What children ask from us. Education and worldlessness in the Anthropocene

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Education is traditionally seen as the process whereby children —as newcomers to the world—are guided by adults into the community of shared meaning, which Hannah Arendt has described as a common world. According to Arendt (2006a), being an educator means accepting a position of authority whose assurance is taking responsibility for the world such as it is. For only responsible adults can assist children into a position of renewing the world when their time comes. Contemporary social philosophers take a similar approach to educational authority, notably Foros and Vetlesen (2015) and Vetlesen and Willig (2018), but this time the question of what it means to be responsible for the world is much more overwhelming. Where Arendt during the 1950s and 1960s was concerned with the continuation and renewal of humanity and saw the need to protect the public realm where politics and individual freedom reigns, Vetlesen and his co-authors are urging educators to consider the greatest challenges of our time, and quite possibly, of all times: climate change and ecological crises. Accordingly, the task of renewing our common world—the purpose of educational authority for Arendt (2006a)—is now set in a time where human activities are destroying the ecological conditions for life, for ourselves and many other species. The chapter discusses some of the challenges raised by these developments for how we conceptualize the relationship between the philosophy and politics of education. For example, what does it mean when the educand—the child or student—posits the norms for the educator: “this is how I want you to educate me”? Does it spell the end of authority in education, or can the traditional educational relationship be configured in novel ways? And on a related note, how can we understand the relationship between educational norms and the instituted values in today’s post-traditional societies of advanced capitalism?

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Pa 1970 og 80-tallet var pedagogikken engasjert i sosiale bevegelser og politiske saker, som miljo- og fredsbevegelsen. Dagens politisk-sosiale saker, som utdanning for baerekraftig utvikling (UNESCO), har fatt langt mindre gjennomslag, selv om Norge holder en hoy profil i internasjonal sammenheng. I denne artikkelen sammenligner jeg Norges og Sveriges tilnaerming til FN-prosesser som Agenda 21 og tiaret for utdanning for baerekraftig utvikling, og diskuterer mulige forklaringer pa den svake oppfolgingen av Rio-prosessen i Norge. En mulig forklaring, som flere har pekt pa, er den stadig tettere sammenhengen mellom norsk politikk og oljeutvinning. Sterkere oppmerksomhet omkring okologiske og okonomiske sammenhenger vil vaere vanskelige a sammenholde med ideen om det norske «oljeeventyret», og kan lede til beklemmende sporsmal som er vanskelige a handtere, for eksempel i skolen. Utgangspunktet for artikkelen er likevel at det ligger et stort, ubrukt potensial i pedagogikkfaget til a belyse og arbeide med denne type sporsmal. (Published: 20 December, 2016) Citation: Ingerid S. Straume. ««Norge ligger pa dette omradet langt fremme i forhold til de fleste land»: Utdanning for baerekraftig utvikling i Norge og Sverige.» Nordisk tidsskrift for pedagogikk og kritikk, Vol. 2, 2016, pp. 78-96.
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An analysis of the literature supporting the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and a sample of its key products suggests that it failed to acknowledge or challenge neoliberalism as a hegemonic force blocking transitions towards genuine sustainability. The authors argue that the rationale for the Decade was idealistic and that global education for sustainability citizenship provides a more realistic focus for such an initiative. They anchor such education in appropriate social theory, outline its four dimensions and use these to review four key products from the Decade, before suggesting remedial measures to render ESD a more effective vehicle for promoting democratic global governance and sustainability.
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The planetary boundaries framework defines a safe operating space for humanity based on the intrinsic biophysical processes that regulate the stability of the Earth system. Here, we revise and update the planetary boundary framework, with a focus on the underpinning biophysical science, based on targeted input from expert research communities and on more general scientific advances over the past 5 years. Several of the boundaries now have a two-tier approach, reflecting the importance of cross-scale interactions and the regional-level heterogeneity of the processes that underpin the boundaries. Two core boundaries—climate change and biosphere integrity—have been identified, each of which has the potential on its own to drive the Earth system into a new state should they be substantially and persistently transgressed.
