Sunday, 1 February 2009

Of Environmental Education

I have been engaging to environmental education activities since a year ago. My interest to involve in this project became strong after I had participated in Environmental Teachers’ International Convention 2008 last year. In that event, I was awaked by abundant facts of environmental problems caused by man’s exploitation and activities. Actually, I have had such information about environmental problems—not only from the convention. I had written an essay about environmental problems when I was a senior high school student fourteen years ago.

But the convention not only gave me information and knowledge. It gave me enthusiasm, spirit, and the soul of environmental education. Implicitly, it had accentuated the ethical and emancipatory objectives of the environmental actions. It emphasized that environmental problems have strong relation to our moral attitudes, about how human being sees the natural world, wildlife, even the Creator. To some extent, it has a profound connection with spiritual world view.

In epistemological context, environmental problems are often associated with natural sciences, and sometimes with social sciences. Both sciences, according to J├╝rgen Habermas, actually have no deep concern with emancipatory values. From Habermas explanation we can conclude that both sciences almost sweep away all human interest from knowledge—i.e. divorce praxis from theory. And then such knowledge and sciences married with positivistic paradigm.

With this background, integrative actions of environmental education, as far as my understanding, try to return the emancipatory values (“the interest”) to its place and make scientific activities as a critical self-reflection of human being. And technical-instrumental interest and practical interest of natural and social sciences originate from interest of reason itself, that is emancipation. Term emancipation as a general concept or value can find its synonym from different thinkers, like liberation, etc.

If we put the problem of environment and environmental education in this perspective and sustainably encourage acting in this standpoint, we will have radical and critical actions of environmental education. And I think those who involve in these projects perhaps will find themselves struggling hard on ideological battleground. Determination, patience, consistency, sincerity, persuasive and cooperative actions, etc., maybe will be the best weapons for this battle, because, particularly in this battle, we frequently have to fight against ourselves.

1 komentar:

achsunandar said...

Yes, I agreed with you that the person who gathered in the activity of environmental education also must fight to maintain the determination, his patience, his consistency, and his honesty.
By the way, was there the possibility of putting environmental education into the Annuqayah educational curriculum?