Education's Ecology

Our Planetary Imperative

Ecology has emerged from the biological sciences. This website is guided by the principle that nothing in education makes sense except in the light of biology. It is an important link to realize that the priciples of ecology are also central or core considerations for our attempts to understand education and assure that education is an integral part of community. Our economy is founded in community relationships and is wholly owned subsidary of our environment.

I am increasingly persuaded that until our schools are dismantled and replaced with systems of education that honor our obligations to Earth, Homo sapiens , the arrogant and ignorant species will continue to despoil the planet. We humans seem to have acquired hubris without bounds as we wallow in our ignorance of what we are doing to our planetary ecosystem.

Accordingly I believe that is indeed imperative that a new consciousness of planetary travail begins to provide a new path for humanity. This anything but easy. The path is not yet developed and the terrain is strewn with big, nearly immovable boulders that will require dynamite and determination to clear a way forward. Our classrooms and colleges have been tinkering around the edges of global catastrophe for decades; all with a feel-good sense of wonderful intentions. The result has been just about zero. It is damn near impossible to make a case that there has been progress in the direction of reduced waste, reliance on fossil fuel, tempering of human population growth, and severing the linear explosion of technologies that demand regrettable consumption of mined materials. Our sensitivities about the human impact on the planet are not high enough.

We need to completely rethink what it means for education to support a planetary imperative that assures a sustainable future. At some level we need to acknowledge that sustainability and stewardship are the most fundamental reasons for all of education. Continuing with the same economic paradigm, capitalism, unquestioned property rights and natural resource consumption that brought us to the anthropocene is insane. Every fiber of education should be tied to protection and restoration of the global ecosystem.

Education as qualification, also foisted on the public consciousness as STEM, STEaM or STEaMie should be laser focused on development of skills essential for sustainability and stewardship. The very concept of leadership must be revised so that leadership is distributed and no longer depends upon hierarchy and follow the leader. The model of monarchy and military are obsolete and will not serve survival.

Principles of sustainability are well known. Extractive industries are not sustainable. Taking materials from the Earth's crust and allowing the manufactured products to accumulate without any expectation for reuse is a formula for disaster as exemplified by plastic accumulations in our oceans and CO2 levels rising in our atmosphere. It is no longer acceptable for the resources from the Earth's crust to be property for the few, while the mass of humanity struggles with poverty. Continued disruption of the ecosystems that have been in place for all of time before the anthropocene is simply, immoral. Humanity must find a new way to master the complexity of ethical choices and those choices better be great from a planetary perspective.

Otherwise humanity writ large is f**ked! 

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Last revision Monday 27 July 2020