Romancing or re-configuring nature in the anthropocene? Towards common worlding pedagogies

Affrica Taylor

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Nature-based education is undergoing a revival. This resurgence of interest in natural pedagogies is associated with concerns about children’s increasing alienation from nature in today’s technology-dominated world and with a growing awareness of the significant environmental challenges we all face. Returning children to nature is often presented as a way of rescuing them from this alienation, and preparing them to become future environmental stewards. However, entrenched and romantic notions of nature as a separate and pure domain, to which innocent children might be returned and through which they can be saved, are no longer tenable or constructive. Earth scientists’ identification of fundamental anthropogenic changes to the Earth’s geo-biosphere complicate the assumption that the natural world can be separated out from the cultural world of human societies. Indeed, it is the deluded hyper-separation of ourselves from nature that distinguishes modern western thinking, which has resulted in unsustainable modes of living in the world and produced the anthropogenic ecological crises we now face. In the precarious times of the Anthropocene, I argue that it is time to reconfigure our fraught relationship with nature, and to design common world pedagogies that respond to the real, messy, and non-innocent cosmopolitical worlds in which we actually live.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReimagining Sustainability in Precarious Times
EditorsKaren Malone, Son Truong, Tonia Gray
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9789811025501
ISBN (Print)9789811025488
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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