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This paper explores relationships between environment and education after the Covid-19 pandemic through the lens of philosophy of education in a new key developed by Michael Peters and the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA). The paper is collectively written by 15 authors who responded to the question: Who remembers Greta Thunberg? Their answers are classified into four main themes and corresponding sections. The first section, ‘As we bake the earth, let's try and bake it from scratch’, gathers wider philosophical considerations about the intersection between environment, education, and the pandemic. The second section, ‘Bump in the road or a catalyst for structural change?’, looks more closely into issues pertaining to education. The third section, ‘If you choose to fail us, we will never forgive you’, focuses to Greta Thunberg’s messages and their responses. The last section, ‘Towards a new (educational) normal’, explores future scenarios and develops recommendations for critical emancipatory action. The concluding part brings these insights together, showing that resulting synergy between the answers offers much more then the sum of articles’ parts. With its ethos of collectivity, interconnectedness, and solidarity, philosophy of education in a new key is a crucial tool for development of post-pandemic (philosophy of) education.
Philosophy of education in a new key: Who remembers
Greta Thunberg? Education and environment after
the coronavirus
Petar Jandri
, Jimmy Jaldemark
, Zoe Hurley
, Brendan Bartram
Adam Matthews
, Michael Jopling
, Julia Ma~
, Alison MacKenzie
, Jones
, Ninette Rothm
, Benjamin Green
, Shane J. Ralston
, Olli Pyyhtinen
, Sarah Hayes
, Jake Wright
, Michael A. Peters
and Marek Tesar
Faculty of Education, Health, and Wellbeing, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK;
Department of Informatics and Computing, Zagreb University of Applied Sciences, Zagreb, Croatia;
Department of Education, Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden;
College of Communication and
Media Sciences, Zayed University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates;
Institute of Education, University of
Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK;
School of Education, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK;
Department of Art Education, University of Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain;
School of Social Sciences, Education and
Social Work, Queens University, Belfast, UK;
School of Human Development, Institute of Education, Dublin
City University, Dublin, Republic of Ireland;
Sociology, Graduate Center at the City University of New York
Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China;
Wright College, Woolf
University, Valletta Malta;
New Social Research, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland;
Center for
Learning Innovation, University of Minnesota Rochester, Rochester, MN, USA;
Faculty of Education and
Social Work, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
This paper explores relationships between environment and education
after the Covid-19 pandemic through the lens of philosophy of educa-
tion in a new key developed by Michael Peters and the Philosophy of
Education Society of Australasia (PESA). The paper is collectively written
by 15 authors who responded to the question: Who remembers Greta
Thunberg? Their answers are classified into four main themes and corre-
sponding sections. The first section, As we bake the earth, lets try and
bake it from scratch, gathers wider philosophical considerations about
the intersection between environment, education, and the pandemic.
The second section, Bump in the road or a catalyst for structural
change?, looks more closely into issues pertaining to education. The
third section, If you choose to fail us, we will never forgive you, focuses
to Greta Thunbergs messages and their responses. The last section,
Towards a new (educational) normal, explores future scenarios and
develops recommendations for critical emancipatory action. The
concluding part brings these insights together, showing that resulting
synergy between the answers offers much more then the sum
of articlesparts. With its ethos of collectivity, interconnectedness, and
solidarity, philosophy of education in a new key is a crucial tool for
development of post-pandemic (philosophy of) education.
Received 12 August 2020
Accepted 12 August 2020
Philosophy of education;
new key; environment;
Covid-19; coronavirus;
pandemic; new normal;
CONTACT Petar Jandri University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK.
ß2020 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia
(Petar Jandri
In late 2019, then 16-year old Swedish child Greta Thunberg has drawn the whole world into
a heated debate about environmental consequences of capitalism. Following her viral jac-
cuse talks, epic sailing trip over the Atlantic, numerous interviews, and strong social media
campaign, Thunberg has achieved what generations of climate scientists failed to achieve
she brought the question of the environment into almost every home. While Thunberg was
at the peak of her popularity, the world has experienced the largest pandemic of our life-
times. Unsurprisingly, people in all fields, and academic researchers in particular, have
turned our attention to the pandemic. In late February, I wrote an urgent editorial for
Postdigital Science and Education
and asked fellow academics to join these efforts, get out
of our comfort zones, and explore all imaginable aspects of this large social experiment that
the Covid-19 pandemic has lain down in front of us(Jandri
c, 2020, p. 237).
As we started to explore various aspects of the pandemic, it has become crystal clear that
Covid-19 cannot be thought of in isolation from wider environmental concerns. We are now wit-
nessing fierce discussions about where the virus might have arrived from, and the general agree-
ment seems to be that Covid-19 was transferred to humans from pangolins, bats, or another
form of wildlife just like many other coronaviruses before it (OSullivan, 2020). A considerable
number of authors connect the emergence of Covid-19, and other diseases before it such as
SARS and MERS, to industrial food production and consummation of wildlife (Jordan &
Dickerson, 2020; Wang et al., 2020). Some animals are suspect of spreading of the virus, others
serve as test subjects for medicines and vaccines (Gorman, 2020), and those farmed for food are
deemed essentialas meat-packing facilities remain open at all cost (UFCW, 2020). CO2 emissions
during lockdowns are significantly reduced, and the Internet is flooded by (often fake) images
and videos of wildlife reclaimingcities and factories (Lewis, 2020). And this is just a tip of the
iceberg of other environmental causes and consequences of the global Covid-19 pandemic, anal-
yses of which are now quickly popping up in academic and non-academic circles.
During the pandemic, people working in various fields have refocused their work to the
immediate threat of, and to the waragainst, Covid-19 (Wagener, 2020). Now that the pandemic
has slowly become normalizedin our reality (despite various levels of contagion across coun-
tries, continents, and climate zones), it is the time to shift our attention from immediate struggle
against the pandemic to its long-term relationships with the environment, and to educational
implications of this relationship (Amoo-Adare, 2020; Fuller, 2020;Ma
nero, 2020; Peters, Arndt,
et al., 2020; Sturm, 2020). Developed at the peak of the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, yet
based on many years of working together, philosophy of education in a new key developed by
Michael Peters and the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA) executive provides
important theoretical underpinnings for understanding these relationships. Their work is based
on understanding of these relationships through the concept of interconnectivity
that emerged out of cybernetics, biology, ecology, and network theory. It points to the notion
of non-linear dynamics that follows from the idea that all parts of a system interact with and rely on
one another and that a system is difficult or sometimes impossible to analyze through its individual
parts considered alone. Scientifically, the concept is closely linked to the observer effect and the
butterfly effect where a small change in starting conditions can lead to vastly different outcomes.
(Peters, Arndt, et al., 2020)
Interconnectivity cannot be pondered upon individually, so Michael Petersinvitation to write
this article represents a deep(er) epistemic principle (co-)developed in his other works such as
Knowledge Socialism. The Rise of Peer Production: Collegiality, Collaboration, and Collective
Intelligence (Peters et al., 2021). It is through intellectual interconnectivity between many strands
of inquiry, and through human interconnectivity between 15 authors of this collectively written
article, underpinned but not limited to Petersphilosophy of education in a new key, that we
examine messy and unpredictable, yet hugely important, intersections between education and
environment after the advent of the coronavirus. More detail about methods and principles
behind this endeavour can be found in previous works of the Editors Collective
and its many
publications (see Jandri
c et al., 2017,2019; Peters et al., 2016).
As we bake the earth, lets try and bake it from scratch
Educational philosophy for a Brave New World (Jimmy Jaldemark)
Inspired by the classic Huxleys novel Brave New World (1932), Murray et al. (2000) wrote that
dying swans twisted wings, beauty [are] not needed hereas an observation of the state of the
world around the shift of the millennium. I interpret this line and the song titled Brave New
Worldas a warning of a narcissist and dualistic interpretation of humankinds impact on the
world. Further, dualistic separations between humans and the world could lead to the alienation
of humansresponsibility for how their actions and activities impact the surrounding environ-
ment. In the postdigital society of the 2020s (Jandri
c et al., 2018), the song still delivers a warn-
ing to humankind while the swan as a symbol of beauty and purity could enlighten us of
the need for a brave new world built on a balance between human actions and the surrounding
environment. The application of this balance in educational philosophy embraces epistemo-
logical and ontological perspectives built on a dynamic and holistic worldview embracing the
inseparable relationship between human actions and the environment.
