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ERIC Number: EJ902424
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 55
ISSN: ISSN-1350-4622
Learning for Resilience, or the Resilient Learner? Towards a Necessary Reconciliation in a Paradigm of Sustainable Education
Sterling, Stephen
Environmental Education Research, v16 n5-6 p511-528 Oct 2010
This explorative paper works across discourses to suggest the possibility and potential of an integrative paradigm for sustainability education that reconciles instrumental and intrinsic educational traditions, informed and infused by resilience theory and social learning. It argues that such an integrative view is required in the context of the urgency of building more resilient local social-ecological systems (SES), and that such a view offers the possibility of new energy and direction in the sustainability education debate. The paper is essentially a thinkpiece that attempts to look at touchstones between discourses to suggest the possibilities and potential of mutual illumination and better integration. The paper begins by reviewing tensions between an instrumentalist view and an intrinsic value view of environmental and sustainability education, the former seeing such education as a means to individual and social change, the latter upholding the primacy of the autonomous learner who, secondarily may--or may not--take action towards sustainability. The paper then considers the discourse of the resilient learner, before reviewing social learning literature linked to resilience and discussing how far these various views can be brought together and reconciled. Parallels are made with tensions in the debate on sustainability when seen as a desirable ideal, or as a process. Transformative learning theory is then introduced in relation to addressing the paradox of resilient but maladaptive worldviews and the need to educate for resilience. The paper concludes with an argument for a transformative education paradigm--"sustainable education"--which necessarily integrates instrumental and intrinsic views and which nurtures "resilient learners" able to develop "resilient social-ecological systems" in the face of a future of threat, uncertainty and surprise. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom; United States