Educating geographers in an era of the anthropocene: paradoxical natures - paradoxical cultures

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Abstract

Geographical imaginations are vital to make sense of challenges to sustainability which are produced and distributed across scale. Yet, a number of studies find that geography has been reluctant to integrate sustainability issues in its curricula. Geography is particularly interesting and can contribute to education for sustainability debates in various disciplines due to its strong tradition within the human-environment theme. This article presents an empirical analysis of contested ideas of sustainability approaches in Danish University geography degree programs, and the significance given to them by geographers. Hereby the paper critically examines political ecologies when introducing sustainability
themes into the curricula. In so doing, it is discussed how different sustainability typologies in education bear relation to different ways of dealing with spatio-temporal tides and waves of the human-environment interface. It is concluded that though geographers find sustainability themes important to geography, sustainability is more often implicit than it is explicit. This produces a number of dilemmas and contradictions since geographers both seek to distance themselves from produced politics while at the same time elucidating them. This finding reveals contradictions within and between traditional ESD approaches, counterproductive to the aims of different typologies themselves. Since frictions between different ESD approaches are fundamentally interdisciplinary, the relevance of this finding is significant across disciplines. Thus, scholars and students should learn to go beyond the geopolitics of education in order to transcend the paradoxical-culture-natures identified
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume106
Pages (from-to)320-329
ISSN0959-6526
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Geography education
  • ESD approaches
  • Curricula constructs
  • Human-environment interface
  • Political ecologies
  • Second nature

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