Mapping Conceptions of Wolf Hunting onto an Ecological Worldview Conceptual Framework—Hunting for a Worldview Theory

  • Teresa J. ShumeEmail author
Part of the Environmental Discourses in Science Education book series (EDSE, volume 2)


Revered, reviled, or reduced to an economic commodity, wolves have long served as cultural icons evoking strong emotional responses. Because wolf hunting is at the center of many vexing questions related to ecological and social systems, it is a suitable topic for inclusion in science education that aims to equip students with critical thinking skills needed to navigate controversial socio-environmental issues. This chapter introduces a promising ecological worldview conceptual framework adapted from Wals and Bawden’s conceptual framework for worldviews related to sustainable agriculture (Wals, A. E. J. & Bawden, R. 2000. Integrating sustainability into agricultural education: Dealing with complexity, uncertainty, and diverging worldviews. Gent, Belgium: EU Socrates Thematic Network for Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture and the Environment) . The adapted framework includes four dimensions: egocentrism (Us vs. Nature), technocentrism (Us over Nature), ecocentrism (Us in Nature), and resiliocentrism (Us within Nature). These dimensions are situated within the context of three components: an ontological axis, ranging from reductionism to holism; an epistemological axis, ranging from pragmatism to idealism; and an axiological continuum, ranging from anthropocentrism to biocentrism. To further clarify these four dimensions, I map juxtaposed responses to the dilemma of wolf hunting onto the framework. This adapted ecological worldview conceptual framework captures important dimensions of worldview orientations toward nature, and can elucidate valuable aspects of ontological, epistemological, and axiological assumptions that underpin perspectives on wolf hunting and other thorny socio-environmental issues.


Ecological worldview Conceptual framework Socio-environmental systems Socio-environmental issues Wolf hunting 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.North Dakota State UniversityFargoUSA

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