Educational scholars such as Dewey and Bentley (1949/1960) discuss such worldview in terms
of being transactional with the emphasis of human actions as being a complex holistic phenom-
enon composed of inseparable aspects that simultaneously and conjointly define the whole
(Altman & Rogoff, 1991, p. 24). The work of Bakhtin (1953/1986) and Vygotsky (1934/1987)
emphasizes that human actions also are intertwined in cultural, historical and social processes
linked to the society. These prominent scholars have in common that their worldviews reject any
separations between the mind, the body and the surrounding environment. From this follows
that human action in terms of learning, teaching, or participating in education should focus on
being inseparable from the surrounding environment.
The activity of education should focus on processes that link human actions to former, current
and future states of the society. Such worldviews emphasize education as driver of change at
individual and societal levels. To be able to apply such a dynamic and holistic perspective of the
relationship between humankind and the environment, conceptualisations of education need to
include concepts that embrace such complex worldview. Therefore, concepts applied in educa-
tion should reject the separation of human actions and the environment. In other words, they
should have a complex intersectional character that denies dualistic worldviews by linking vari-
ous aspects to each other.
In earlier work, I have applied such conceptualisation by discussing human action as a boundless
phenomenon (e.g., Jaldemark, 2010,2012) or hybrid (e.g., Jaldemark, 2020; Jaldemark &
2020). This work has rejected dualistic concepts such as interaction and learning environment.
Following the footsteps of Dewey and Bentley (1949/1960), these concepts link to dualistic inter-
actional worldviews that separate human actions from the surrounding environment. The applica-
tion of these concepts in education includes dividing the environment into several separated
environments e.g. biological, geographical, learning, online, offline, and social instead of apply-
ing a holistic worldview that emphasises human actions as a complex phenomenon embracing
links to several aspects of the environment (Jaldemark, 2010,2012). In short, by conceptualising
education as a complex holistic phenomenon embracing human actions and activities as insepar-
able from the surrounding environment we might find a fruitful approach to save the dying swan,
restore the beauty, and revitalise the role of education in a postdigital society.
Learning to breathe (Zoe Hurley)
Covid-19 has turned the world upside-down and politiciansserial broadcasts about the pan-
demic have been illogical yet distracting. Like the coronavirus, the spread of fake-news, and con-
spiracy theories are rapidly contagious. Capitalism responds to the crisis shrewdly and Amazon,
for example, is expanding into telemedicine as Alexalistens to coughs and answers questions
about the pandemic (Dumaine, 2020). During lockdown cleaner air, nature and other species
began to flourish but, for subjects of hyper-inequalities, there is no respite from bad information.
The last words of murdered George Floyd, I cant breathe, is the slogan of the Covid-19 gener-
ation in the grip of viral modernity(Peters, Jandri
c et al., 2020). This concept refers to viral infor-
mation as pharmakon (Derrida, 1981), offering cures while prescribing toxic remedies. This
malinformation turn is the signature of the postdigital condition, involving the merging of off-
line/online phenomena (Jandri
c et al., 2018).
Greta Thunbergs pleas to conserve the planet are yet to be addressed adequately by govern-
ments and big business lacking vested interests in sustainability, despite corporate environmen-
talism or greenwashing. Thunberg reasons that the only way to avoid climate catastrophe is to
abandon todays political and economic systems and reach for science (Rowlatt, 2020). But, for
all the followers Thunberg attracts, there are climate sceptics that she irritates. For some, Greta is
a symbol of white privilege, posing an ampersand problem in obscuring racial and class inequal-
ities within the climate crisis (Spelman, 1990). Furthermore, the environmental emergency, des-
pite the temporary anthropause,is at a scale that cannot be resolved by individuals. Part of the
problem is that the field of science itself has been infected through the infodemic,or spread of
emotive and rancid discourse (Peters, McLaren, & Jandri
c, 2020; Peters, Jandri
c, & McLaren, 2020).
The White Queen, in Through the Looking-Glass,informs Alice, that [t]he rule is, jam to-mor-
row and jam yesterday - but never jam to-day(Carroll, 1871, p. 53). This is on par with Donald
Trumps illogic about testing and vaccines. Thunberg wisely urges us to learn to care for the
planet now through science. Yet, we must also consider that the scientific issues, being given
oxygen, stem from techno-politicsalgorithms of debate (Jandri
c, 2017). Science tells us only part
of the story and we should be wary of arts and humanities being pushed to the brink of extinc-
tion. Their loss will be detrimental to broader learning about ecosystems. We need critical cap-
acity to interpret data, diagnose symptoms of malinformation and theorise how climate crisis
and other political matters are enmeshed within discursive warfare.
Empirical, exploratory and expressive education, for thinking about the pandemics interrela-
tionship with the environment and climate of malinformation, need not be at cross-roads.
Effective interdisciplinary education isnt only delivery of more information, since we have so
much, even too much. Setting education in a new key could harmonise interdisciplinary episte-
mologies, collective thinking and open science (Peters, Arndt, et al., 2020). Philosophy of educa-
tion can contest techno-solutionism and develop methodologies for filtering conceptual spam. It
could also breathe life, albeit human, artificial or other, into transdisciplinary environmental and
ethical learning.
Next please …’ – issues, media and education (Brendan Bartram)
As we are all acutely aware, the Covid-19 pandemic has dominated our lives in recent months.
Although its effects have been differently experienced, it has affected us all personally, profes-
sionally, economically and psychologically in ways that are too numerous and diverse to discuss
here. It has preoccupied us so much in fact that it has eclipsed many issues including environ-
mental concerns while at the same time shining a harsh light on certain others, perhaps most
disturbingly classed and ethnic inequalities and domestic violence. The relentless media focus on
the virus was of course only to be expected we live in highly mediatised societies dominated
by 24-hour TV news channels competing for coverage, and social media platforms that
perpetuate and publicise the endless reporting of individualsviews and experiences. We are all
familiar with the themedebb and flow involved here whatever constitutes the currentpublic
media fixation is echoed and amplified in social media, and sometimes vice versa.
In this sense, Greta Thunberg provides an interesting example. Her high-profile media inter-
ventions generated fresh and growing interest in long-standing environmental concerns; by
inserting herself at the centre of the story, whether through social media spats with President
Trump or televised talks at the UN, she successfully mediatised and reinvigorated a global focus
on environmental matters. As the Covid-19 pandemic illustrates, however, the media will always
jump on to the next story; so suddenly, the environment seems a little like yesterdays news
except perhaps where it connects with new angles on the consequences of the Coronavirus.
And several months into the outbreak, there are already burgeoning signs of Corona fatigue, as
media attention gradually shifts to new issues the global spread of Black Lives Matter; ensuing
debates on the statues of historical figures; and writing in the UK in June 2020 - following an
Islamistattack which resulted in the deaths of three gay men (Milton, 2020) - renewed concerns
about terrorism and attitudes towards the LGBT community.
This is nothing new of course the media always move on. My fear, however, is that our edu-
cational priorities appear to be increasingly linked to whatever happens to be the current topic
of media interest. I completely understand calls to keep important issues at the heart of educa-
tion. While I also recognise that topical matters invite educational consideration, I have concerns
about the ways in which public expectations manipulated by media fixations can dictate a con-
veyor belt of educational responses to issues. This is not to trivialise the importance of any of
these issues they are all of huge significance. But there will always be a new story, and while
we as educators need to be responsive to contemporary concerns, we also need to be respon-
sible, and find balanced ways of embedding a sustained and indeed sustainable - focus on var-
ied matters of shared perennial significance within our curricula.
Bump in the road or a catalyst for structural change? (Adam Matthews)
A critical question for education and society is whether the pandemic is a temporary bump in
the road with a temporary fix or whether the Covid-19 pandemic will be the catalyst for struc-
tural change. Pre-pandemic, a discourse dominated of technology being able to fixeducation
with the latest Silicon Valley innovation in the smarter university(Williamson, 2018). The thrust
of technology and its promise was amplified in March 2020 and rather than disrupting educa-
tion, technology became palliative (Selwyn et al., 2020). Palliative care is something which has
characterised many activities in education. The symptoms were treated rather than the structural
cause. Resilience, grit and mindfulness, just some of the sticking plasters and pain killers that
have got us through. Mindfulness lets us escape our challenges briefly: Meditate on your cogni-
tive or bodily challenges or avoid them altogether by going to Stand-up Paddle-board yoga
class.(Jackson in Peters, Arndt, et al., 2020, p. 4).