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Since Isaiah Berlin’s epitomizing Cold War-essay, "Two Concepts of Liberty, " thinkers who emphasize collective concepts of social life have carried the burden of proof against charges of totalitarian tendencies. The background is a ground figure in contemporary political thought that sets notions of collectivity against individual freedom, in a zero sum game: Either one is in favour of the individual, or one is in favour of the collective, and hence, so the bias has it, willing to sacrifice the rights and liberties of individuals. Since it is impossible to favour the latter position and remain liberal, in the wide sense of the term, this dichotomy serves to rob contemporary political thought of both its classical and revolutionary connotations, leaving only individual initiatives like lobbying and voting. Cornelius Castoriadis offers a way around this – arguably false – dichotomy, by regarding individual and collective freedom as two sides of the same coin.
Climate change is increasingly understood to impact mental health through multiple pathways of risk, including intense feelings of grief as people suffer climate-related losses to valued species, ecosystems and landscapes. Despite growing research interest, ecologically driven grief, or 'ecological grief', remains an underdeveloped area of inquiry. We argue that grief is a natural and legitimate response to ecological loss, and one that may become more common as climate impacts worsen. Drawing upon our own research in Northern Canada and the Australian Wheatbelt, combined with a synthesis of the literature, we offer future research directions for the study of ecological grief.
Hvorfor gjør vi ikke mer for å bremse menneskeskapt klimaendring når vi vet så mye om hva konsekvensene kan bli? Når fører kunnskap til handling – og hva kan et fag som pedagogikk bidra med i møte med vår tids største utfordring? I denne boka belyser Ingerid S. Straume hvordan våre sosiale forestillinger bidrar til handlingsmuligheter, håp og evne til å skape noe nytt. Innhold: 1. Kunnskapens status i et skiftende klima 2. Hva er egentlig problemet? Ulike perspektiver, ulike svar 3. Miljøpedagogikk, bærekraftig utvikling og økopedagogikk 4. Klimaendring som oppdragelsesproblem 5. Fortellinger om en menneskeskapt framtid 6. Statusoppdatering: Bortenfor mennesket? «Forfatteren går til kjernen i ulike forståelser av klimaproblemet: politisk, kulturelt, moralsk og pedagogisk. Boken er skrevet med forbilledlig klarhet og smittende engasjement, samt med brodd overfor ledende aktører i oljelandet Norge». --Arne Johan Vetlesen, professor i filosofi ved Universitetet i Oslo «Straume gir en utfyllende analyse av det pedagogisk-filosofiske idégrunnlaget for klima- og miljøundervisningen i skolen. Boken er interessant for alle som er opptatt av klima og miljø – og av hvordan skolen kan forberede fremtidige generasjoner på å leve i en tid preget av store klimaendringer». --Astrid Sinnes, førsteamanuensis i realfagsdidaktikk ved Norges miljø- og biovitenskapelige universitet «Ingerid Straumes bok bør leses av alle som er opptatt av klimaendring, utdannelse, ungdom og framtid. Med tyngde og nøkternhet leverer hun slagkraftige argumenter for transformativ læring både i skolen og i samfunnet». --Karen O’Brien, professor i samfunnsgeografi ved Universitetet i Oslo
German education plays a huge role in the development of education sciences and modern universities internationally. It is influenced by the educational concept of Bildung, which defines Germany's theoretical and curricular ventures. This concept is famously untranslatable into other languages and is often misinterpreted as education, instruction, training, upbringing and other terms which don't encompass its cultural ambitions. Despite this hurdle, Bildung is now being recognized in current discussions of education issues such as standardization, teaching to the test, evidence-based policy and high stakes testing. This volume clears up the confusion and misunderstandings surrounding Bildung by examining the origins of the concept and how it has been applied throughout history. It paves the way for educators to fully understand and benefit from this model and all it has to offer.
A study of the increasingly precarious relationship between humans and nature, this book seeks to go beyond work already contributed to the environmental movement. It does so by highlighting the importance of experiencing, rather than merely theorizing nature, while realizing that such experience is becoming increasingly rare, thus reinforcing the estrangement from nature that is a source of its ongoing human-caused destruction. In his original approach to environmental philosophy, the author argues for the reinstatement of nature's value outside of its exploitative usefulness for human ends. Such a perspective emphasizes the extent to which the environmental problem is a concrete reality requiring urgent action, based on a multi-sensuous appreciation of humans' dependence on nonhuman lifeforms. Designed as an accompaniment to undergraduate and postgraduate research, The Denial of Nature draws on empirically informed literature from the social sciences to examine what life is really like for humans and nature in the era of global capitalism. The book contends that capitalist society exploits nature - both in the form of human capital and natural capital - more relentlessly than any other and offers an environmental philosophy which actively opposes current developments. Through discussions of the work of Teresa Brennan, Theodor Adorno, Martin Heidegger and Hans Jonas, and through a radical critique of the nature deficit in Jorgen Habermas' theory of capitalist modernity, The Denial of Nature relies on insights from Critical Realism to bring together several, seldom-linked philosophies and suggest a new approach to the heavily-discussed question of environmental ethics.
