development of skills that rely less on a money economy and have a smaller ecological
footprint. Local community gardens, farmer’s markets, art enclaves, neighborhood
centers, and craft fairs are examples of activities that support the development of skills
and the cultivation of mutually supporitve relationships in the cultural commons.
The need for scholars and practitioners in the field of education to engage in an
understanding of, as well as participation in an education that highlights relationships and
language issues within a study of the local natural and cultural commons, should be a
priority. This places educators on the side of taking responsibility for understanding the
importance of conserving the life-renewing capacity of natural systems and of the
intergenerational knowledge and skills that enable people to live less consumer-
dependent lives. This often does not occur because science and environmental educators
are viewed as chiefly responsible for introducing us to environmental issues. However, an
ecojustice conceptual/moral framework differs from current thinking about
environmental education. Ecojustice education opposes the dominance of one group over
another, of humans over non-humans, or humans over nature. This framework also
challenges current conceptions of social justice education which fail to consider the ways
that social justice efforts are too often framed in terms of middle-class values and
lifestyle patterns. These approaches do not take into account the environmental limits and
accompanying Western practices that foster hyper-consumerism and materialistic forms
of wealth (Bowers, 2011b; Martusewicz, Edmundson, & Lupinacci, 2011).
Defining the Cultural Commons and Forms of Enclosure
There are two types of commons - the natural or environmental and the cultural
commons. The natural commons are comprised of the natural resources - air, water, land,
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