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Environmental Education After Sustainability

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Education and the Environment book series (PSEE)

Abstract

The idea, “after sustainability” has more than one meaning. It could mean “in pursuit of” (in imitation of) or “following in time.” In this chapter I use both senses of “after sustainability.” I firstly explore ways of rethinking sustainability by proposing the idea as a rhizome, as an empty signifier, and as the potentia of sustainability culture (a grass roots societal movement). This exploration is in pursuit of sustainability but offers radical alternatives to dominant discourses on sustainability. Second, I register the possibility of moving beyond the idea of sustainability, informed by an ontology of immanence, whereby both the subject becomes imperceptible and so too the idea of sustainability.

Keywords

  • Sustainability
  • Sustainability education
  • Becoming imperceptible
  • Ontology of immanence

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Dualism is linked to transcendence in the sense that dualism is based on the premise that an entity/substance exists only relation to another entity/substance external to itself.

  2. 2.

    At Stellenbosch University, South Africa we have, for example, seen the deterritorialization of some disciplines located in disparate faculties and the emergence of a transdisciplinary network of scholars and the development of a transdisciplinary doctoral programme involving academics from all faculties within the university. Moreover, we have seen lines of flight from this network to form connections with other research organizations and local communities. An example of the production of “new” knowledge in a “new” knowledge space is the Enkannini (local community of shack dwellers) iShack project which is an assemblage of community members, university academics, students, and community-based organizations working together among other things: improve insulation of shack buildings using recycled material; introducing biogas digesters utilizing human solid waste to enable cooking from biomethane; using grey water flushing; and producing an off-grid solar home system.

  3. 3.

    Wallin (2010, p. 25) importantly points out that the premise of one ontological substance (not two) does not mean that we are left with a uniform plane that denies difference. He writes, “The attributes of substance accessible to human consciousness include thought and extension, both of which Deleuze conceptualizes as an unlimited finity…[T]he attribute is not attributed by a transcendent substance, but is rather one of an infinite number of ways a substance might be expressed.” Students’ powers of acting can of course be expressed in opposite ways, where they act selfishly or show hatred to the world. This happens when the creative power within is colonized through arrogance, institutional regimes, etc.

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Correspondence to Lesley Le Grange .

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Grange, L.L. (2017). Environmental Education After Sustainability. In: Jickling, B., Sterling, S. (eds) Post-Sustainability and Environmental Education. Palgrave Studies in Education and the Environment. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51322-5_7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51322-5_7

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