(Un)timely Ecophenomenological Framings of Environmental Education Research

Authored by: Phillip G. Payne

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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One-ear is a furry female grey kangaroo. A passing buck must have nibbled off part of her left ear in the frenzy of mating, well before she hopped into the place we now share. She hopped into my world four blisteringly hot summers ago when only parched, cracking clayish dirt surrounded our home—a modern but rustic dwelling built from one hundred year old handmade “reds” adjacent to a recently declared national park in central Victoria. Her hopping was earnest but hesitating, scanning, and foraging for any remnant weeds to nourish her depleted body. I later realized she was also feeding her utterly vulnerable joey, suckling in her pouch, probably unsuccessfully, given the absence of any grass. We'd endured a lengthy decade-long drought (sic)—its dusty dryness fills the nose and empties the mouth. Or, the arid consequences of anthropogenic climate change where the fire-threatening number of days in a year predicted to exceed 40 degrees Celsius will rise over the next two decades from about 10 to nearly 30 … but kangaroos do not count, in more ways than one. The trees and kangaroos know the bush much better than we do—their space is diminishing, as are the sources of replenishment, hence One-ear's summer bold entry to our place. Once she even came inside the house when our then eighteen-year-old daughter left the front door wide open!

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