a particular academic area?   For example, is there significant content in biology, physics, sociology, economics, etc.?
Biblical & theological content are covered below
No  
Biblical/theological content
Does the curriculum have explicit biblical or theological content? Yes, as a major emphasis  
How are the Biblical materials used? Individual texts are presented as meaningful ('proof texts')
Several texts are developed to show a larger biblical theme
Texts are placed in a historical or cultural context
Texts are presented as authoritative
Students are invited to comment/reflect on the meaning or authority of texts
Biblical texts are of equal importance to other scriptures/readings  
The checked statements reflect how ethical guidelines are grounded The Bible tells us how we should live/act
A theological tradition or other authority tells us how we should live/act
We should make decisions about how to live/act based on defined ethical norms
Caring for creation is an assumed norm  
The curriculum views humanity's role in creation as:
The checked lines are clearly affirmed
Domination - God created the Earth for human use; there are no real restrictions on what we can or should do.
Stewardship - "The Earth is the Lord's"" and humans are in a position of managing the creation according to God's will.
Partner - Humans are part of the web of creation, and participate in it as one species among many.
Intruder - Humans are separate from nature, and inherently destructive.
In evaluating changes to "solve" environmental problems, does the curriculum tend toward an approach that is: Confessional - I/we need to change
Confrontational - Some other person, policy or institutions needs to change
Combination - a mix of confessional and confrontational

Content approach
Which of these are a primary target outcome of the curriculum?  Increase awareness or concern about the environment in general
 Increase awareness of concern about a specific environmental issue
 Acquiring factual knowledge about an issue
 Changing or deepening personal beliefs
 Change in self-awareness or self-identity
 Changes in personal behaviors or lifestyle choices
 Influence on institutional (church or other) practices
 Increased political advocacy
 No change, or goal not clear
Range of perspectives offered:   A single perspective is offered
  Compares 2 or more perspectives
  A diversity of perspectives presented

Subjective Reviewer Feedback
In general, would you use this program with your congregation/organization? Why or why not?
I would NOT use this curriculum in my congregation either for youth or adults. It is very slow, and very dated. The scripture verses that are quoted in the video are not listed anywhere so unless you are a biblical scholar the partipants cannot study the scripture selections. Only a few references are given in the first video.
What specific feedback do you have after reviewing these materials? What did you like? What did you not like?
I found the cartoon vs. real distracting. When I first looked at the study guide I thought this was a curriculum for children. I was surprised to find it for youth and adults. This would have been a fine video 10-15 years ago when churches were begining to take a real interest in envoronmental issues but for today, most of us are already doing what they suggest and the issues we face today are so much more serious than the ones that they talked about. To be honest, I fell asleep which trying to preview the video. I asked our "enviromental gruru" to preview the curriculum and she only made it through the first two sessions. She said it was too old and dated for use in todays world. If you have the shelf space, I would say, "keep it" but if you are short on shelf space, I would give it a toss. My senior highs wouldn´t be able to watch it because it is just too slow moving and there is no real new information in it.
What questions did you have after reviewing the materials?
Why would you keep it? It was probably good several years ago, but not now.
What, if any, concerns do you have about the use or implementation of this curriculum?
The instructor would have to do a lot to stimulate the discussion because the video is so slow. Participants would be lulled rather than stimulated.
What content, if any, does this program seem to be missing? What would you like this program to cover which it does not?
What the curriculum covers is good. What is going on in the world today?
Have you ever used this program in the past, or heard of others who have used it? What if any response was received?
No....


Eco-Justice Ministries   *   400 S Williams St, Denver, CO   80209   *   Home Page: www.eco-justice.org
Eco-Justice Ministries ended all programming on July 31, 2020. This site is an archive of writings and resources.
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