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Theme Three- Transformative Environmental Education

Sustainability Frontiers seeks to both challenge, counter and redress the anthropocentrism, the human-centeredness, that characterizes much of the theory and practice of sustainability related education. The field is marked by an instrumental valuing of the natural world i.e. seeing nature as resource, its value dependent on the measurability of its usefulness to human purpose and economy.

Set against this we adopt a bio-centric worldview that sees intrinsic value in fauna, flora and natural habitats, i.e. they are seen as having value in their own right as they live their own lives and pursue their own life purposes and trajectories. We hold that it is vital for human wellbeing to restore nature connection and intimacy to the point of deep entanglement in the natural world. For this reason our leaning activities and approaches prioritize the nature-oriented learning that education for sustainable development has largely set aside. Accordingly, the programs we offer address place-based learning, bioregional education, vernacular learning, and re-wilding learning, biodiversity learning, metamorphic nature learning, ‘deep time’ geological learning, nature kinship and migration. We also offer learning activities and programs that are meant to help and inspire those despairing and grieving at natural habitat and species loss and distraught at the ravages that are being done to our beautiful world. We hold strongly to the belief that sustainability education can never be truly transformative unless it builds learner reconnection and intimacy with nature.




David Selby has recently completed a book on transformative nature learning titled Down the Combe and into the Meadow: Reflections on Nature and Learning. Publication and ordering details will follow shortly.

Key Publications

Daivd Selby, Fumiyo Kagawa & Rowan Oberman. (2020). Along the Cays and Bays: Climate Change Learning in a Small Island Developing State, Policy and Practice: A Development Education Review, 30, 31-56.

David Selby & Fumiyo Kagawa. (2018).  Archipelagos of Learning: Environmental education on islands, Environmental Conservation, 45 (2), 137-146.

David Selby. (2017). Education for Sustainable Development, Nature and Vernacular Learning, Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, vol. 7, no.1, 9-27.

David Selby & Fumiyo Kagawa. Emerging Dimensions of Global Environmental Education, For Environmental Education, issue 59 (issue 14 online), no pagination