Title

Unsettling orthodoxies: education for the environment/for sustainability

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Ferreira, J 2009, 'Unsettling orthodoxies: education for the environment/for sustainability', Environmental Education Research, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 607-620.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504620903326097

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

In this paper I employ Foucault's notion of governmentality to reflect on a debate that occurred in the pages of this journal some 10 years ago. I argue that their exchanges indicate ways in which various positions are engaged in a struggle for dominance in this field, and how particular strategies are used to legitimate and maintain these positions. My purpose is not to propose a new orthodoxy – or even to critique those we have – but rather to raise questions about how the unquestioned ‘that‐which‐is’ of orthodoxies comes to be, and their effects. I also suggest that as environmental educators and researchers, we need to work harder to unsettle more often the taken‐for‐granted in environmental education so that we remain alert to our own easy acceptance of orthodoxies. Without this, we risk our exhortations to those we seek to educate – to think critically, to question assumptions, and so forth – becoming empty rhetoric if we are not practising these ourselves – examining our own, as well as others', assumptions and practices.