The environment in its broadest sense is an ecology of humans, nature and culture which if
we remove or at least open up the divisions of modernity (Latour, 1993), can move us towards a
co-existing environment with the human embedded as part of and not battling for control over
the environment. Posthumanism is an opportunity for affirmative politics, combining critique
with creativity for alternative visions (Braidotti, 2013). Treating the symptoms in siloed disciplin-
ary echo chambers is not enough. There has been a recent resurgence of the idea of interdiscip-
linary education (Chye, 2020; Staufenberg, 2019)
. This idea rings true with Peters, Rizvi, et al.
(2020) and the idea of harmonic cadence, interconnectedness in collective intentionality in the
project of philosophy of education in a new key.
Interdisciplinary education as an abstract concept looks to investigate the world, including
the human, the cultural and natural environment and is a structural change which holds
promise. The theory holds strong, but the practice is complex. This practice is highlighted by
Fuller (Fuller & Jandri
c, 2019, p. 200), with refreshing pragmatism theres more stuff than can be
reasonably read, specialisation is common and current structures mean we cannot know if our
question has already been answered. Multi/inter/trans disciplinarity have been studied and theor-
ised to offer us theoretical starting points (Choi & Pak, 2006).
In a pre-Covid world there was the science wars of the 1990s, postmodern criticisms of flat earth-
ers, an historic divide between teaching and research activity within the university, a neoliberal iron
cage of measurement and quantification of siloed disciplines, specialist publishing and funding, social
media echo chambers and institutional structures and competition. These are the practical structural
boundaries which need to be overcome to achieve a true collective and harmony of the human in,
and part of the environment. To truly move beyond the palliative to the transformational, we may
rethink the idea of a university. This is not a new question and one in which Newman answered in
1852. For Newman (1852), the very word, universitycomes from the word universal and universal
knowledge beyond organisational structures should be the aim of the university.
Rupture and conjuncture: education and the climate crisis (Michael Jopling)
In his preface to the 35
anniversary edition of Policing the Crisis (Hall et al., 2013, p. xv), Stuart
Hall emphasises the importance of conjuncture, a term derived from Gramsci and Althusser
which refers to a period when the antagonisms and contradictions, which are always at work in
society, begin to fuseinto a ruptural unity. The two conjunctures the book identifies in a
British context are the creation of the social democratic welfare state in 1945 and its decline
from the late 1960s. The crisis prompted by Covid-19, which can be regarded as both a symptom
and a precursor of environmental catastrophe, may represent another rupture. If that is the case,
the implications for education will be considerable.
How could we rethink schools in the light of the lockdown experience is the final open ques-
tion in an opportunistic online survey of 147 school leaders (so far) in the North East of England
we are currently undertaking to explore their responses to stress and particularly the Covid-19
lockdown. Here I want to highlight only three issues which are particularly relevant to climate
emergency. The first issue is reduction:I think we need to slow everything down and stop
cramming our curriculum and give more time to us as a community and our wellbeing(primary
headteacher). In England at least, education policy has long been obsessed with scaling up, opti-
misation, maximisation, and achieving excellence. Shifting our focus to the local, reducing the
pace of life and prioritising wellbeing over achievement are ways in which we might begin to
contain our needs and live with, rather than in opposition to, the natural world.
The second issue is trust, as another primary headteacher identified: Professional trust is a
huge issue. I do not think testing represents the wholechild and for some it hugely affects their
mental health and wellbeing. This again shows how Covid-19 has necessarily elevated the
importance of wellbeing and indicates how governments had no choice but to trust that schools
would look after the most vulnerable children and young people competently. It should be diffi-
cult (if not impossible) to reverse this. Trust operates in opposition to the antagonising post-
truth epistemologies (Peters et al., 2018) that have been exposed by the existential threats of
Covid-19 and climate crisis.
Most predictably, but no less importantly, the final issue is learning, highlighted by a third
primary headteacher: Focus on building capacity for a love of learning. Those who love learning
have clearly been more proactive with home learning than those who arent. Developing an
independent love for learning is part of developing learnersself-sufficiency, which stands in
opposition to instrumentalist conceptualisations of learning as a preparation for economic prod-
uctivity. It is important to note that just as climate activism is led by the young, these issues
were all highlighted by primary school headteachers. Reculturing their schools (Miller, 1998) will
be crucial if the Covid-19 and climate ruptures are to lead to a conjuncture driven more by the
humanisation and collectivity central to philosophy of education in a new key(Peters, Arndt,
et al., 2020) than the divisions of populism and nationalism.
Educational lessons from global emergencies: towards non-human superiority
(Julia Ma~
Even in the half light
We can see that somethings gotta give
When we watched the markets crash
The promises we made were torn
(Arcade Fire, 2010)
Since the inception and dissemination of Covid-19 outside Chinese borders, the media agenda
has been limited to Covid-related news. The drama spread, concern for basic necessities esca-
lated, and grocery stores and businesses witnessed an unprecedented shortage of supplies.
Meanwhile, people were still drowning in the Mediterranean, Turks and Syrians were still fight-
ing, civilian populations were still dying, and the environment continued to suffer the conse-
quences of an aggressive economic system.
Analysing educational practices and policies requires a review with respect to the situations
experienced. The coronavirus as well as the environmental crisisare both derived from a pro-
ductive system lacking in ethics, morals and a sense of the common good. What do we need to
achieve in order to to reflect on possible sustainable alternatives that are respectful of and in
solidarity with the environment and others?
The coronavirus crisis has also enabled a series of ideological viruses that some philoso-
zek (2020) believe can open windows to alternative ways of thinking,
updating society towards solidarity and global cooperation. For this it is necessary to recog-
nize viral modernity in which we are immersed (Peters, Jandri
cetal.,2020). In this way, we
claim that there are biological viruses but also digital viruses and even attest that capital
forms a viral entity (
zek, 2020).
The pandemic comes to resemble a natural response, due to the mistreatment and
deregulated neoliberal actions on the planet for the sake of human benefit (Harvey, 2020)or
as Han (2020) states, the pandemic is the result of a globalization and liberalization that
allows the flow of material and immaterial capital without precedent. In this way the fragility
of the current ideological system is manifested. It is becoming evident that scientific pro-
gress is not directly proportional to human and moral progress: without ethical progress
there is no real progress (Markus, 2020).
It is paradoxical to refer to a hypothetical progresswhen the concept goes hand in hand
with economic productivity. Health cuts, austerity policies and corruption, in which research for
the prevention of possible diseases has no place because it is not profitable in economic terms.
As a result, a simple and exemplary manifestation of neoliberal ideology is being addressed:
maximizing profits to the detriment of collective welfare (Polychroniou, 2020). The pandemic has
resulted in a mishmash in which natural, economic and cultural processes are totally intertwined
and interrelated (
zek, 2020) resulting in a non-human superiority.
The global disasters that we are suffering in terms of education have not only generated
new issues but have also highlighted in a striking way those inconsistencies that we have been
reproducing in recent years. An educational system that was and still is to a great extent
under market control, bets on productivity and adaptation to the system. There is a need to
reclaim in the classroom the time for reflection, pause, criticism, to avoid productivity and instru-
mentalization as the main objective of the educational system.
Education is politics and has a primary function to transform the world or to reproduce it
no, 2018). If we bet on the first, and if we advocate for an active, participatory and demo-
cratic citizenship, we need a committed postdigital critical pedagogy that encourages both cre-
ativity and imaginative thinking. One aim of such pedagogy is to destroy the social assumption
of human superiority and the binary thinking of human/non-human (Peters, Rizvi, et al., 2020).
The market and its invisible laissez-faire logic has collapsed, revealing its limits and fore-
seeing some of the effects and collateral damage on nature and humanity. Hopefully,
humanity wont need another global disaster to realize that human beings are such a small
piece in the universe.
Do animals have complex mental lives? (Alison MacKenzie)
Do animals have complex mental lives? Sceptics would immediately dismiss this as a nonsense
question: animals (except, perhaps, great apes) lack intelligence, cannot engage in conceptual
thought, and are not, therefore, morally significant entities about whom we should show con-
cern. Animals, especially those we eat or trophy hunt, are regarded as resources for our susten-
ance and enjoyment, as mere means, as practically inanimate unless we favour them, in which
case, dogs, cats and parrots will probably lead flourishing lives.
The cognition of animals may not be sophisticated, lacking, as they do, the experience to
draw on critical reasoning to reflect on the events taking place such as habitat destruction or
being tied to the bars of a cramped cage. But this does not mean they passively accept the real-
ity before them. Seligmans(1975) work on animal helplessness in laboratories, fear and depres-
sion rests on a theory of contingency (lack of control in the environment), which Seligman
interprets as the way the animal representsthe world to itselfand behaviour. We cannot
understand, he argues, animal behaviour unless we grant that they have cognitive representa-
tions of that world: the animals helplessness is learned behaviour and depression is a result of
the creatures realisation that it has no control over the pain stimulus.
