Earth Ethics Institute
Miami Dade College
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Reconnecting with Earth 2: A New Story


12 hours of Professional Development
4 hours pre-workshop,5.5 hours Face to Face, 2.5 hours post-workshop assignment

There will be four sessions. The first session will meet for 1 hour, the following three sessions will meet for 1.5 hours

Facilitated by Earth Ethics Institute Staff        

This is part two of a workshop series, each offering four sessions addressing one of the central issues of our time -  What is the appropriate relationship of human beings to Earth?  Participants will apply the knowledge developed during Part 1 of the workshop and utilize it to construct a new paradigm for how we can heal and reconnect with the natural world around us. As they explore topics in Earth Literacy, they will also develop tools and concepts to apply sustainable education concepts in their curriculum.

This workshop will be taught as a group-facilitated discussion, and broken into four sessions. In this workshop, participants will explore the Universe story from both a cosmological and scientific perspective.  As they reflect on existing paradigms, they will compare our current anthropocentric view of nature with an eco-psychological approach as a way to heal ourselves and our planet. Lastly, they will apply theory to practice by exploring how they, as individuals and as part of larger systems, including education, can shape a more sustainable and Earth-affirming future.

Each session’s readings will be supported by additional resources, including web resources, videos, and other suggested materials for use in the classroom.


As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to:

 - Assess how modern science provides a new story, or cosmology, of how the universe came to be.

 - Analyze how the new story might affect our understanding of our place in the universe, and how we are to live in it.

- Comprehend and articulate how eco-psychology is key to healing ourselves and our planet.

 - Identify actions to implement across systems, including higher education, that affirm and sustain our relationship with Earth.

 - Compare and contrast a mechanistic view and an ecological view of education

 - Describe ways to effectively incorporate Earth Literacy concepts into curriculum, as well as explore trans-disciplinary collaboration

Evaluation will include completion of assigned readings prior to sessions two through four - minimum of four hours – and completion of workshop.  Finally, participant must develop a discipline specific lesson plan or course module that incorporates key concepts of this workshop. Lesson plan is due to the director of Earth Ethics Institute within three weeks of the end of the workshop, and will be posted on the Earth Ethics webpage.


Colleen Ahern-Hettich has served as the director of the Earth Ethics Institute fsince 2004. Ms. Ahern-Hettich has served on several boards and committees including: the Environmental Education Providers of Miami-Dade County, the Advisory Committee of South Florida Environmental Art Project, Inc.; the Economic, Social and Health Issues Committee of the Miami-Dade County Climate Change Advisory Task Force, the Be Healthy Board, and The City of Miami Green Commission.

Mike Matthews has served as the Earth Ethics Institute part-time program professional for the InterAmerican Campus since 2012. Matthews holds an M.S. in environmental science from Florida International University. He has taught as a visiting instructor on the faculty of Florida Gulf Coast University’s Marine and Ecological Sciences Department

Netiva Kolitz has served as the Earth Ethics Institute part-time program professional at the Kendall Campus since 2012. Ms. Kolitz holds a B.S. degree in Psychology, and has completed graduate course work both in Environmental Studies and Education. She has more than 10 years of professional experience in program coordination, environmental education, and public outreach. Ms. Kolitz worked as part of the Education Department of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

Alison Walker is EEI Program Professional at Wolfson Campus. She has worked in environmental education, community outreach, and professional development for more than 12 years as an adjunct professor, and at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and the US Department of Agriculture. Ms. Walker received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Plant Sciences from University of Florida.



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Earth Ethics Institute • An Earth Literacy Resource Center Serving MDC Administrators, Faculty, Staff,  and Students, as well as the South Florida Community
Miami Dade College • 300 N.E. 2nd Avenue, Room 1201, Miami, FL 33132-2204 • t: 305-237-3796 • f: 305-237-7724