Education for Sustainable Development, Nature and Vernacular Learning
Mainstream education for sustainable development conceives of nature as a resource or commodity. The natural world is, for the most part, accorded only instrumental or utilitarian value. As a field it thus aligns itself with a longstanding paradigm in western thinking that sees humans as separate from and dominant over nature. The de-natured nature of education for sustainable development makes it unlikely that the learner will become motivated to care and act for nature. As an alternative, vernacular learning is proposed, i.e. place-based learning rooted in close intimacy and connection with the natural world, with nature perceived as being intrinsically valuable. The importance of fostering emotional affinity with nature is underlined, as are forms of multi-sensory learning that help the learner engage with both spirit and soul of place. Practical examples of vernacular learning activities are enumerated. The importance of nurturing a sense of wonder and joy in the young learner is put forward as vital in fostering an ethic of concern for the planet. Essentially, the argument goes, we only stir ourselves to protect what we have come to love, and thus cultivating a sense of oneness with nature is vital if we are to have any chance of transforming the global environmental condition. Passion is the harbinger of activism.
Bonnett, M. (1999). Education for sustainable development: A coherent philosophy for environmental education? Cambridge Journal of Education, 29(3), 313–324.
Brackenborough, S. Parochialism is universal. Retrieved 6. 12. 2016 from http://corymbus.co.uk/parochialism-is-universal/.
Carson, R. (2000 edition). Silent spring. London: Penguin.
Carson, R. (1998 edition). The sense of wonder. New York: HarperCollins.
Charlton, N. (2008). Understanding Gregory Bateson: Mind, beauty, and the sacred earth. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Cowen, R. (2015). Common ground. London: Hutchinson.
Dillon, J., Morris, M., O’Donnell, L., Reid, A., Rickinson, M., & Scott, W. (2004). Engaging and learning with the outdoors – The final report of the Outdoor Classroom in a Rural Context Action Research Project. Retrieved 12. 9. 2016 from http://www.bath.ac.uk/cree/resources/OCR.pdf.
Ehrlich, P. R., & Ehrlich, A. E. (2013). Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided? Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. Retrieved 30. 8. 2016 from http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing. org/content/280/1754/20122845.full.
Flood, A. (2015). Oxford Junior Dictionary’s replacement of ‘natural’ words with 21st century terms sparks outcry. The Guardian. Retrieved 12. 9. 2016 from https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jan/13/oxford-junior-dictionary-replacement-natural-words.
Goodstein, E. (2007). Fighting for love in a century of extinction: How passion and politics can stop global warming. Burlington: University of Vermont Press.
Griffin, S. (1995). The Eros of everyday life. Essays on ecology, gender and society. New York: Doubleday.
Hayward, J. (1968). The Penguin book of English verse. London: Penguin.
Hodson, D. (2014). Becoming part of the solution: Learning about activism, learning through activism, learning from activism. In L. Bencze & S. Alsop (Eds.), Activist Science and Technology Education (pp. 67–98). Dordrecht: Springer.
Kavanagh, P. (1967). The parish and the universe. In Collected Pruse (sic.) (pp. 281–283). London: Macgibbon & Kee.
Kingsnorth, P. (2012). Confessions of a recovering environmentalist. Orion Magazine, January/February. Retrieved 5. 9. 2016 from https://orionmagazine.org/article/confessions-of-a-recoveringenvironmentalist/.
Lee, L. (1974). Cider with Rosie. Harmondsworth (UK): Penguin.
Louv, R. (2005). Last child in the woods: Saving our children from nature-deficit disorder. New York: Algonquin Books.
Macfarlane, R. (2015). Landmarks. London: Hamish Hamilton.
Mander, J. (1991). In the absence of the sacred: The failure of technology and the survival of the Indiannations. San Francisco: Sierra Club.
Marren, P. (2015). Rainbow dust: Three centuries of delight in British butterflies. London: Square Peg.
McCarthy, M. (2015). The moth and the snowstorm: Nature and joy. London: John Murray.
McIntosh, A. (2008). Hell and high water: Climate change, hope and the human condition. Edinburgh:Birlinn.