Mary Midgley (1995 [1979]) asks what we mean by conceptual thought. While the upper
reaches of conceptual thought belong to the human species, and no gorilla thinks of relativity
theory (and neither do many humans, she quips), what are the lower limits of conceptual
thought? Dolphins, elephants and apes can make up games or invent new tricks on the spot.
Midgley (1995 [1979]) cites the example of Jane Goodalls chimp, Washoe, who regards himself
as an honorary personbut, using cards, classifies other chimps as black bugs. Does this imply
conceptual understanding of the difference between species and self-hood? The evidence points
strongly towards the affirmative. What these examples from the animal world show is that inten-
tionality, rich mental phenomena, need not be the sole preserve of the human animal.
Beliefs about the environment affect our choices and behaviours. If we cannot or are
unable to accept that systematically damaging the environment or harming animals is ser-
iously morally wrong, we will continue with the damage. There is ample evidence of our
growing global problems, growing health impacts, and trauma to animals but we resist,
cocooning ourselves in wilful or blissful ignorance. We are more likely to respond if we nur-
ture ethically inspired beliefs that harming the environment is a serious moral wrong and
that animals do feel and do feel despair, fear, helplessness and depression. Brutal, careless
and indifferent treatment, and lack of respect for non-human species, will cost us dearly, as
Covid-19 has surely revealed.
How do we get humans to restrain themselves? To learn to respect, to treat with awe and
wonder, the environment in which they live? This is no easy task since we rarely have direct con-
trol over systemic beliefs that have been nourished since early childhood. We cant simply rely
on schools: curricula is overcrowded and teachers are tasked with so much already. To change
beliefs, we need evidence that is relentlessly factual and truthful, and fearlessly presented;
governments must treat seriously the evidence and act positively; industry must become advo-
cates for the environment; at all levels apathy and scepticism must be challenged; and we must
cultivate appropriate degrees of scepticism and suspicion about challenges against environmen-
tal protection. And we must consider - animal rights.
If you choose to fail us, we will never forgive you
Can philosophy of education (and the university) change for the better by listening to
Greta and youth voice? (Jones Irwin)
Those of us who work in the contemporary university are acutely aware of its manifest deficiencies
as a place which supposedly values progressive thought and a connect to positive social change.
While we can recognise many great colleagues and many great policies in principle, the possibility
of progressive change is all too often stultified by poor leadership, nepotism, lack of vision and a
disconnect from social and political transformative forces. Similarly, the discipline of the philosophy
of education whilst having resituated itself especially in the 1990s (under the influence of Critical
Theory particularly) as more focused on the socio-political dimensions of schooling, nonetheless
often keeps an abstract distance from contemporary social movements for change. In this context,
I warmly welcome the project of Philosophy of Education in a New Key(Peters, Arndt, et al.,
2020) as a project of collective intentionality and collective solidarity. It allows the possibility for
more organic thought and praxis amongst philosophers and in the wider university as a way of
bridging the aforementioned democratic deficit of much third level pedagogy.
If we need an inspiring paradigm for such an endeavour, we need look no further than Greta
Thunberg. As Jandri
c(2020) has argued, Gretas iconoclastic critical interventions have demon-
strated to us that the crisis of Covid-19 from an educational perspective can only be addressed
through a focus on environmental change and sustainability. Gretas own speeches on this issue,
collected together under the title No One Is Too Small to Make A Difference (Thunberg, 2019b)
call attention starkly again and again to our responsibility and guilt in allowing our planet to be
nearly destroyed on front of our very eyes whilst we stay silent and do nothing.
I was lucky and privileged for five years (20152019) to work as Project Officer with new state
primary schools in Ireland which were seeking to develop pluralist school environments and cur-
ricula in the context of an overarching Christian faith school system (NCCA, 2018). There I
encountered and worked with Muslim, Hindu, Pagan, Atheist and Agnostic (as well as Christian)
parents and children. This experience taught me the alienation which many people feel in our
current education system as well as a tendency to patronising such people amongst our educa-
tional establishment. Gretas calls for change have met with similar resentment and critique
amongst conservative adults. But the experience also taught me that with commitment, open-
ness and collective action, real and progressive change in our educational institutions and practi-
ces remains wholly possible. Erich Fromm (2001) used to warn us of the fear of freedom. Let us
overcome any fears we may still have in terms of the possibility of genuine revolution in our
education and political contexts. Greta has reminded us that the time is urgently now. She has
also shown us the real difference which courage and straight-talking honest critique can have.
What excuse do you have for staying quiet and complicit any longer?
This is not a lullaby
(Ninette Rothm
The climate crisis is also a crisis of culture, and thus of the imagination.
(Ghosh, 2016,p.9)
Its mid-June 2020 when Davide Panizza tucks a giant under one of the largest night-night blan-
kets. It is 100,000 square metersbig (Agence France-Presse, 2020). Fighting for its life and
looking rather frail the giant has lost one third of its magnitude. Blankets and lullabies wont
help. I bet that the giant will die during my seven-year-old daughters lifetime. Frankly, most of
us wont miss him. In the summer he hibernates tucked in tightly. During the remaining three
seasons humans cover the giants skin with signatures of their pleasure; putting pressure upon
it, squeezing its flesh. He is combed stroke after stroke, like paint brush strokes leaving
streaks, as sharp as cuts, on the surface of its body. The giants name is Presena. Presena is an
Italian glacier. It wasnt the late Christos idea to cover it.
Bake it from scratch
Its mid-April 2020 and Rosina Phillipes pail is full; as are the canals. I have a feeling we are not
in Italy anymore, a voice in my head whispers. Accurate: this is Grand Bayou and the canals in
question had been dug by oil and gas companies. Whats in Phillipes pail? The history of
cohabitation, the history of the knowledge of place, of belonging.(Phillipe in Yeoman, 2020)At
Grand Bayou the table is set to dine. Phillipe, an elder of the Atakapa-Ishak/Chawasha Tribe,
shares Were like place markers on the table [.] waiting for everybody else to come and dine.
(Phillipe in Yeoman, 2020) The Atakapa-Ishak/Chawasha Tribe has neither state nor federal recog-
nition. With tribal sovereignty not being protected fighting land loss and natural disasteris
challenged by the lack of resources and protection (Smith, 2020). Like other tribes Phillipes com-
munity faces climate forced displacement.
On June 20 The Guardian quotes Greta Thunberg: The climate and ecological crisis cannot
be solved within todays political and economic systems.(Thunberg in Murray, 2020)Aswe
bake it (the earth that is) we need to bake it from scratch. Politics have to be homemade (as in,
challenged from within the private sphere) from within communities.
Get it moving
Its just over mid-life in my life. Am I having a crisis? Yes! Humans have overconsumed life.
Humanity is in a state of debt.(UNESCO, 2019: 7) Every parent on this plant will bequeath that
debt to their children. In fact, the question is whether there will be future generations(Jonas,
2016). Still singing lullabies? Nothing humans do is (climate) neutral; not even singing lullabies.
Referencing refugee philosopher Hans Jonas (in Pawlikowski, 2016) wrote: Ethics must become
part of the fabric of the future as well as of the present.If so, why do we not think what we
are doing? (Arendt, 1998, p. 5) During the Covid-19 pandemic what do we dream of? Skiing,
going for a drive, gardening on land as if no blood was shed on it and no-one had been dis-
placed from it, serving salmon for dinner
and after a day of fun, tucking our little ones in, sing-
ing a lullaby, as if there indeed was a tomorrow? What tomorrow? You tell me. The pandemic is
a chance to refocus. I advocate following Arendts request wherever and whoever you are. Its
everyones turn. Lets change climate politics from scratch; every body! It will need everyones
doing and everyones imagination. Imagining with each other; not against.
Lest we forget: psychological trauma, collective irrationality and political activism during
the age of Covid-19 (Benjamin Green)
For years, scholars have labelled climate change as the single gravest threat to the continued
survival of the human race. In fact, 97% of actively publishing climate scientists agree that recent
climate-warming trends are attributable to human activities (Hoffman, 2015; NASA, 2020). Why is
it then that no amount of expert scientific coverage has been able to balkanize a lasting critical
(see: revolutionary) mass of global support for climate-based socio-political reforms? George
Marshall (2015) suggests that this collective pathology of wilful disregard, even in the face of
repeated climate-born disasters, stems from the fact that climate change represents a somewhat
distant and abstract threat, one which fails to mobilize our common psychology of risk a
psychology which signals our instincts to protect our family and tribe.
