2017 Outstanding Environmental Educator Award - Maria Talero

Maria Talero

Climate Change LLC

climatecourage.cc


Maria Talero is a Colombian American, bilingual climate change educator, facilitator and community organizer who works closely with groups to foster psychological resilience, effective communication and courageous engagement on climate change here on Colorado's Front Range. Ms. Talero uses an innovative approach to climate change communication called "embodied cognition." This theory holds that our daily lives and habitual practices (rather than our conscious choices) are primarily driving our behavior. This means that if we want to change behavior, the place to start is not with "information delivery," but dynamic, hands-on activities and practices that organically awaken different tendencies and behaviors. Applied to EE, it means that environmental education must be highly engaged, with meaningful activities that awaken the learner's sense of agency, as well as immediately appealing, which means that it needs to be informed by a strong sense of the learner's social, cultural and political identity. Since leaving academia in 2009, Ms. Talero has partnered with, donated services to, or been hired by 26 organizations and counting including faith communities, universities, non-profits and community groups. She creates all original content and draws on a wide spectrum of activities, including movement, meditation, audio-visual resources, small-group work, tools and props - and sometimes even singing! - to create a positive, energizing environment that catalyzes hope, inspiration and action on climate change. Her long-term goal is to create replicable tools and approaches that show how to do embodied, engaged climate change education and that will be freely available online to anyone in the world.

CAEE works to ensure everyone in Colorado has an opportunity to learn about the environment where they live. We value inclusiveness and welcome everyone to the field of environmental education.

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