Curriculum: Time and place
Here is a
discussion about how a given place can mean different things at
different times, as humans' needs and concerns, and the area that
they can draw from, and the price that they are willing to pay, have
For an example, think of San Antonio. It built at the crossroads of the
colonial Camino Real (see Char Miller's
video excerpt), the reliable waters of the Edwards Aquifer and the breadbasket of the Blackland Prairie.
Yet now it faces the
limits of its place: confronting
traffic jams, sprawl, contamination of the Aquifer and
the disappearance of the Prairie. To what extent are past
origins and place part of destiny? How can the limits of place
be understood and complied with to make a sustainable future?
As one exercise, consider your own community and its historical and
- When was it established?
- Why was the community first settled?
- Who first organized and settled there?
- Why was it founded in the particular location where it is?
- How did settlers manage to find food, water, shelter, and clothing,
or generate income for trade, or energy for production, or manage to
entertain one another or keep in touch with the outside world?
- Were there nearby natural resources that attracted settlers to this
- How did the development of the town or city use those natural
resources and affect the local or even the regional environment?
Now, compare your community, and how it operates today and draws
on the resources of its place in the world with its roots in the
- Why do people live in or come to this community?
- How has it grown, changed or shrunk with time?
- How do families meet their needs for food, water, shelter, clothing and income for trading now?
- How do the activities in your town or city use local resources and have an impact on the regional or global environment?