Teaching an ecological world-orientation through teaching history


  • Arran Gare Swinburne University




environmental education, Australians, nihilism, narrative


Arguing that the eco-catastrophe facing us requires a dramatic change in direction, it is suggested that education has to be fundamentally reconceived. It is necessary to teach an ‘ecological world-orientation’, and it is shown what this entails. This is not merely a different view of the world, it is argued; it involves firstly, developing an ‘internalist’ perspective in place of an ‘externalist’ perspective, one in which students learn to see themselves, their actions and their beliefs as part of the world they are trying to understand, and secondly, experiencing the world in process of becoming rather than as a world of predicable objects. Teaching an ecological world-orientation means teaching students to think of their education as participation in creating themselves, their society and nature. It is argued that this should begin with appreciating the significance of historical narrative before teaching a post-reductionist form of science.

Author Biography

Arran Gare, Swinburne University

Associate Professor, Philosophy and Cultural Inquiry, Swinburne University