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The Language of Longing: Rationality, Morality, and Experience in Education for Sustainability
chapterposted on 2023-05-22, 12:05 authored by Aidan DavisonAidan Davison
The idea of sustainability has become indispensable to a wide and growing array of discourses about positive social futures. Yet this idea is essentially contested and inherently ambivalent. Especially unclear is the relationship between facts and values in narratives of sustainability. Presented as the handmaiden of sustainability since its first steps on the international stage, education has been delegated the task of clarifying this relationship and of aligning ethical aspirations and pragmatic objectives. Emerging agendas of education for sustainable development, in particular, have presented sustainability as a predetermined theoretical end to be reached through the use of neutral practical means. Such instrumentalist agendas have shown little interest in the modern history of education for unsustainability. In contrast, in this chapter I recast education for sustainability as an agenda for the reinvigoration of skills of practical moral reasoning. Such reasoning understands the relationship between ends and means dialectically and sheds light on the interaction of unsustainable realities and sustainable ideals. I suggest that the educational values of sustainability talk lies in its ability to bring education itself into question. and I explore how education for sustainability can better accommodate difference, uncertainty, and ambiguity.
Publication titleRethinking Work and Learning: Adult and Vocational Education for Social Sustainability
EditorsP Willis, S McKenzie, R Harris
Department/SchoolSchool of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences
Place of publicationDordrecht
Rights statementCopyright 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.