International Journal of Education & the Arts

Volume 10 Number 22

September 13, 2009

(En)Countering Social and Environmental Messages in The Rainforest Cafe [sic], Children's Picturebooks, and Other Visual Culture Sites

Mira Reisberg
Independent Scholar, Sacramento, CA, USA

Sandrine Han
Northern Illinois University, U.S.A.

Citation: Reisberg, M., & Han, S. (2009). (En)Countering social and environmental messages in The Rainforest Cafe [sic], children's picturebooks, and other visual culture sites. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 10(22). Retrieved [date] from
Our study critically examines social and environmental messages in a range of visual sites educating about rainforest environments. We focus primarily on the Rainforest Cafe, an international series of rainforest-themed edutainment restaurant/stores, whose inherent contradictions between consumption and conservation are quite disturbing when viewed as part of the null curriculum (Hollins, 1996). We then propose an alternate approach to teaching and learning about rainforest environments. This approach teaches students how to deconstruct visual culture environmental messages, such as those in the Rainforest Cafe, fine art, popular films, and children's picturebooks to learn from both accurate and inaccurate images while promoting environmental caring for the rainforest and students' own environments through art.

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