This sentiment has been echoed by Dr. Aaron Bernstein, director of the C-Change program at
Harvards Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment. Bernstein states that while pan-
demics such as Covid-19 represent a scary and immediate threat to ourselves, our families and
our way of life, hitting all the go buttonsthat signal our psychology of risk, climate change -
as an impersonal and distant armageddon in slow motion- does not (Harvard, 2020). While
this notion may account somewhat for societys conveniently sporadic amnesia towards an
impending climate change apocalypse, it doesnt quite tell the whole story. Specifically, this
notion doesnt account for why voting blocs in the USmost vulnerable (to increasingly prevalent
volatile weather emergencies) regions continue to vote against potential climate champions
(Marshall, 2015). Moreover, within the US, this disregard cannot simply be chalked up to partisan-
ship, as both the 2016 election and 2018 midterm election exit polls show that neither
Democrat nor Republican voters ranked climate change among their top electoral concerns
(Dolsak & Prakash, 2020).
In order to understand why climate change elicits this wilful disregard from many within con-
temporary society, we must first understand how and why a rising global Covid-19 body count
failed to signal an appropriately universal psychology of risk within the US. As a point of fact,
within the US, public perception is overwhelmingly shaped by and highly contingent upon an
authoritative elitepolitical narrative. Specifically, in early February, at the height of Trumps
downplaying of the threat of Covid-19, public opinion echoed this official narrative, with only
23% of polled voters labelling Covid-19 as a severe threatto public health, with this number
surging to 62% in mid-march when Trump gave an oval office address declaring Covid-19 a
national health emergency (Yokley, 2020). This highlights the fact that, despite overwhelming
evidence from the global health community, which clearly labelled Covid-19 as a grave threat to
personal health and safety, many in the US still displayed a wilful disregard to a pandemic that
should have triggered a collective psychology of risk.
In assessing this phenomenon, psychologist Bryant Welch (2008/2018) proffers the notion that
the capacity for rational thought within increasingly atomized modern societies has been weak-
ened by decades of psychological trauma. Moreover, this trauma continues to be readily
exploited by both the news media - in their despondent coverage of war, terrorism, economic
decline, racial discord, pandemics, immigration etc., and political ideologues - who greedily prey
on the collective vulnerabilities of an anxious, fearful and confused populace. Feeding on the col-
lective irrationality exhibited within the fractured realities and weakened decision-making cap-
acity of societies suffering from deep psychological trauma, politicians are keen to provide
simplistic (fanciful) narratives which salve the wounded psyche of a voting public in desperate
need of clarity and certainty (Welch, 2008/2018).
In light of this, scholars must seek to address climate change in a way that elicits a de-atomiz-
ing sense of hopeful collective intentionality, action and responsibility (Gallotti & Huebner, 2017;
Peters, Arndt, et al., 2020), Zaibert, 2003; rather than signalling a pathological retreat into siloed
partisan apathy and collective socio-political escapism. Finally, although global society has begun
to normalize a future with Covid-19, it is imperative that the public begins to understand that
threats to the environment, climate change and pandemics like Covid-19, while intimately con-
nected, are both personal and actionable (Harvard, 2020). Thus, as we reclaim our rightful trad-
ition of collective revolutionary social activism (as evinced by the diverse and overwhelmingly
peaceful global protests against systemic racism) (Ankel, 2020), scholars must orient future cli-
mate change scholarship towards this resurgence in political activism by fomenting within our
current global risk society a hopeful ethos of community in support of the greater global good
(Green, 2020).
Covid-19 and the myth of natures revenge (Shane J. Ralston)
If ideas help us evolve through so-called memotypic (as opposed to phenotypic or genotypic)
variance, then Greta Thunberg has truly assisted the evolution of the human species. She gave
voice to the idea of generational environmental betrayal, or that future generations would never
forgive the current adult generation for ignoring a climatic emergency: [T]he young people are
starting to understand your [contemporary world leaders] betrayal. The eyes of all future genera-
tions are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you.
(Thunberg, 2019a)
Thunberg taught us to fear the threat of disappointed future generations. Whether gener-
ational environmental betrayal is true or mythical, the objective is nevertheless the same: to pro-
voke (or inspire) monumental behavioural and policy change for the sake of averting an
imminent environmental catastrophe. As the Covid-19 pandemic descended upon us, our collect-
ive imagination was consumed by the idea of a combined environmental apocalypse/health cri-
sis. Again, whether it was true or mythical, the point of invoking the idea was to catalyse change
on a grand scale. Some environmentalists warned that Mother Earth was exacting retribution on
the human species, for polluting her air, her soil and her oceans. To punish us, she brought
plague and death to all corners of the globe. The time was ripe for natures revenge
(Valliantos, 2020).
By tying the threat of environmental catastrophe to a global health emergency, environmen-
talists wielded a truly pragmatic environmental rhetoric. They had harnessed the myth of
natures revenge. Anthropomorphizing flora/fauna, ecosystems and the biosphere as vengeful
forces punishing humanity might not be truthful, but it is especially effective. The mythical narra-
tive communicates the urgency of imminent environmental apocalypse. It incites fear, recruiting
the emotion as a driver to change humansunsustainable behavior. Covid-19 and the myth of
natures revenge changed behaviour on a massive scale. People drove their carbon-emitting
vehicles less. Some hoarded, but many, as a result of shortages, became more discerning con-
sumers. The air quality improved. Global CO2 emissions dropped.
In my book Pragmatic Environmentalism: Towards a Rhetoric of Eco-Justice (Ralston, 2013), I
introduced the notion of the inadvertent environmentalist, the individual who acts in environ-
mentally responsible ways, without the intention to do so, only because economic factors push
and pull her to act thusly, given otherwise selfish motivations. Behavioural economists (e.g.,
Ostrom, 2010) are well aware that incentives and constraints can be intelligently designed for
this purpose. What behavioural economists might not be as aware of is the power of myths, as
well as the fears they incite, to incentivize environmentally responsible action (as well as
inaction). If we have learned anything from the intersection between the ideas of generational
environmental betrayal and natures revenge, it is that myth-making is an effective way to cata-
lyse mass behavioural change, and we might just evolve as a species because of it.
Towards a new (educational) normal
Covid-19 as educator (Olli Pyyhtinen)
In The Natural Contract, philosopher Michel Serres (1995) suggests that most of our narratives,
philosophy, history, and social science have remained blind to nature. They have only cared for
the actions, communication, and conflicts of human beings and for the spectacle called culture.
Yet, to grasp the genesis, multiple spatiotemporal scales, and effects of Covid-19 necessitates
that we see it within a larger Umwelt of living organisms and understand the world in which we
live as both a human and a non-human world. Through Covid-19 pandemic the non-human or
more-than-human world of, for example, animals, meat, viruses and their genomes, airborne
transmission, infections, and diseases reminds us of its presence and participates in shaping and
transforming our lives and relations with fellow humans.
While researchers from various fields epidemiologists, virologists, mathematicians, health sci-
entists, statisticians, and sociologists, you name it are working hard to learn as much and as
fast about Covid-19 as possible to halt the pandemic, could there also be something to learn
from it? Could the pandemic teach us something about ourselves and about the possibilities and
potentials of life? In other words, what if we treated Covid-19 as an educator?
Of course, at present it is still too early to know about the many possible teachings of the
pandemic. These will be revealed to us in time, provided that we are open and willing to learn.
If not, we fail to change our prevalent ecological destructive practices. Here I present in a pre-
liminary manner two possible teachings of Covid-19 with regard to the environment.
First, Covid-19 may give us a sense of the vast range of our relational world. Networked space
has become our environment (Serres, 1994, p. 203). Covid-19 is a relational hazard that has to do
with relations. It cannot be explained by reference to individual subjects and their goals and
actions. In spite of their possibly good intentions, like personal empathy, individuals may
unknowingly infect a great number of others and spread the disease. Besides Covid-19, SARS-
CoV-2 itself is relational through and through: in addition to originating in relations and spread-
ing through relations, the virus has hit and infected not only our bodies but also our networks,
forcing us to impose such protective measures over human relations as quarantines, lockdowns,
and spatial distancing (see also Pyyhtinen, 2020).
