Individual Presentation or Panel Title

The Transition to Justice-oriented Environmental and Science Curricula. Suggestions from a Critical Pedagogy and Radical Environmental Philosophy Perspective

Abstract

In a rapidly changing world, with pandemics, climate changes and environmental disasters emerging every so often, and poverty and hunger affecting the vast majority of the people on Earth, it is considered necessary that school curricula for Environmental Education and Science Education should adopt arguments and positions that are critical,negotiating the issue of environmental and social justice. There is no doubt that the major environmental problems are not neutral in origin. Their causes are with the oligarchies and the major industrial, financial and military complexes. Also,these problems affect quite differently the lives of the rich and the poor, the lives of the peoples in the post-colonies compared to the lives of the peoples in the metropoles etc. At the same time, “Big” Science is produced and advanced in research complexes controlled by the traditional political establishment and guided by its political decisions and the class interests it represents.It should be noted that the ethics of science becomes a critical issue when it comes to cases such as drug testing and that the outcomes of scientific research are not equally beneficial for all people on Earth.

Presentation Description

In this presentation, we are going to argue that a transition is necessary from an Environmental and Science Education of the “HOW” (the scientific explanation of the “phenomena”) to an education of the “WHY” , focusing not on the classical Aristotelian teleological explanation but on the social and political causes and effects of the end product of scientific research. We are going to examine what is the current status of the various recommendations of the European Union concerning environmental education and the science curricula and the potentialities for this transition, and we consequently we are going to describe a Critical Pedagogy framework and ways to materialize/realize this transition in the European Curricula. We strongly believe that it is necessary for this transition in order to be effective to maintain a critical balance between the acceptance of the equivalency of the different knowledge systems including traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and feminist viewpoints, and the adoption of a critical rationalism capable to refute all forms of pseudo-science, regardless of its sources of origin (conservative politicians, ultra-rights, religious fanatics or simply the oblivious citizen). We finally propose that this balance can be achieved with the inclusion, within the curricula, of a module focusing on radical environmental philosophy and ethics.

Location

Stream C: Pushing Methodological Boundaries

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Jun 11th, 3:45 PM Jun 11th, 5:00 PM

The Transition to Justice-oriented Environmental and Science Curricula. Suggestions from a Critical Pedagogy and Radical Environmental Philosophy Perspective

Stream C: Pushing Methodological Boundaries

In a rapidly changing world, with pandemics, climate changes and environmental disasters emerging every so often, and poverty and hunger affecting the vast majority of the people on Earth, it is considered necessary that school curricula for Environmental Education and Science Education should adopt arguments and positions that are critical,negotiating the issue of environmental and social justice. There is no doubt that the major environmental problems are not neutral in origin. Their causes are with the oligarchies and the major industrial, financial and military complexes. Also,these problems affect quite differently the lives of the rich and the poor, the lives of the peoples in the post-colonies compared to the lives of the peoples in the metropoles etc. At the same time, “Big” Science is produced and advanced in research complexes controlled by the traditional political establishment and guided by its political decisions and the class interests it represents.It should be noted that the ethics of science becomes a critical issue when it comes to cases such as drug testing and that the outcomes of scientific research are not equally beneficial for all people on Earth.