Does education for sustainability encourage Leopold’s ‘intense consciousness of land?

Barry John Kentish, Ian Robottom


In Australia there has been a rapid move to an acceptance of education for sustainability as mainstream environmental education. We argue that education for sustainability, with its platform assisting individuals making apparently informed decisions in order to create a more sustainable world, is at some distance from encouraging an ethically-based environmental responsibility. If environmental education is to encourage environmental responsibility then we argue that an ethically challenging curriculum provides more suitable mechanisms to encapsulate a sense of what it means to care for country, described by Leopold as ‘an intense consciousness of land’, as was foreseen decades ago with his concept of the land ethic.

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