Second, Covid-19 pandemic can tell us how the balance of humanity and nature has been
shaken during the past century. Instead of being there, as Heidegger suggested with his notion
of Dasein, we, as a world-subject, are rather out-of-there, deterritorialized from the thereof our
existence; humanity has become a global physical variable in the physical system of the planet
Earth (Serres, 1995). While we have become the masters of the world, harnessing and exploiting
natural phenomena, our own mastery escapes our mastery (Serres & Latour, 1995, p. 171). The
main question thus no longer is how to control nature but how to control our own actions that
seem to escape our control. The Covid-19 pandemic is an example of how we are nowadays sub-
jected to and depend on the world that is of our creation. What we produce returns to us in the
form of new givens pandemics, natural disasters, pollution, waste conditioning and threaten-
ing our health, relationships, institutions, and mode of life.
Resisting an isolatedMcCovid-19 response (Sarah Hayes)
When a group of companies responded to the Covid-19 requirement for self-isolation by produc-
ing socially-distancing logos, this was swiftly criticised for trivialising a crisis (Valinsky, 2020). Yet
such global marketing is hardly surprising given that predictability is a key principle of
McDonaldisation theory, alongside efficiency, calculability, control and the irrationality of rational-
ity (Ritzer et al., 2018). Perhaps as we entered lockdown, amid traffic ceasing, businesses closing
and wildlife returning, we imagined this pausewas also distancingus from these forms of neo-
liberal rationality? Sadly not.
Instead these commercial logos provide firstly, a reification of social distancing, by visually
depicting this new conditionto collectively adapt to, for public health. Secondly, the logos
ascribe a set of capitalist values, reinforcing a generalisation that infers that social distancing is
experienced by everyone in a similar, predictable way. Such static representations do not reveal
varied national lockdown timelines, grief, loss, economic hardships, or the role of personal
postdigital positionality(Hayes, 2020) in managing isolation. Social distancing has, for some,
involved home-based work, for others a loss of work, for some a break from travel, for others
more desperate forms of travel (Roy, 2020).
Even before Covid-19, environmental efforts were being hampered by oversimplifications,
such as ill-defined terms like globalisation being applied as if this were a single condition of the
world. Whilst globalisation may be good for some citizens and bad for others, the rational treat-
ment of the term as evenly experienced across the world conceals a discussionthat is never
had (OByrne, 2016, p. 41). It closes down debate on the interplay between global and local dis-
advantage, silencing diverse regional voices (Hayes et al., 2020).
Yet Covid-19 has visibly surfaced starkly uneven suffering globally and locally. A simple return
to the normalityof neoliberal capitalism is now being questioned, given perceived opportunities
for a collective reimagining of our world (Roy, 2020). However, this will require multilevel, multi-
cultural, cross-sector debate and actions that acknowledge that all human activity and the nat-
ural environment are interwoven.
Despite self-interested attempts to reify social distancing, the pandemic has caused govern-
ments and individuals to address the catastrophe in unprecedented ways, including supporting
business and industry, and public and private infrastructure (Vince, 2020). This has openly
revealed the intimate relations between economic, political and cultural forces that
McDonaldised activities generally conceal. Therefore, resisting an isolatedMcCovid-19 response,
that rationally sits apart from environmental activism is needed. As lockdown eases for some, a
return to thoughtless consumption could be just days away. Yet it took only days to notice the
cleaner air and urban wildlife that accompanies a less carbon-intensive lifestyle. It is necessary
therefore to navigate the twin storms of Covid-19 and climateand to know that the climate cri-
sis will not wait for a more convenient time(Vince, 2020).
Yet we may need to do even more things concurrently for this to be sustainable. Rather than
distancing logos, that reinforce neoliberal individualism, a new collective vision across sectors and
nations is needed, where contextual lessons from the global south are valued alongside those from
the global north. If there is one thing this pandemic has taught us it is that rational, generalised
interpretations need to be consigned to the past. A McCovid-19 response will no longer cut it.
First, do what works (Jake Wright)
What are the educational implications for the interplay between the climate crisis and the Covid-
19 pandemic? There are many ways to interpret such a call. One would be as a call for new
visions or new pedagogies, transforming what education is or could be in the face of unprece-
dented global challenges that seem to compound weekly. I wish to caution against this inter-
pretation as an initial, admittedly tempting, step.
To see why, I consider Gallo de Moraes et al. (2020) argument that our response to an unprece-
dented medical crisis should be a recommitment to basic, fundamentally sound care. This argument,
I believe, is instructive for how we as educators ought to respond to the crises du jour.
Physicians treating Covid-19 face a choice. They can either employ proven, efficacious treat-
ments, or they can adopt and create novel approaches and therapies(Gallo de Moraes et al.,
2020). While the latter is tempting, Gallo de Moraes and colleagues argue such strategies would
be a mistake precisely because physicians find themselves in crisis. For example, they note that a
potentially fatal complication of Covid-19 is acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which
can be successfully treated by shifting patients to a prone position. However, ARDS patients are
unlikely to be treated thusly, despite such positioning being proven and cost-effective. To ignore
such basic, fundamental, and efficacious treatment in favour of an exciting but untested protocol
is, they argue, simply wrong. As they note, the stakes have never been higher,but now is not
the time to forsake our established methods(Gallo de Moraes et al., 2020). To adhere to the
physicians oath of primum non nocere (i.e., first do no harm), one must first do what works.
Like the physician struggling to respond to a ward of Covid-19 patients, we as educators can
be torn between a recommitment to the tried-and-true and the search for novelty in an effort to
overcome the crises of the moment. And like the physician, abandoning the tried-and-true to
seek novelty for noveltys sake would be a mistake.
As educators, we have access to a host of practices that not only demonstrably allow students
to confront crisis, but motivate them to do so.
Like the physician rolling a patient into a prone
position, saying that our first response to the challenges of climate and pandemic should be
more group work, intensive writing, and learning communities is not sexy, but thats not the
point. The point is that such practices have been shown to work, and there is little reason to
think that our current moment is so unprecedented that they will not work now. Further, like
prone positioning for ARDS, such pedagogical strategies are distressingly under-utilized despite
their proven efficacy. Before we seek a shiny new strategy, surely we ought to at least fully
implement what has been shown to work! It may be that we will need to completely re-envision
education to meet our current challenges, but coming to that realization will first require show-
ing that what has worked before cannot work now. Like physicians, our stakes have never been
higher as crises compound on themselves. The task before us is not to reinvent who we are or
what we do; it is to do what works and do it well.
Conclusion (Petar Jandri
Fifteen responses to the question Who remembers Greta Thunberg? provide a rich tapestry of
themes, opinions, and (sometime opposing) conclusions. Focusing to concordances between
individual responses, we can identify a strong accent to the problems complexity, interconnec-
tivity, interdisciplinarity, individual and collective responsibility, our postdigital existence, and the
need to reinvent our sense of community. As it often happens with collective articles, however,
this tapestry of responses gives more than the sum of its parts, and this is where things become
really interesting ( Jandri
c et al., 2019; see also Jandri
c & Hayes, 2020; Jandri
c et al., 2020 ). Apart
from academic matters, the paper screams with feelings of confusion, individual powerlessness,
the urge to change, and dreams of a better world. These feelings are just as important as our
philosophical conclusions, because they allow us to act upon our theories. It is at the intersec-
tions of these two powerful human forces, reason and emotion, that we can now identify spaces
for collective emancipatory praxis.
Philosophy of education in a new key is a fresh approach to a fundamental ecological, polit-
ical and moral principle: constitutional law must promote the welfare of all reflected in the
general will’” (Peters, Arndt, et al., 2020). Collectivity built into philosophy of education in a new
key reaches much deeper than this gathering of 15 human authors and sees animals, bacteria,
viruses, and other visible and non-visible living and semi-living entities as deeply interconnected,
together with our (non-living?) technologies (Fuller & Jandri
c, 2019; Peters, Rizvi, et al., 2020).
Our physical microbiological contact is an expression of our biological interconnectivity which
also has cultural, social and political dimensions that are played out through the means of a
technological superstructure that takes many digital and postdigital forms.(Peters, Rizvi, et al.,
2020). In our age of viral modernity (Peters, Jandri
c et al., 2020), philosophy of education in a
new key (Peters, Arndt, et al. 2020) allows active collective engagement with complexities and
intricacies of our interconnected reality. (Post)-pandemic education has an urgent duty to secure
that these messages are understood and applied widely.
Philosophy of education in a new key: who remembers Greta Thunberg?
Education and environment after the coronavirus
Michael A Peters (Open Review)
It is a delight for me to review this collective writing project organized by Petar Jandri
c, with
whom I have worked closely over the last few years and who has a prodigious work rate and a
commitment to the idea of the collective as a means for advancing and harnessing knowledge
in an era dominated by the significance of the environment of the Earth that provides the major
epistemological metaphors of our times in the twin concepts of ecologies and interconnectivities.
