Led by former Wageningen University PhD Dr. Thomas Macintyre and current Wageningen University Post-Doc, Dr Daniele Tubino de Souza, I was priviledged to collaborate on this new paper that appeared in the latest issue of Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education. This paper provides a Latin American perspective on ESD, with a focus on transformative and participatory learning in community contexts. With a long history of critical pedagogies, Latin America provides a fertile ground for exploring alternative forms of education as a means to address deep-rooted challenges in western traditional strands of education. We start by providing an overview of pertinent educational currents present in Latin America, then ground these perspectives in two case studies carried out by the authors – one from Colombia, the other from Brazil – which explore grassroots initiatives in community settings that utilise different forms of education and learning. We then propose an integrative model to foster alternative educational approaches that might lead to decolonial and regenerative praxis, finishing with a discussion on how Latin American-rooted regenerative decolonisation perspective and praxis can inform global ESD discourses.
Full citation: Macintyre, T. Tubino de Souza, D. & Wals, A.E.J. (2023) A regenerative decolonization perspective on ESD from Latin America, Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, DOI: 10.1080/03057925.2023.2171262
Some people have asked me for a copy of a ‘think piece’ I wrote a few years ago as input for a World Congress on Environmental Education held in South Africa a few years ago. The paper – Learning in a Changing World and Changing in a Learning World: Reflexively Fumbling towards Sustainability – was published in the Southern Africa Journal of Environmental Education which is an important resources in the field of EE and one of the oldest journals in this field. Unfortunately the journal’s electronic distribution is somewhat limited still. Therefore I am making it available here as a pdf.
One key message – which is important just a few weeks for the Rio +20 meeting – is that Environmental Education and Education for Sustainable Development have a high familiy resemblance when taking the 1975 Belgrade charter on EE and the 1977 UNESCO-UNEP conference on EE held in Tiblisi as foundational to the field of EE.
The other key message is that the nature of sustainability challenges seems to be such that a routine problem-solving approach falls short. Transitions towards a more sustainable world require more than attempts to reduce the world around us into manageable and solvable problems but instead require a more systemic and reflexive way of thinking and acting with the realisation that our world is one of continuous change and ever-present uncertainty. This alternative kind of thinking suggests that we cannot think about sustainability in terms of problems that are out there to be solved or in terms of ‘inconvenient truths’ that need to be addressed, but we need to think in terms of challenges to be taken on in the full realisation that as soon as we appear to have met the challenge, things will have changed and the horizon will have shifted once again.
The paper therefore calls for reflexivity (Reflexively fumbling towards sustainability) and offers social learning as a form of learning that is particularly suitable for promoting reflexivity in diverse groups of learners.
The pdf is linked to the full citation of the paper below: