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Teaching Millennials to Engage THE Environment instead of THEIR Environment: A Pedagogical Analysis
Unformatted Document Text:  gathering of … thousands of environmental constituencies, special-interest groups, businesses, government agencies, and politicians – with ever-shifting objectives and personal agendas – are constantly battling for the hearts, minds and votes that determine public policy. Meanwhile, the life of the planet is at stake. 30 If environmental journalism is difficult under the best of circumstances, it would appear that Millennials are positioned to have a particularly difficult time navigating the pitfalls of sorting through the competing voices and filtering newsworthy information for public consumption. A Model for Teaching Millennials to Cover Environmental Journalism Drawing upon social learning theory, suggested pedagogical approaches in education literature, and the trial-and-error of classroom experience, the researchers have developed an approach to helping Millennial students grasp the concepts and skills needed to engage in science and environmental journalism. Before they can evaluate complex or technical content, most Millennials need a primer in some of the basic conceptual underpinnings. Brown points to a new literacy emerging around digital culture comprised of the Straussian bricolsge (the physical ability to find information) and judgment (the ability to sort or categorize information). Because most Millennials have grown up surrounded by technology and immersed in digital expressions of their culture, they tend to be skilled at the former, but less so at the latter. Judgment, as defined by Brown, is an inherently critical ability, and one that requires the performance of navigation and discovery facilitated through action to acquire. 31 Radeloff and Bergman recommend activities such as the evaluation of websites, films, and other media forms to build literacy through experience. 32 6

Authors: Stevens, Rick. and Crow, Deserai.
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background image
gathering of
… thousands of environmental constituencies, special-interest groups, businesses, 
government agencies, and politicians – with ever-shifting objectives and personal 
agendas – are constantly battling for the hearts, minds and votes that determine 
public policy. Meanwhile, the life of the planet is at stake.
If environmental journalism is difficult under the best of circumstances, it would appear 
that Millennials are positioned to have a particularly difficult time navigating the pitfalls 
of sorting through the competing voices and filtering newsworthy information for public 
consumption.
A Model for Teaching Millennials to Cover Environmental Journalism
Drawing upon social learning theory, suggested pedagogical approaches in 
education literature, and the trial-and-error of classroom experience, the researchers have 
developed an approach to helping Millennial students grasp the concepts and skills 
needed to engage in science and environmental journalism. Before they can evaluate 
complex or technical content, most Millennials need a  primer in some of the basic 
conceptual underpinnings. Brown points to a new literacy emerging around digital culture 
comprised of the Straussian bricolsge (the physical ability to find information) and 
judgment (the ability to sort or categorize information). Because most Millennials have 
grown up surrounded by technology and immersed in digital expressions of their culture, 
they tend to be skilled at the former, but less so at the latter. Judgment, as defined by 
Brown, is an inherently critical ability, and one that requires the performance of 
navigation and discovery facilitated through action to acquire.
 Radeloff and Bergman 
recommend activities such as the evaluation of websites, films, and other media forms to 
build literacy through experience.
6


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