While we are friends and colleagues we dont always agree and there is room for criticism on
both sides although on this occasion I am both impressed with the compression of complex
thinking and its knowledge ecology, as well the strength of individual contributions. Why
shouldnt a collective paper be orchestrated to provide not just a set of discussion points but a
comprehensive survey of expert opinion in contrast to a single authored academic paper? The
collective paper aimed at the question of post-pandemic philosophy of education introduces a
new key which is urgent and real, and the theme is nicely framed in a series of four sections
that takes inspiration from the teenage activist Great Thunberg who has inspired so many. The
fifteen contributors most of whom have been introduced to Educational Philosophy and Theory
for the first time have put forward their philosophical positions in the way that overlaps,
strengthens and mirrors holistic organistic thinking. The effects are a chorus of voices that exam-
ine common themes from a variety of related perspectivism without being reduced to a simple
epistemological perspectivism. (It is more like a piece of interconnected DNA with its spiral repe-
titions). I dont have the space here to comment on individual contributions because there are
so many but I do want to mention another feature which is the way authors draw on their own
sources of inspiration and influence Huxley, Bakhtin, Derrida, Braidotti, Hall,
zek, Midgley,
Thunberg, Fromm, Phillipe, Arendt, Ostrom, Serres, Marshall, Gallo de Moraes to mention a few
of the names. The result, as Jandri
c explains in his conclusion is like a rich tapestryand some-
times an unexpected turn that nevertheless operates like a length of twine where individual
strands are strengthened and illuminated or thrown into sharp relief, by being part of a general
theme where there is some measure of agreement on what counts for us now and what must
be done. In particular, I am also impressed by how seemingly easy it was for this group of
authors to act in unison, to style their own distinctive contributions in line with the acceptance
of a common theme and an understanding of the larger project of philosophy in a new key.
After the environment and education
Marek Tesar (Open Review)
Collective writing has become an important form to express the thinking of a group of scholars
who do not have to agree with respect to ideology but rather are linked by their thinking about
similar concerns. The form is clever as it enables an argument to be contained and presented in
a small number of words; something that is not an easy task for any philosopher of education
and potentially the challenge that shapes the argument. The project Philosophy in a New Key
has been taken up in 2020, in the time of pandemic, and created an environment within which
scholars around the world have engaged with the ideas of Covid-19 and new normality through
different lenses, a diverse prism (see Tesar, 2020). The contribution and engagement with this
topic has thus far included various theoretical and geographical lenses (see for instance Kato,
2020; Jackson, 2020; Papastephanou, 2020; Hung, 2020; Waghid, 2020). In this paper, Jandri
et al have taken into account a tremendous collective power and energy to look at issues sur-
rounding the intersection and interface of the environment and education. The year 2020 indeed
started as a year where we were considering climate change as something pressing, the grand
challenge and primary the narrative of 2020 and beyond. However, instead (albeit this paper
challenges this), Covid-19, the virus, has entered our everyday and mundane lives, and also has
entered scholarship. Therefore, seeing Jandri
c et al. representing thinking about the environment
is powerful work, embodied through asking the question Who remembers Greta Thunberg?,
and writing about education and environment after Covid-19. The notion of after, which may
seem problematic to mention, is well articulated and interrogated in this collective writing.
Ralston offers us one of one of the most powerful statements and lessons from this collection
Thunberg taught us to fear the threat of disappointed future generations. Jandri
c and col-
leagues have used four main themes for their collective writing to structurally organise (but not
segregate) ideas around wider philosophical concerns, education, environment and activism, and
futures studies. Together, this creates perhaps the most vivid and strong encounter of the exam-
ination of our current conditions and the possibilities that we are encountering in philosophical
enquiry. This is a very lucid and structured inquiry where we consider not only whatand how,
but also what if, in a way that is not only powerful and liberational, but also revolutionary, as a
call for action. What action, one may ask. There is that implicit question in the question Who
remembers Greta Thunberg?. There are complexities, there are ambivalences, but there is also
axiology. There is an urge, power and roar to the argument. It is political, it is ecological and it is
philosophical. And as Jandri
c himself argues: It is at the intersections of these two powerful
human forces, reason and emotion, that we can now identify spaces for collective emancipa-
tory praxis.
1. The question Who remembers Greta Thunberg? came out of a discussion between Petar Jandri
c and Peter
McLaren while we revised the article Critical intellectuals in postdigital timesfor Policy Futures in Education
c and McLaren forthcoming 2020). The article was in its final stages of publication and we managed to
squeeze in only a few sentences on the topic. Following Michael Petersinvitation to develop a collective
article exploring an aspect of philosophy of education in a new key (Peters, Arndt, et al., 2020), I decided to
pursue this important question further by tapping into collective wisdom.
2. See
3. See
4. Steve Fuller responds to the call for an interdisciplinary future on Twitter
5. This title paraphrases a sentence from Greta Thunbergs viral speech at the 2019 UN Climate Action summit in
New York (Thunberg, 2019a).
6. Ninette Rothm
uller is grateful to Marco Piana, Simone Gugliotta and Giovanna Bellesia from the Department of
Italian Studies at Smith College for their advice on the origins of the name Presena and to Amy Larson Rhodes
from the Department of Geosciences, also at Smith College, for her advice on the formation of Italian glaciers.
Ninette extends her gratitude to Petar Jandri
c for inviting her contribution and to Gregory Brown for copy
editing it.
7. Please consult Miller Cantzler and Huynh (2016) for an analysis of the intersectional injustices established
between e.g. racial inequality, tribal and human rights, human agency, institutional colonialization and
overfishing, and environmental injustice.
8. As a clear example of such practices, consider Kuhs(2008) work on High Impact Practices. As Kuh notes, such
practices, like community-based learning, collaborative projects, learning communities, and common
intellectual experiences, have repeatedly been shown to positively impact student success (Kinzie et al., 2008).
Disclosure statement
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author(s).
Petar Jandri
Jimmy Jaldemark
Zoe Hurley
Brendan Bartram
Adam Matthews
Michael Jopling
Ninette Rothm
Benjamin Green
Olli Pyyhtinen
Sarah Hayes
Jake Wright
Marek Tesar
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... In the field of modern education, a lot of attention is paid to the issue of human relations and communicative ethics [11]. The introduction of innovations in teaching and learning is associated not only with the development of new learning courses but also with a broad recognition of the values of learners and their communities [12], philosophical conception of the relationship between the individual and the environment [13]. In this regard, the issue of educational or social inequality associated with the selection by aptitude and the negative practice of attributing talent is being discussed [14]. ...
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span lang="EN-US">The purpose of the research was to study personal factors that can influence the formation of attitudes towards the success and failure of the other in adolescence. The psychodiagnostics techniques used in the study included Beskova’s methodology modified by Dubovskaya and Serdakova, the methodology for diagnosing the level of empathy by Boyko, emotional intelligence test by Hall and Dembo-Rubinstein self-esteem measurement methodology modified by Prikhozhan. There is a correlation between the attitudes towards the success and failure of a peer and personality traits in adolescence. It has been shown that young men and women are frequently characterized by a positive perception of the other, sincere joy and admiration for their success, and sympathy in case of failure and success of the other. A direct correlation was revealed between the level of empathy and a positive attitude towards the success of the other, which confirms the role of the personal factor in the formation of interpersonal relations.</span
... There remains a further dimension of what may be wrong here for Thunberg: the world itself. Recent scholarship examining the SS4C phenomenon is close to unanimous in assuming that the climate crisis is both unprecedented and critical (see for example, Jandrić et al., 2021;White et al., 2022). Such an assumption is reasonable enough given our current scientific understanding of the climate system and the way it couples with human activity: historically, presently and into the near and distant future (IPCC, 2021). ...
In this paper we take as our starting point Greta Thunberg’s message to an audience of adults at a recent climate change summit: ‘This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!’ We take Thunberg at her word and endeavour to investigate what is wrong and how it might be wrong. Through this investigation we consider how education may be implicated in the problem to which Thunberg alludes: a problem about both climate change and intergenerational change. We draw upon Hannah Arendt’s seminal work, ‘A Crisis in Education’, to consider how an ecological crisis coincides with an educational crisis symptomatic of an inversion of the traditional adult and child relationship in which education serves to introduce the young to the world – a public world, which is distinct from the ecological world. Arendt’s position on education, we argue, reveals concerns that movements like School Strike for Climate expose young people prematurely to the risks of indoctrination that attend adult, public life, and hinders their renewal of the world. Science too may add to these risks.
