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Transformative Sustainability Pedagogy: Learning From Ecological Systems and Indigenous Wisdom
Journal of Transformative Education (2015)
  • Heather Burns, Portland State University

Sustainability is becoming increasingly relevant in higher education, as the need to address complex cultural and ecological problems intensifies. How sustainability is taught has a profound influence on the kind of learning that takes place and the impact it has in the world. Sustainability pedagogy is offered as a tool for creating transformational sustainability learning that is thematic and cocreated, critically questions dominant norms and incorporates diverse perspectives, is active, participatory and relational, and is grounded in a specific place. This pedagogical design draws on the wisdom of ecological systems, recognizing that ecological systems are our best teachers for creating sustainable and regenerative systems. This article connects this pedagogical model with Okanagan indigenous teachings about the whole self, to explore how the whole self can be intentionally included in an ecological design process to promote transformational learning.

Publication Date
June, 2015
Publisher Statement
Copyright The Author(s) 2015 Reprints and permission:
Citation Information
Heather Burns. "Transformative Sustainability Pedagogy: Learning From Ecological Systems and Indigenous Wisdom" Journal of Transformative Education Vol. 13 Iss. 3 (2015)
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