Like a swallow, moving forward in circles: on the future dimension of environmental care and education

Journal of Moral Education 41 (3):399-412 (2012)


After the moral framework of sustainable development, the focus on climate change appears to take a lead in the practice and theory of environmental education. Inherent in this perspective is an apocalyptic message: if we do not rapidly change our use of energy resources, we will severely harm the life conditions of our children and grandchildren. In this article we argue that environmental educators should liberate us from this highly instrumental dictate by taking their cue from our daily care for our environment as revealed in child?s play in nature. Inherent in the interaction of the Homo ludens with nature is a spiral time experience. This time condition elicits a particular responsibility: rather than calculating which means are necessary to prevent future disasters, we should respond with care to the concentric circles of an open and indefinite future. Therefore, environmental education should not aim to prevent future disasters, but foster anticipating care for nature

Download options


    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,856

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

12 (#816,889)

6 months
1 (#386,016)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Similar books and articles

Care Ethics: Moving Forward. [REVIEW]Joan C. Tronto - 1999 - Hypatia 14 (1):112 - 119.
Care for One's Own Future Experiences.Marc Slors - 2004 - Philosophical Explorations 7 (2):183-195.
SQCs in Turkey as “Imece Circles”.Hayal Köksal - 2012 - AI and Society 27 (3):377-386.
Toward an Imagination-Based Environmental Ethics.Yoshihiro Hayashi - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 23:37-43.
Justifying Compulsory Environmental Education in Liberal Democracies.Anders Schinkel - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 43 (4):507-526.
The Importance of Participatory Virtues in the Future of Environmental Education.Matt Ferkany & Kyle Powys Whyte - 2012 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 25 (3):419-434.
Education and the Educational Project II: Do We Still Care About It?Paul Smeyers - 1995 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 29 (3):401–413.