... The latter mean not only direct spatial limitations, intensification of fear and anxiety, post-truth epistemological climate (Peters et al., 2020), but all the variety of existing social, environmental and other problems that need to be addressed. Jimmy Jaldemark suggests not to divide the educational environment into biological, geographical, learning, online, offline, and social -but instead use a holistic worldview (Jandric et al., 2020). ...
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Education and safety? The authors of this study set out to answer this difficult question, relying on the experience of working in remote access during the coronavirus pandemic, The aim is to understand whether the humanitarian project might be endangered be the desire to make life absolutely safe, and to identify the extent of the appropriate safety measures that prevent the spread of the coronavirus and preserve a safe space for the formation of an educated personality. In the course of the study, the authors found that by focusing on one urgent danger, there is a possibility of neglecting others, no less important. The success of solving the problem of ensuring security in the face of an unexpected pandemic by transitioning to remote technologies does not signify that this solution is actually the best. The need to preserve education as a resource that supports the security of human existence constrains the ways in which the established forms of the educational system can be transformed. Changing the format of education leads to other changes in society, which may include many negative consequences. While short-term consequences are already noticeable, coupled with the concern how long-term consequences will affect the further development of society. If the safety and security of societies requires a high level of education, the preservation of the educational system is an important safety factor alongside protection from the pandemic. The paper therefore investigates also the attitudes of students in this ambivalent situation.
Apokalypse Now?Ildikó CsikaiThe critical condition of our planet and the crises of philosophy are not new phenomenons. According to a group of researchers, philosophy also needs a renewal, and not only in the proceed on the ground of evidence-based arguments and critical thinking but also it has to participate effectively in the education process for the birth of action-oriented and socially responsible citizen. The article is looking for answers if philosophy, philosophers can have any roles in the current situation, in the possible solutions of the difficulties of our planet.
The research attempts to understand whether the members of Generation Z are willing to opt for sustainable transportation modes or book an eco-friendly hotel while they are planning a journey. On the theoretical side, this research assumes a normative perspective to inves- tigate the two-abovementioned pro-environmental behaviors. Specifically, the injunctive social norms construct is integrated with the norm activation model to evaluate both the effect of contextual factors and intrinsic/personal motivations. To collect data a survey was distrib- uted online. A total of 785 young Italians aged between 15 and 24 par- ticipated in this research. Descriptive statistics, crosstabs, and structural equation modelling were performed to analyze data. Results show that personal norms constitute the main predictor. Injunctive social norms exert a positive effect on Generation Z’s intention to opt for sustainable transportation modes both directly and indirectly through personal norms. Injunctive social norms do not have a significant direct effect on the intention to choose an eco-friendly hotel. However, injunctive social norms influence Generation Z’s intention to choose an eco-friendly hotel indirectly through personal norms.
Introduction. COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the architectonics of the global educational process. While many countries are still analyzing the consequences of the pandemic for education, the world’s largest institutions and organizations are already thinking about the future of education. The purpose of the article is to identify and summarize the prospects for the development of a post-digital university on the basis of this analysis. Materials and Methods. This article presents an analysis of a number of important documents of world organizations on the future prospects of the higher education system during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as official documents on education systems in the Russian Federation and the Republic of Kazakhstan. The main methods of the proposed research are the analysis of program documents in the field of education, as well as a review of the philosophical literature of 2020‒2022 on the trends of the post-digital university. Results. In the worldʼs leading documents on the future of the education system it is shown that education is the main driving force of sustainable development. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented destabilization of the entire world education system. The analytical documents, in general, contains the following ideas: increasing the viability of education systems for sustainable development; rethinking education and accelerating positive transformations in teaching and learning. Based on the analysis of the situation, the documents suggested a number of effective measures, is the mains among which: digital transformation of universities; measures to support the research activities of universities. The article suggests that the digitalization of the educational process itself, described in the leading documents on education, will not lead to any results, unless it is accompanied by serious transformations in the content of education. Discussion and Conclusion. In a post-digital university, a radical paradigm shift is needed, the rejection of the neoliberal, standardized, algorithmic structure of the university, its transition to a socially significant, critical, responsible device. New technologies, as well as digitalization in education, should not be a goal, but a means. Only then can progress in education and significant social transformations be possible. The practical significance of this research of the authors lies in the analysis and generalization of strategically important program documents in the field of education on the prospects for the development of a post-digital university.
This chapter charts some genealogies, challenges, and directions for experimenting with the utopic postdigital ecopedagogies demanded by our present (post)pandemic reality. These are messianic—rather than prophetic—utopias that exist not as proclamations or programmes for a distant future but as potentialities immanent in the irreducible excess of the present. While their roots most clearly emanate from the Freirean-inspired ecopedagogy movement, we conceptualize ecopedagogies instead as educational forms that emerge from, negotiate, debate, produce, resist, and/or overcome the shifting and expansive postdigital ecosystems from and to which we write and think. These are expansive ecosystems of humans, postdigital machines, nonhuman animals, minerals, objects, and more; ecosystems that are overdetermined by new forms of ontological hierarchies and capitalism, imperialism, and settler-colonialism. By charting some of the potential lineages, directions, contradictions, and challenges—and by proposing potential lines of educational praxis—we lay a basis for reinvigorated fields of inquiry that moves beyond the existing postdigital literature on the current pandemic.KeywordsPostdigitalCritical pedagogyEcopedagogyUtopíaEnvironmentFeminismQueer theoryDataAlgorithmsIntersectionalityBioinformational capitalismViral ModernityAestheticsImperialismCritical disability studiesBeliefScience and technology studies
The transition from analogue campus-based learning to digital distance learning during the Covid-19 pandemic affected our society in many ways. This study set out to explore the experiences of 30 pre-service teachers when transitioning to digital distance learning. The pre-service teachers (PSTs) participated in a series of focus-group interviews that were subsequently analysed using qualitative content analysis. The results indicate that the transition to digital distance learning worked well and that the technology that was used performed satisfactorily. However, the PSTs experienced both opportunities and obstacles with respect to distance learning. The opportunities associated with digital distance learning were reported to be instantiated by teacher-led ‘flipped classroom’ teaching sessions and the additional freedom that was enjoyed by the PSTs (in both space and time). An obstacle associated with digital learning was the feeling that important aspects of interpersonal interaction disappeared. The PSTs remained sedentary and isolated at home, and the learning experience became somewhat dysfunctional when the teaching was not clearly structured and teacher-lead. The study concludes that it is not possible to replace IRL (‘in real life’) teaching entirely with digital distance learning. However, the results suggest that a hybrid form of teaching or elements of digital teaching can work well as a complement to future campus-based courses. Keywords: Covid-19, digital learning, digital teaching, distance learning, hybrid learning
The aim of the study is to carry out a SWOT analysis of the impact of the spread of a new coronavirus infection on the environment and on public policy for environmental development. The main strategic planning documents defining long-term priorities, goals and objectives of public administration in the field of environmental protection and ecological safety have been reviewed, the relevant domestic and foreign publications in this field have been studied, the materials of the websites of government authorities that publish information on the current situation and measures to support business and economy in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic as well as statistical and other data on the the environmental situation in Russia in recent years have been analysed. The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the current state of the environment and the environmental effects of this impact have been shown, the main challenges and threats to environmental security have been described, opportunities have been formulated in the current situation and can be used in the development of state environmental policy. The problematic issues of waste management in the pandemic have been touched upon. Particular attention has been paid to measures to combat new coronavirus infection and to support the economy with regard to environmental management and protection issues, as well as to business support measures in relation to COVID-19 pandemic in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation. The conclusions drawn from the study indicate that there is scope for a stronger trend towards a green economy.
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Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to ‘normality’, trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality. Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.
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This article starts with a brief analysis of what it means to be an intellectual within the US tradition of critical pedagogy. Pointing toward important socio-technological transformations which have taken place in the past few decades, the article situates the concept of the intellectual into the contemporary postdigital context. The article looks into two main areas of intellectual work which seem to have undergone significant transformations—automation and post-truth. It develops possible responses to recent challenges in these areas and shows that contemporary intellectuals working in the tradition of critical pedagogy need to take technology seriously. Heading toward the conclusion, the article promotes Greta Thunberg as an important example of a postdigital intellectual. Our analyses show that critical pedagogy has an important role in the development of contemporary intellectual work. Aiming at constantly transforming challenges, however, old theories require constant reconceptualization in and for our postdigital context. Within this mash-up of questions and answers old and new, we identify a starting point for this reconceptualization in the notion of critical praxis.
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Teaching in the Age of Covid-19