Theme Five: Bio-centric Education

Apple Blossom

Cauldron Snout, Upper Teesdale, England.  Wild earth with its own inherent and intrinsic valueExpositions of sustainability-related education have been largely underpinned by the assumption that the natural world is primarily there to meet the food and other material needs of the human species. This human-centered ‘instrumental’ valuing of the other-than-human as useful ‘resource’ stands in stark contrast to a bio-centric worldview that sees intrinsic value in plants, creatures and environments, i.e. as having value in their own right because they have their own lives to live and own life purposes to fulfill. Members of Sustainability Frontiers hold that it is important to challenge the anthropocentric position of much sustainability education and that learners should critically explore why and how doministic attitudes to nature are contributing to environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity and, in turn, an existential crisis for humanity in that loss in the environment diminishes human identity, imagination and culture. For this reason, ‘education for eco-cultural sustainability’ is a preferred term for the group. For this reason, too, Sustainability Frontiers will revisit through learning and teaching projects the field of humane (animal-related) education and the contribution it can make towards fostering care and compassion.

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