Ecopedagogy: Freirean teaching to disrupt socio-environmental injustices, anthropocentric dominance, and unsustainability of the Anthropocene

Educational Philosophy and Theory 55 (11):1253-1267 (2023)
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Abstract

This article delves into ecopedagogy, grounded in the work of the Brazilian pedagogue Paulo Freire on popular education and critical pedagogies, to teach students to critically deconstruct the subjectivity and transformability of our world (all humans, human populations) with the rest of Earth (i.e., rest of Nature). As Friere emphasized humans’ unique characteristic of ‘unfinishedness’ with abilities of self-reflexivity through our histories and goal-setting from our dreams, (environmental) pedagogues must teach toward deepened and widened understandings for praxis grounded in socio-environmental justice and planetary sustainability, including disrupting anthropocentricism. This ‘unfinishedness’ has made humans agents of world-Earth unsustainably and dominance in constructing the Anthropocene, but also allows for possibilities of transformation to counter them. I argue that ecopedagogy is essential in disrupting the following falsely taught ideologies that justifies the Anthroposphere: (1) false commonsense that separates environmental and social violence (i.e., socio-environmental violence) and instills anthropocentrism that separates humans from the rest of Nature (i.e., world-Earth distancing); (2) fatalism that extinguishes hope of ending humans’ acts of unsustainable environmental violence; (3) ‘development’ for sustaining hegemony and planetary unsustainability (i.e., Development rather than development); and (4) epistemological dominance that legitimizes the first three ideologies given (e.g., epistemologies of the North).

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References found in this work

Orientalism.Edward Said - 1978 - Vintage.
A Brief History of Neoliberalism.David Harvey - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed.Paulo Freire - 1970 - New York: Bloomsbury Academic. Edited by Myra Bergman Ramos, Donaldo P. Macedo & Ira Shor.
Orientalism.Peter Gran & Edward Said - 1980 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 100 (3):328.

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