- Associate Professor, Teaching/Learning and Sociocultural Studies
- Fulbright Scholar
- U.S. State Department, Spring 2014
- U.S. State Department, Fall 2013
No activities entered.
Education+SustainabilityTLS 560 (Fall 2018)
Sustainability+EducationTLS 200 (Fall 2018)
Independent StudyTTE 699 (Spring 2018)
Sustainability+EducationTLS 200 (Fall 2017)
Independent StudyTTE 599 (Spring 2017)
InternshipTTE 693 (Spring 2017)
ThesisTTE 910 (Spring 2017)
Education+SustainabilityTLS 460 (Fall 2016)
Education+SustainabilityTTE 560 (Fall 2016)
Sustainability+EducationTLS 200 (Fall 2016)
- Arenas, A. (2014). An Ecosystemic Approach to Improve Educational Systems. In Education for Sustainable Development(pp 1-13). New Delhi: Shipra.
- Arenas, A., Gunckel, K. L., & Smith, W. L. (2016). 7 reasons for accommodating transgender students at school. Kappa Delta Pi, 98(1), 20-24.
- Arenas, A. (2015). Successes and Snags of a Sustainability Course in Higher Education.. Int. J. of Innovation and Sustainable Development, 9(3/4), 365-383.
- Arenas, A., Barca, D. J., & Sanchez Rosemartin, D. (2015). Successes and Snags of a Sustainability Course in Higher Education.. Int. J. of Innovation and Sustainable Development.
- Arenas, A. (2014). El peligro de los libros sagrados [The Danger of Sacred Books] Newspaper. La Jornada.
- Arenas, A., & Vasquez-Leon, M. -. (2012). Militarism in the Americas. Revista de Estudos Universitários, Sorocaba.More infoThis is a special issue that will be published by Revista de Estudos UniversitĂˇrios, a well known Brazilian academic jounal.;Collaborative with faculty member at UA: Yes;Full Citation: Arenas, Alberto and Marcela Vasquez-Leon, eds. Militarism in the Americas. Journal Revista de Estudos UniversitĂˇrios;Status: Paper in Preparation;
- Arenas, A. (2012). Los textos escolares y su representación de la guerra de Iraq [Textbooks and their representation of the Iraq War].. Revista de Estudos Universitarios, 38(1), 37-51.
- Arenas, A., & Vasquez-Leon, M. (2012). Militarism in the Americas. Revista de Estudos Universitarios, 38(1), 1-146.
- Arenas, A., & Cairo, C. d. (2009). Ethnobotany, modernity, and a critical pedagogy of place. Utopia y Praxis Latinoamericana, 14(44), 69-83.More infoAbstract: This article explores one of the most complex challenges currently faced by modern schools: The articulation of non-merchandized grassroots knowledge with conventional school curricula. Using the field of ethnobotany as a point of focus, we explain how historically, the modern school has marginalized local knowledge and experiences by emphasizing the rational individual as the basic unit of society, stimulating anthropocentrism, supporting the fragmentation of knowledge, and promoting universal standards and credentialism in the creation of one kind of school. To transcend the monopolistic, exclusionary character of the modern school, we propose a dialogue of knowings between positivist epistemology and alternative forms of knowing. This analysis leads us to conclude that the pluralization of knowings starts with a respectful dialogue in which a parallelism is established between different epistemologies, and the other is viewed as an equal, contingent but valid. Once dialogue is established, the parallelism may remain or it could result in the creation of a syncretic epistemology in which dissimilar traditions of thought fuse to create new forms of knowledge. This dialogue of knowings is opposed to an epistemological nihilism that negatesany possibility for fertile dialogue between scientific knowledge and other forms of knowledge. Regarding the concrete manifestation of this dialog of knowings in schools, we propose a critical pedagogy of place with three axes: cultural decolonization, learning from place, and productive education. A plural school that respectfully recognizes the diversity of knowings that emerges from local and marginalized communities and that articulates them with the development of scientific knowledge could constitute an ideal setting for awakening and channeling the ethical attitudes and corresponding behaviors of students as they face the environmental crisis.
