Term of Award

Spring 2001

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies with and Emphasis in Instructional Improvement

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Delores D. Liston

Committee Member 1

James H. Darrell, II.

Committee Member 2

Jane A. Page

Committee Member 3

William M. Reynolds


This dissertation is an interpretive study that looks at not only school practices, hut also environmental, historical, political, religious, and social influences of a region, through the use of part of a historical document, John Muir's Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf (1916) whereby Muir's journal observations were used to create descriptions and metaphors that relate to the past and the present. For this dissertation, the question was asked: What do present day journeys along the Savannah River Portion of John Muir's Route reveal to me, a white, southern, female science teacher?

After a preface, introduction and discussion of methodology, the chapters in this paper have been organized around Muir's daily journal entries of October 1 through 8, 1867. Within each chapter, topics were drawn from Muir's entry and used as descriptors and metaphors. The descriptors and metaphors were then used to interpret what was observed in order to suggest Curriculum for Sustainability. Each chapter notes different aspects of life, both past and present, along the Savannah River. Relevant photographs taken along the route and near the author's home have been integrated throughout the work. At the end of chapters three through six, bulleted suggestions for educators, lifted from the text and referenced by page, may be found.

The topics are: Pine Trees: Renewable Resources with a Cost, The Railroad: Industrialization and Science, After Sundown: From Slavery to "Educational Reform" in the New Millennium, The Table: Creating for Convenience, Pines and Palmettos: The Plight of the Sand Hill Community, Sea Island Cotton: The Green Revolution and Changes in Agriculture, Southern Women: Questions and More Questions, Masons: Signs, Tokens and Words, Electricity: Meeting the "Needs" of the People, Wayside Gardens: Native and Exotic Species, Wetlands: Water Quality and Consumption Limits, Magnolias and Wisteria: Finding Beauty All Around and Ballast: Finding Balance.

I hope that this interpretive study will encourage others to look around and see that we need to adjust our Curriculum efforts so that we model sustainable living practices and help our students make the connections that ultimately will preserve and enhance life for them and those around them.


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