Towards an ecocentric perspective in Education
Mwendwa, Cosmus M
MetadataShow full item record
The study makes phenomenological observation that the goals of education all over the world are just about man. Education, through its theory and practice, has helped develop very anthropocentric attitudes in man where he assumes that the other members, especially the biotic community, of the universal ecosystem are subordinate to him. That they are 'only instrumentally valuable, that is, valuable only to the extent they are means or instruments which serve human beings', (Collicott, 1984). The study appreciates that education is the only 'tool' that defines the destiny of man in the world and that the 'world and human beings do not exist apart from each other, they exist in constant interaction', (Freire, .1993). Due to man's anthropocentric attitudes, which are basically destructive in essence, the world has experienced profound and adverse effects which include but not limited to Climate Change, Ozone layer destruction, high rate of desertification, and all sorts of environmental degradation, among others. In the words of Paulo Freire in his Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1993), this is the tragic dilemma of the world which education must take into account. The study proposes that the theory and practice of education should be restructured in order to develop ecocentric attitudes; where man appreciates that other forms of life have intrinsic value in their very selves, and that man should relate to other members of the biotic community as 'equal' partners for mutual benefit. It calls for responsible interaction between man and the universal ecosystem. The study proposes, by giving some suggestions, that the goals of education, and by extension its theory and practice, should be restructured towards this end.