Although the modern age is often described as the age of democratic revolutions, the subject of popular founding has not captured the imagination of contemporary political thought. Most of the time, democratic theory and political science treat as the object of their inquiry normal politics, institutionalized power, and consolidated democracies. This study shows why it is important for democratic theory to rethink the question of democracy's beginnings. Is there a founding unique to democracies? Can a democracy be democratically established? What are the implications of expanding democratic politics in light of the question of whether and how to address democracy's beginnings? Kalyvas addresses these questions and scrutinizes the possibility of democratic beginnings in terms of the category of the extraordinary, as he reconstructs it from the writings of Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, and Hannah Arendt and their views on the creation of new political, symbolic, and constitutional orders.
The most important book yet from the author of the international bestseller The Shock Doctrine, a brilliant explanation of why the climate crisis challenges us to abandon the core “free market” ideology of our time, restructure the global economy, and remake our political systems.In short, either we embrace radical change ourselves or radical changes will be visited upon our physical world. The status quo is no longer an option. In This Changes Everything Naomi Klein argues that climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It’s an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies. She exposes the ideological desperation of the climate-change deniers, the messianic delusions of the would-be geoengineers, and the tragic defeatism of too many mainstream green initiatives. And she demonstrates precisely why the market has not—and cannot—fix the climate crisis but will instead make things worse, with ever more extreme and ecologically damaging extraction methods, accompanied by rampant disaster capitalism. Klein argues that the changes to our relationship with nature and one another that are required to respond to the climate crisis humanely should not be viewed as grim penance, but rather as a kind of gift—a catalyst to transform broken economic and cultural priorities and to heal long-festering historical wounds. And she documents the inspiring movements that have already begun this process: communities that are not just refusing to be sites of further fossil fuel extraction but are building the next, regeneration-based economies right now. Can we pull off these changes in time? Nothing is certain. Nothing except that climate change changes everything. And for a very brief time, the nature of that change is still up to us.
Climate change is not 'a problem' waiting for 'a solution'. It is an environmental, cultural and political phenomenon which is re-shaping the way we think about ourselves, our societies and humanity's place on Earth. Drawing upon twenty-five years of professional work as an international climate change scientist and public commentator, Mike Hulme provides a unique insider's account of the emergence of this phenomenon and the diverse ways in which it is understood. He uses different standpoints from science, economics, faith, psychology, communication, sociology, politics and development to explain why we disagree about climate change. In this way he shows that climate change, far from being simply an 'issue' or a 'threat', can act as a catalyst to revise our perception of our place in the world. Why We Disagree About Climate Change is an important contribution to the ongoing debate over climate change and its likely impact on our lives.
With the Norwegian Prime Minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland, as chair of the World Commission on Environment and Development, Norway became an early mover in politics for sustainable development (SD). The pursuit of SD goals has been expressed in several national policy documents, though it was not until 2002 that Norway adopted an explicit ‘National Strategy for Sustainable Development’. This was followed up by a ‘National Action Plan for Sustainable Development’ in 2003. Neither of these initiatives has been actively implemented, and both are now being evaluated and revised by the current ‘red–green’ coalition government. The article presents and assesses strategic SD initiatives from 1989 to the present day. The major conclusion of the analysis is that the Norwegian SD profile is ‘long on promise’ and ‘short on delivery’, and that one major reason for this is the influence of a booming petroleum economy on distributional politics. An exceptional growth in public revenues due to oil and gas fosters intense political competition over the dispensation of economic and welfare benefits – both between political parties and within governing coalitions – and undermines the ‘political will’ to pursue the SD agenda. Given the ability to also use the surplus for development assistance, Norway stands forth as an SD ‘frontrunner’ in international aid, and an SD ‘laggard’ in sustainable production and consumption at home. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
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