Merleau-Ponty, M. (1962). Phenomenology of perception. London/Henley: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Monbiot, G. (2012). If children lose contact with nature they won’t fight for it. The Guardian, November 20. Retrieved 12. 9. 2016 from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/nov/19/children-lose-contact-with-nature.
Monbiot, G. (2013). Feral: Searching for enchantment on the frontiers of rewilding. London: Allen Lane.
Moss, S. (2012). Natural childhood. National Trust. Retrieved 12. 9. 2016 from https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/documents/read-our-natural-childhood-report.pdf. Outcasting Fourth Wall (2014). Outcasting Fourth Wall program, Cardiff 2014. Retrieved 12. 9. 2016 from http://www.4wfilm.org/programme/animus-loci/2014-11-04/.
Pruneau, D., Liboiron, L., Vrain, É., Gravel, H., Bourque, W., & Langis, J. (2001). People’s ideas about climate change: A source of inspiration for the creation of educational programs. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 6(Spring), 121–138.
Rebanks, J. (2016). The shepherd’s life: A tale of the Lake District. London: Penguin.
Selby, D. (2007a). As the heating happens: Education for sustainable development or education for sustainable contraction? International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, 2(3/4),249–267.
Selby, D. (2007b). Reaching into the holomovement: a Bohmian perspective on social learning for sustainability. In A. E. J. Wals (Ed.), Social Learning towards a Sustainable World (pp. 165–180). Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publishers.
Selby, D. (2014). Education for sustainable contraction as appropriate response to global heating. In L. Bencze & S. Alsop (Eds.), Activist Science and Technology Education (pp. 165–182). Dordrecht: Springer.
Selby, D. (2015). Thoughts from a darkened corner: Transformative learning for the gathering storm. In D. Selby & F. Kagawa (Eds.), Sustainability Frontiers: Critical and Transformative Voices from the Borderlands of Sustainability Education (pp. 21–41). Opladen: Barbara Budrich.
Selby, D., & Kagawa, F. (2014). Striking a Faustian bargain? Development education, education for sustainable development and the economic growth agenda. In S. McCloskey (Ed.), Development Education in Policy and Practice (pp. 143–157). Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
Shaw, M. (2016). Listening to the spirit of place. Resurgence & Ecologist, 298(September/October), 28–29.
Smith, G. A., & Williams, D. R. (1999). Ecological education in action: On weaving education, culture and the environment. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Swimme, B, & Berry, T. (1992). The universe story: From the primordial flaring forth to the Ecozoic Era – A celebration of the unfolding of the Cosmos. New York: Harper.
TEEB. (2016). The economics of ecosystems and biodiversity. Retrieved 5. 9. 2016 from http://www.teebweb.org/.
Tomaney, J. (2012). Parochialism – a defence. Progress in Human Geography, 37(5), 658–672.
Traina, F. (1995). What is bioregionalism? In F. Traina & S. Darley-Hill (Eds.), Perspectives in bioregional education (pp. 1–12). Troy OH: North American Association of Environmental Education. UNESCO. (2014a). Aichi-Nagoya Declaration on Education for Sustainable Development. Retrieved 3. 9. 2016 from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002310/231074e.pdf.
UNESCO. (2014b). Roadmap for implementing the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved 3. 9. 2016 from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002305/230514e.pdf.
UNESCO. (2014c). Shaping the Future We Want: UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005–2014). Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved 26. 1. 2017 from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002301/230171e.pdf.
United Nations General Assembly. (2015). Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 31. 8. 2016 from http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/70/1&Lang=E.
Wilson, E.O. (1984). Biophilia. Harvard: Harvard University Press.
Woodhouse, J., & Knapp, C. (2000). Place-based curriculum and instruction: Outdoor and environmental education approaches. ERIC Digest. Retrieved 12. 9. 2012 from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED448012.pdf.
World Commission on Environment and Development. (1987). Our common future. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
In order to ensure both the widest dissemination and protection of material published in CEPS Journal, we ask Authors to transfer to the Publisher (Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana) the rights of copyright in the Articles they contribute. This enables the Publisher to ensure protection against infringement.