‘Placing’ Pedagogy and Curriculum Within an Ecological Worldview

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Jodi MacQuarrie
Gillian Diane Smith


Surveying the last two centuries, one might easily deduce the purpose of education has been to induct, or rather indoctrinate, students into a culture’s dominant ontology and epistemology. In modern Western culture’s prevailing education systems, this usually means atomistic, dualistic, and competitive ways of being and disembodied, decontextualized and dispassionate ways of knowing that focus on passively acquiring abstracted and fragmented knowledge. Given our current predicament of human alienation and ecological crisis, we suggest a new worldview is needed to reconceptualize human ways of living and being in, indeed valuing, our place within the ecosphere. In contrast to the modernist, mechanistic world view, which deems the natural world detached, valueless, and available for human exploitation, an ecological worldview advocates a human sense of self as interconnected and unified with the natural world. Moved by the work of philosophers, eco-theorists and eco-educators, this paper explores the role of the more-than-human world in pedagogical and curricular processes and practices that align more closely with an ecological worldview. Our proposed praxis of ecological education was introduced and put into action with a group of educators at the Education With/Out Borders (EWOB) symposium at Sasamat, British Columbia, in October, 2008. An overview of the exercise and highlights from the group’s concluding discussion of the experience are also presented.


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How to Cite
MacQuarrie, J., & Smith, G. D. (2009). ‘Placing’ Pedagogy and Curriculum Within an Ecological Worldview. SFU Educational Review, 3. https://doi.org/10.21810/sfuer.v3i.345
Author Biographies

Jodi MacQuarrie

phd student (education)

Gillian Diane Smith

phd student, (education)