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Title: Nature, Disappeared: Anti-Environmental Values in Singapore's History Textbooks, 1984-2015
Authors: Xiaoyun Neo
Matthew Schneider-Mayerson 
Keywords: curriculum
history narratives
Issue Date: 28-Aug-2021
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Xiaoyun Neo, Matthew Schneider-Mayerson (2021-08-28). Nature, Disappeared: Anti-Environmental Values in Singapore's History Textbooks, 1984-2015. Environmental Education Research 28 (1) : 56-74. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: As a case study on the presence (or absence) of environmental education in history textbooks, this paper examines how Singapore’s nationally mandated secondary school history curriculum portrays the relationship between humans and the nonhuman environment. It analyzes all seven government-authored lower-secondary-level history textbooks, published between 1984 and 2015. The results show that history textbooks largely and consistently portray humans in Singapore as isolated from, rather than depending on and entangled with, the environment. We describe and analyze two trends. First, narratives about the nonhuman environment are largely relegated to Singapore’s past and disappear almost entirely as textbook narratives approach the present. Second, history narratives represent narrowly utilitarian, negativistic, and dominionistic perspectives of thinking about and relating to the nonhuman environment. We contextualize these results and discuss the implications of teaching such narrow and misleading conceptions of human–environment interactions in official history education.
Source Title: Environmental Education Research
ISSN: 1350-4622
DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2021.1968350
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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