Ecologising education beyond angels and villains

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Many educational approaches to the ecological crisis posit fundamental causes that we can conceptually isolate and address. For instance, it is often claimed that a certain kind of manipulative or mechanistic way of thinking is responsible for the destruction underway. However, to say ‘mechanistic’ thinking caused the crisis itself risks thinking mechanistically about the relationship between thought, action and world, whereas trying to manipulate educational systems to not be manipulative seems incongruent. Can we take such warnings seriously without reproducing what they call out, or are we trapped in the echoes of their influence? Do we need to rethink the very framing of problem and solution? In response to this issue, I develop an understanding of ‘ecologising education’ by attempting to engage ‘ecologically’ with Michael Bonnett’s recent thinking. The nonfoundational, pluralistic and redemptive nature of ecologies transform destruction into resource, so ecologising education could look for collaborative transformation immanent within the turmoil, and consider how humans can support such self-healing processes. In that vein, I also explore a nonfoundational, pluralistic and redemptive approach to dialoguing with Bonnett’s identified core causes (scientism and the metaphysics of mastery), and core solution (retrieving experience of nature as self-arising, transcendent and whole), as a means to ecologising the educational space we both share.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Education Research
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • ecologising education
  • aesthetic education
  • environmental consciousness
  • environmental philosophy
  • philosophy of education


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