Influence of the Dominant Worldview on the Educational System

An excerpt from the Passionate Earth: The Evolution of Our Relationship with the Natural World by John Del Signore. I will be posting new articles to this site on a regular basis.

         Given the education system is steeped in our current technological-industrial framework, it tends to perpetuate the misdirected perceptions, values and attitudes that have led to our present ecological crisis. The specialization of curriculum in the scientific and technological fields has taken precedent over the liberal arts and the role of the educational system today appears to be oriented more towards career planning than towards the accumulation and utilization of a wide range of knowledge encompassing many disciplines. Furthermore, the trend in education is to teach that values and maybe even facts are primarily subjective and relative and that the natural world is nothing but a collection of resources to be utilized and pleasured. The study of nature is largely presented as data to be studied for the purpose of conservation for human consumption. It is also assumed that science and technology can solve all human problems, no matter how difficult they may seem and that human progress is of utmost importance. Education itself is now being seen as a commodity and students as consumers. The pervasiveness of these developments has infiltrated into the heart of our educational system and is promoting human endeavors that are contributing to the continued exploitation and domination of the planet. Thus, the institution that was designed to educate and advance our species is now paradoxically hurling us toward an environmental crisis of monumental proportions. 

Reference:

Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered by Bill Devall and George Sessions,1985 by Gibbs M. Smith, Inc. Character and Culture, pp. 179-190.

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