From places to paths: Learning for Sustainability, teacher education and a philosophy of becoming

David Clarke, Jamie Mcphie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this paper is to explore what thinking with a philosophy of ‘becoming’ might produce in terms of conceptualising Learning for Sustainability (LfS), a recent development in Scottish educational policy. The paper posits that animism and the immanent materiality of a philosophy of becoming have important ramifications for contemporary approaches to sustain- ability education. ‘Becoming’ is described and its relationship to prevailing ‘sys- temic’ approaches to sustainability education explained. LfS is then described and conceptualised with a philosophy of becoming by examining its implications for Education for Global Citizenship and Outdoor Learning. The concepts of commu- nication as expression; the subject undone (as haecceity); the distinction of ‘nature’ as ‘other’; and the centrality of a storied world are discussed as important elements of LfS becoming. Lastly, teaching materials and interviews with two ini- tial teacher educators help create a rhizomatic assemblage of teacher education practice and LfS as becoming. This assemblage creates lines of flight for consider- ing practice, including making explicit the expressivity of communication in course descriptor/teaching/learning relationships; highlighting the place/becoming assemblages of ‘indoor’ and ‘outdoor’ learning environments; and storying the world with learners through haecceity description/experimentation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1002-1024
Number of pages22
JournalEnvironmental Education Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2015


  • learning for sustainability
  • teacher education
  • immanence
  • rhizoanalysis
  • animism


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