Engaging Uncertainty in Environmental Education: Postmodern/Poststructural Possibilities

By Joy Hardy.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Uncertainty is gaining a high profile in environmental education, suggesting an apparent ‘common interest’. Environmental education is an eclectic field, however, and common interests cannot be taken at face value. The diversity of philosophical positions that comprise the field results in ‘common interests’ being configured and justified in entirely different ways. This paper explores why uncertainty can be entertained as an issue worthy of consideration within key philosophical orientations that comprise the field, namely positivism, liberalism, critical theory and postmodernism/poststructuralism. The paper then goes on to consider, in detail, how uncertainty could be engaged from postmodernist/poststructuralist positions. Given that postmodernist/poststructuralist positions eschew totalisation, the paper considers whether it is possible to theorise and engage uncertainty in a manner that regards uncertainty as uncertainty. That is, the paper considers whether it is possible to engage uncertainty in a manner that does not result in uncertainty losing the honour of its name.

Keywords: Uncertainty, Environmental Education, Positivism, Liberalism, Critical Theory, Postmodernism, Poststructuralism, Scientific Uncertainty

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 7, pp.61-70. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.134MB).

Assoc. Prof. Joy Hardy

Senior Lecturer in Contextual Studies, School of Education, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia

Joy Hardy is Lecturer in Contextual Studies at the University of New England, Australia. Her research interests include poststructuralist critiques of language and cultural production and the construction of (the) environment and environmental subjectivities. Her philosophical work is principally informed Deleuze and Guattari, Derrida and Levinas, and her discourse analysis work predominately utilises micro-linguistic techniques.

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