Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 402658
Title Between knowing what is right and knowing that is it wrong to tell others what is right: on relativism, uncertainty and democracy in E(E)SD
Author(s) Wals, A.E.J.
Source Environmental Education Research 16 (2010)1. - ISSN 1350-4622 - p. 143 - 151.
Department(s) Education and Competence Studies
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2010
Abstract This contribution provides an 'outside' commentary on several of the articles provided in this special issue on environmental education and education in the context of sustainability in Denmark and Sweden. Although there is no uniform position or shared single outlook expressed in the articles in this special issue, there are some re-current tendencies that may have received less attention elsewhere in the world but clearly are in need of further investigation there as well. These tendencies are delicately intertwined and include: (1) a concern for democracy and participation minimally distorted by inevitable power imbalances; (2) a commitment to solidarity and preservation of the public good, including the outdoors; (3) a privileging of transactional and dialogical forms of meaning-making characterized by indeterminism and co-creation; (4) the need to reflect on and expose the, often-times, implicit normativity of education in general and of education for sustainable development in particular. It is suggested that these tendencies are quite crucial, but are also at odds with the increasing sense of urgency in dealing with sustainability challenges and a corresponding temptation to revert to instrumentalism. At the same time elevating these tendencies to norms or universal principles is internally inconsistent with the principles themselves.
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