Abstract

I work at environmental education. By this I mean that while environmental education is the major component of my professional life, it is not confined within these boundaries. How I eat and travel, what I buy, where I put my waste, the judgements I make about the actions of government, industry and business, increasingly invade the formerly comfortable realms of my consciousness and conscience. This whole process constantly challenges me to reinterpret what environmental education means. I would like to comment on two aspects of this. Firstly, when I seek to apply this change in my thinking to the subject's rationale, I am most comfortable in placing it in the domains of epistemology, ontology and ethics; epistemology because I see this way of knowing as experiential and subjective, rather than expert and objective. I look to ontology and ethics because, when I seek to simplify the plethora of definitions that introduce environment education documents, I find they are essentially about the human-nature relationship, and about how far to extend human compassion into the non-human world.

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