Three Degrees of Separation

Accounting for Naturecultures in Environmental Education Research

Authored by: Leesa Fawcett

International Handbook of Research on Environmental Education

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415892384
eBook ISBN: 9780203813331
Adobe ISBN: 9781136699313


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The overall theme of this philosophically grounded chapter revolves around the intense rupture of human relationships from various “natures” 1 and the different ways in which this shows up in environmental education research. The premise follows Williams' (1980) idea that, “If we alienate the living processes of which we are a part, we end, though unequally, by alienating ourselves” (p. 84). Starting with what must be, inevitably, a partial and incomplete historical position on research in environmental education, I trace the philosophical context, methodological outcomes, and ontological repercussions of how past research in the field has grappled with human-nature relationships. Reflecting on current research trends, I attend to their productive and disruptive endeavors. Finally, this chapter ends with an exploration of possible futures and transformative moments, at a potentially new beginning.

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