Evolving Views on the Nature of Nature

  • Ajay Sharma
  • Cory Buxton


This chapter presents the theoretical framework that guided our study of the intended, enacted, and received science curricula on ecology and environmental science topics in the US education system. We begin with an exploration of the modern conception of nature and how it has enabled Western societies to study and exploit the natural world for their own utilitarian purposes since the beginning of the industrial revolution. We then examine the understanding of nature in modern science and its eventual failure to explain a world that is populated by hybrid entities that are both social and natural in all their manifestations and relations. This is followed by an exploration of the emerging contours of an amodern view of nature that currently guides much of research in ecology and environmental sciences. In the end, we present the theoretical framework that shaped our research.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ajay Sharma
    • 1
  • Cory Buxton
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Educational Theory and PracticeUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.University of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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