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
To Serve and Guard the Earth: God痴 Creation Story and Our Environmental Concern

This is the general report format.
Shorter and more detailed report formats are also available for this title.

Short Description:   To Serve and Guard the Earth is a practical parish or small-group resource suitable for High School groups and Adults that connects the growing Christian environmental concern with the theology of creation in Genesis.
Long Description:   To Serve and Guard the Earth is a practical parish or small-group resource suitable for High School groups and Adults that connects the growing Christian environmental concern with the theology of creation in Genesis (its 6 sessions make it also suitable for Lenten use). It not only provides the participants with a greater understanding of the scriptural accounts of creation and the environmental problems facing us today, but also encourages the participants to make practical applications to change their everyday lives and enhance important environmental values.

The resource is divided into six sessions related to the 7 days of creation (session 2 combines Genesis days 2 and 4) and environmental concerns related to the days.

  • Session 1: Day 1末Light / energy consumption, outdoor light pollution
  • Session 2: Days 2/4末Sea & Sky / potable water, air pollution, climate change
  • Session 3: Day 3末Land & Plants / deforestation, industrialization, waste management
  • Session 4: Day 5末Birds & Fish/ habitat destruction, species extinction
  • Session 5: Day 6末Land Creatures / consumption & greed, human disparity, overpopulation
  • Session 6: Day 7末Rest & Reflection / being content with life, the importance of rest
Reviewed by:   Scott Crane, Certified Christian Educator in the PC(USA), from Oregon

Bibliographic & Purchasing Information
Author:   Beth Bojarski
Publisher:   Morehouse Education Resources
Publication date:   2010 Website for this resource:   www.churchpublishing.org/toserveandguardtheearth
We know of 1 source for purchasing this resource.
Address Morehouse Education Resources
Church Publishing Incorporated
445 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY   10016  
Phone   Fax  
Website www.morehouseeducation.org E-mail    
Price $49.95 - downloadable with permission to reproduce  Order #  

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 The reviewer did not comment - assume 10-20 
Normal number/length of sessions If the curriculum's normal lesson plan is followed, there will be 6 class sessions each lasting about one hour
Are suggestions included for expanding/contracting the series? The materials do not provide specific suggestions.  
In the judgement of the reviewer:
 it is not reasonable to plan for a single, self-contained class session from these materials.
 using these materials, a class can be offered that runs for at least two sessions.
Are learners expected to do homework? The reviewer did not describe any homework  
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

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 supportive materials provided: Scripture Questions for Small Groups
Other materials required:none specified
Description of the Leader's Guide:It is very helpful to have the goals, supplies needed, and teaching tips right at the front. I am also very thankful for the column on the side for writing in notes of my own while preparing the material. I also appreciate the step-by-step process by which the leader´s guide takes the leader through small group processes. There are a variety of activities to choose from to enhance the flow of each session, including a "take home" assignment for application.
Description of the Student's Book:The participant´s handouts are also chock full of information, so they require more study than just "show up and we´ll talk about some scriptures and this topic." What is significant is the amount of information and research that has gone into this material. Each section is almost like excerpts from a dissertation stuffed into a study guide format. For a person considering using this curriculum,(and I would be one if it were available)it would need to be understood that any group wishing to use it would need to know ahead of time "this is not a study for weenies" but a thorough examination of hard-core issues in our society around conservation, stewardship, and authentic grappling with what scripture leads us to believe and do.

Materials review & Assessment of usability
Are all necessary materials provided in an accessible format? Yes - materials are very well laid out and comprehensive  
Is the leader's guide comprehensive? Yes - materials are very well laid out and comprehensive  
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? Helpful to have teacher expertise  
Preparation time required by the leader:
Subjectively rated as heavy, medium or light
Heavy, in my opinion. The material is well supplied with resources, articles, and explanations at the front end of the curriculum resources. The Leader´s guide is detailed with more information, and there is a good amount of reading material in the participant guide; all of which should be read ahead of time by the facilitator. If at all possible, I would include in my own preparation for facilitating this material a "leaders´ meeting" to go over each lesson before facilitating a group. The Topic is deep, the resources detailed, and the experiences that participants might be going through during presentation of this material might require significant training in small group dynamics and facilitation skills because of the nature of the topic. Overall, I would be very interested in using this curriculum. The hardest part to get through is the long section outlining the resource material and the topical articles before the leader´s guide. I might put them at the end in stead of front load the resource with such a long section. I would make a very abbreviated introduction so that a facilitator could get the gist of the curriculum resource and how the leader and participant guides are shaped before digging deeper into the background material. 

Content focus
Is this curriculum explicitly focused on environmental awareness or action? Yes, as a primary focus  
Does this curriculum deal with a specific environmental issue or problem? Energy Consumption -session 1 Light Pollution - session 1 Potable water - session 2 Air Pollution - session 2 Climate Change - session 2 Deforestation - session 3 Industrialization - session 3 Waste Management - session 3 Habitat Destruction - session 4 Species Extinction - session 4 Consumption and Greed - session 5 Human Disparity - session 5 Overpopulation - session 5  
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 a major theme  
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
Other: This is a tricky area to identify. Care of Creation is woven throughout, and the science presented along with our ethical and moral standing within the Judeo-Christian perspective are held together hand in hand as both authoritative and God-breathed.  
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
The reviewer did not answer this question.

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
The reviewer did not answer this question.


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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