In this paper I take the position that global warming is the most urgent issue affecting the future of life, as we know it, on our planet. Furthermore, it is a moral concern in that our actions today stand to impact negatively on others. What responsibility do educators have to respond to this challenge? I begin by noting the difficulties in getting this issue put on the educational agenda. There does not appear to be any guiding ethic that extends the concept of responsible relationship beyond the human to include the natural world, although several writers have theorized the necessity for a new principle. There is, however, a growing interest in ‘place-based learning’ and a developing body of literature that connects wellbeing to our inter-relationship with the natural world. The paper uses a critical Foucauldian approach to consider ways in which current ethical thinking, as represented in several academic documents, may inhibit rather than encourage any commitment to environmental responsibility. Some suggestions are made for a different, more inclusive ethical approach.
|Keywords:||Ethics, Global Warming, Education, Environmental Responsibility|
Senior Lecturer, School of Education Studies, Faculty of Education, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
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