- Arenas, A. (2008). Connecting hand, mind, and community: Vocational education for social and environmental renewal. Teachers College Record, 110(2), 377-404.More infoAbstract: Background/Context: The main goal for vocational education at the secondary level has historically been the preparation of youth for the world of work. As a result, research, policy, and practice in this area have mostly focused on how to smooth this transition, address high costs, and ensure that there are positive economic returns to the individual and society. The focus on these goals, although important, has meant that other vital areas have not been addressed: namely, how to ensure that vocational education promotes a sense of empowerment, fosters a stronger sense of community, and seeks to protect the natural environment. Purpose and Focus of the Study: This article stresses the importance of imbuing the theory and practice of vocational education with social justice and concern for environmental degradation at the local level. The approach to vocational education presented here proposes the use of productive learning as a foundation for a well-rounded education that breaks down the nefarious dualisms of contemporary education (i.e., the separation of mind from body, theory from practice, individuals from collectivity, and school from community) while exposing students to a critical pedagogy of work and to its potential for social and environmental renewal. Setting: To illustrate the theoretical insights provided in the first two sections of this article, the author explores a public secondary school in northern Colombia that, under difficult social and material conditions, has developed a noteworthy vocational program. Research Design: This analytic essay illustrates its main points with examples derived from a case study in which field observations, extensive in-person interviews, document analysis, and telephone conversations were conducted between 1997 and 2000. Findings and Conclusions: The school helps to illustrate what a long series of writers from the late 18th century onward have stated: that productive work ought to be an intrinsic component of any responsible form of education. Moreover, it makes clear the importance of contextualizing learning in authentic settings. Although some important inroads have been made in connecting vocational education to critical pedagogy, the connections with environmental sustainability are still in their infancy. Despite calls from international organizations such as the International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, a branch of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO-UNEVOC) to link vocational education and training to sustainable development, much work still needs to be done in the areas of theory, policy, and practice. Copyright © by Teachers College, Columbia University.
- Arenas, A. (2006). Privatisation and vouchers in Colombia and Chile. Decentralisation and Privatisation in Education: The Role of the State, 189-205.More infoAbstract: The voucher model of financing schooling is becoming increasingly common throughout Latin America, with at least 12 countries using vouchers or voucherlike schemes. The present study focuses on the voucher models of Colombia and Chile, which have the most extensive programs of this type and those of the longest standing in the region. Using empirical evidence, the author compares the two models along four evaluative dimensions: educational quality, segregation, choice and socialization. After weighing the successes and weaknesses of each system, he concludes that, among other characteristics, the most effective and equitable voucher model features: (a) a flexible interpretation of educational quality; (b) financial grants which target solely the poor; (c) vouchers which cover the entire cost of tuition; (d) open enrolment at participating schools; (e) the participation of both secular and religious private schools; (f) accessible and meaningful information to parents; and (g) strong systems of accountability. © 2006 Springer.
- Arenas, A. (2004). Privatization and vouchers in Colombia and Chile. International Review of Education, 50(3-4), 379-395.More infoAbstract: The voucher model of financing schooling is becoming increasingly common throughout Latin America, with at least 12 countries using vouchers or voucher-like schemes. The present study focuses on the voucher models of Colombia and Chile, which have the most extensive programs of this type and those of the longest standing in the region. Using empirical evidence, the author compares the two models along four evaluative dimensions: educational quality, segregation, choice and socialization. After weighing the successes and weaknesses of each system, he concludes that, among other characteristics, the most effective and equitable voucher model features: (a) a flexible interpretation of educational quality; (b) financial grants which target solely the poor; (c) vouchers which cover the entire cost of tuition; (d) open enrolment at participating schools; (e) the participation of both secular and religious private schools; (f) accessible and meaningful information to parents; and (g) strong systems of accountability. © 2004 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
- Arenas, A. (2016, January). The Changing Religious Landscape in the United States and Latin America.. SUSI. Tucson, AZ: SUSI.
- Arenas, A. (2015, August). Strategies for Water Conservation. Institute for Training and Development. Washington DC: Institute for Training and Development.
- Arenas, A. (2015, October). Saving a School Through Agroecology. North American Association of Environmental Education.
- Arenas, A. (2014, May). Evaluando la sustentabilidad en la educación superior: El caso de STARS [Evaluating Sustainability in Higher Education: The Case of STARS]. Environmental Education Course. National Autonomous University in Mexico (Mexico City): College of Sciences--Environmental Education.
- Arenas, A. (2014, November). Educación, Decolonialidad y Violencia Epistémica [Education, Decoloniality and Epistemic Violence]. Keynote UNESCO Chair. University Veracruzana, Xalapa, Mexico: Institute for Research in Education.
- Arenas, A. (2014, October). Modern Education and Epistemological Violence. Colloquy on Democracy and Violence. Autonomous Federal University of Morelos: Department of Philosophy.
- Arenas, A., & Barca, D. J. (2014, October). How to Teach and How Not to Teach Sustainability in College. 43rd North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE). Ottawa, Canada: NAAEE.
- Arenas, A. (2015, December). Homofobia, suicidio, educación y justicia [Homophobia, suicide, education and justice]. Club Debate: Justicia, Gerencia & Negocios.. http://www.clubdebate.com/homofobia-suicidio-educacion-y-justicia/More infoArticle for general readership