Educating Ecological Citizens of The Blue Planet

Seonaigh MacPherson


This paper explores the implications of a renewed model of citizenship and
citizenship education developed on the principles of ecology and ecological
interdependence. By reframing our community from a human polity to a biotic
community, the scope of our citizenship responsibilities shift. While expanding to
encompass a global context, this new vision of citizenship deepens our ability to
respond—that is, our “response-abilities”—to relationships excluded by the
Western Enlightenment tradition of citizenship. Accordingly, drawing back to the
Stoics (via Nussbaum) and even beyond Western civilization to Buddhist
concepts of universal responsibility, the author presents a program for global
ecological citizenship education based on a renewed global form of liberal
education; ecological values and ethics; interdisciplinary inquiry; and reflexive
practice within a pedagogy of compassion.

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