Justin learned he was an educator as a camp counselor during the summers of his university years. Environmental education and experiential learning from those years still reverberate in his educational endeavors. Directing an undergraduate program for rural educators through FUNDAEC first in Colombia and then in Ecuador combined elements of spiritual – material education, education that values place as an educational construct, and capacity building for rural development. Justin also learned he enjoys educational administration through this experience. A subsequent Master’s in education focused on constructivist pedagogy gave him access to a job as principal at two rural, k-12 private schools in Ecuador, the second on Santa Cruz island in the Galapagos.
Frustrated by a mandatory curriculum that was entirely irrelevant and demotivating for students, Justin embarked on a journey to discover curricular elements that speak to island students and motivate them to become stewards of their collective home. Such a journey is better in company so he registered for a PhD in education at the University of Idaho. Working on his dissertation, he is exploring how education for sustainable development, land education and moral empowerment can serve as philosophical frameworks to empower students on islands. Carrying out instructional design on Wilmette Institute courses has been a great opportunity to put his vision into action through online extension and credit-bearing university courses.
See also Justin’s Personal Educational Philosophy.