(Stewart, 2013; Puzzanghera, 2014). The scale of these changes now represents special
challenges for philosophers and others in the field of education.
In this time of economic and ecological uncertainty, however, there is increasing
evidence of small yet widespread movements across the globe that are working against
the pervasiveness of corporate control, privatization, ecological destruction, and the
pressures to monetize nearly every aspect of people’s lives. Grassroots groups are
resisting the transformation of the environmental commons into what is privately owned
and/or governed by the industrial process and the free market economy. There is also a
heightened interest and focus on cultural life, human knowledge, and the ways that the
actions of corporations and governments are working to thwart sustainability, indigenous
cultural practices, and positive human/nature relations. Local movements to reduce or
counter the market liberal forces that further degrade the environment and exacerbate
poverty and alienation are more widely apparent than ever before (Klein, 2001; Shiva,
2004, 2010; Albertini, 2002; Featherstone, 2000).
These recent changes in natural systems and cultural traditions call for a new
approach to teaching about sustainable lifestyles, the source of meaningful work, and
cultural life in education. The focus should be on positive human-environment
relationships and immersion in mutually supportive cultural practices rather than a focus
on the science of the environment, its crisis and the deleterious effect of human activities
(Bowers 2004, 2006, 2011a, 2012; Dopico & Garcia-Vazquez, 2010; French, 2011).
Dopico & Garcia-Vazquez (2010) concur by asserting that teaching about ecological
issues should move beyond the science classroom and the nearly exclusive focus on the
ways that human behaviors are detrimental to natural ecosystems. They maintain that it is