Philosophical Hermeneutics and Critical Pedagogy in Environmental Education Research and Practice

Valéria Ghisloti Iared, Ariane Di Tullio, Phillip G. Payne, Haydée Torres de Oliveira

Abstract


The contributions and challenges of Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics and Freire’s critical pedagogy to research and practice in environmental education are considered. We present the authors’ main concepts and relate them to the principles of critical environmental education that have guided our work in Brazil. Although a raft of current non-anthropocentric theories question the pivotal role of language in representing experience, our purpose is to outline a critical dialogical perspective suitable for particular education contexts. The respect for the otherness of nature implicit in this process can lead to the recognition and acceptance of our own selves and new forms of solidarity and respect for others, including non-human nature. Our interpretive-pedagogical approach informs some of the underlying principles or practices of the critical dimension of environmental education and its research.

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