Education Revisited: Creating Educational Experiences That Are Held, Felt, and Disruptive

  • Bob JicklingEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Education and the Environment book series (PSEE)


First, broad issues in education are discussed and similarities with issues in environmental and sustainability education are noted. Second, some key initiatives, arising after the conclusion of the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, are noted and discussed. These include the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda and its implications for education, and a special issue of Journal of Environmental Education devoted to a critical examination of the politics of environmental education and education for sustainable development. Analysis suggests that environmental education and sustainability education can both be seen as signs that point to the question, “What is fundamentally wrong with education itself?” Third, a thought experiment is presented to tackle this question. Quotations from Arne Næss, Aldo Leopold, and Albert Camus are used to probe transformative moments in these authors’ lives. They are found to point towards something that is undervalued in much of contemporary education.


Environment Sustainability Sustainable development Education Transformation Experiential Feeling Emotion Resonant understanding 


  1. Alexis, A. (2015). Fifteen dogs. Toronto: Coach House Books.Google Scholar
  2. Au, W. (2011). Teaching under the new Taylorism: High-stakes testing and the standardization of the 21st century curriculum. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 43(1), 25–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bengtsson, S. L. (2016a). Hegemony and the politics of policy-making for education for sustainable development: A case study of Vietnam. Journal of Environmental Education, 47(2), 77–90. doi: 10.1080/00958964.2015.1021291 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bengtsson, S. L. (2016b). Aporias, politics of ontology, ethics, and “we”? Journal of Environmental Education, 47(2), 163–168. doi: 10.1080/00958964.2015.1124830 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bengtsson, S. L., & Östman, L. O. (2013). Globalisation and education for sustainable development: Emancipation from context and meaning. Environmental Education Research, 19(4), 477–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Camus, A. (2013). The plague (R. Buss, Trans.). London: Penguin Books. (Original work published 1947).Google Scholar
  7. Derby, M. D. (2015). Place, being, resonance: A critical ecohermeneutic approach to education. New York: Peter Lang.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. González-Gaudiano, E. (2005). Education for sustainable development: Configuration and meaning. Policy Futures in Education, 3(3), 243–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gutiérrez, K. D. (2016). Designing resilient ecologies: Social design experiments and a new social imagination. Educational Researcher, 45(3), 187–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Huckle, J., & Wals, A. E. J. (2015). The UN decade of education for sustainable development: Business as usual in the end. Environmental Education Research, 21(3), 491–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jardine, D. (1998). Birding lessons and teachings of cicadas. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 3, 92–99.Google Scholar
  12. Jickling, B. (2015). Self-willed learning: Experiments in wild pedagogy. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 10(1), 149–161. doi: 10.1007/s11422-014-9587-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jickling, B. (2016). Wild pedagogies: A floating colloquium. Pathways: The Ontario Journal of Outdoor Education, 28(4), 4–7.Google Scholar
  14. Kaza, S. (2002). Teaching ethics through environmental justice. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 7(1), 99–109.Google Scholar
  15. Lee, D. (2010). The music of thinking: The structural logic of “Lyric Philosophy.” In M. Dickinson & C. Goulet (Eds.), Lyric ecology: An appreciation of the work of Jan Zwicky (pp. 19–39). Toronto: Cormorant Books.Google Scholar
  16. Leopold, A. (1966). A Sand County almanac: With essays on conservation from Round River. New York: Sierra Club/Ballantine. (First published in 1949/1953).Google Scholar
  17. Næss, A. (1988). Self realization: An ecological approach to being in the world. In J. Seed, J. Macy, P. Fleming, & A. Næss (Eds.), Thinking like a mountain: Towards a council of all beings (pp. 19–30). Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers.Google Scholar
  18. Payne, S. L. (Guest Ed.) (2016a). Journal of Environmental Education, 47(2).Google Scholar
  19. Payne, S. L. (2016b). The politics of environmental education. Critical inquiry and education for sustainable development. Journal of Environmental Education, 47(2), 69–76. doi: 10.1080/00958964.2015.1127200 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Peters, R. S. (1973). Aims of education: A conceptual inquiry. In R. S. Peters (Ed.), The philosophy of education (pp. 11–57). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Smith, W. C. (Ed.). (2016). The global testing culture: Shaping educational policy, perceptions, and practice. Oxford: Symposium Books.Google Scholar
  22. United Nations. (2015). Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015. Transforming our world: The 2030 agenda for sustainable development. Retrieved from
  23. Wals, A. E. J. (2009). A mid-decade review of the decade of education for sustainable development. Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, 3(2), 195–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Zwicky, J. (2003). Wisdom and metaphor. Kentville, NS: Gaspereau Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lakehead UniversityThunder BayCanada

Personalised recommendations