Creating Transdisciplinary Dialogue
Edited By Marianne E. Krasny and Justin Dillon
Chapter 8. Psychological Resilience, Uncertainty, and Biological Conservation: Junctures Between Emotional Knowledges, Nature Experiences, and Environmental Education: Leesa Fawcett and Janis L. Dickinson
Psychological Resilience, Uncertainty, and Biological Conservation: Junctures Between Emotional Knowledges, Nature Experiences, and Environmental Education
Leesa Fawcett and Janis L. Dickinson
In an uncertain world, what does it mean to be psychologically resilient in the face of an overall loss of biological diversity planet-wide? How do feelings of loss intersect with the practice of environmental education and experiences of nature? What are the emotional and psychological barriers to affective environmental education, education that leads people to challenge the predominant trajectories of overconsumption by some, and environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity for all? These questions preoccupy the authors, who argue that human beings’ death-denying defenses impede creative solutions to biological conservation, and propose that bringing heroic vulnerability, compassion, courage, and hope to dire situations can increase environmental action and learning. In an analysis of some of the psychosocial issues challenging environmental education, the authors examine anthropocentrism, historical perspectives on nature and culture, attachment and detachment from nature, and the vital role of connections to nature in human development. Secular Buddhist psychology and mindfulness training are explored to ameliorate conflicting emotions and ← 159 | 160 → anxious encounters between people and other animals. Focusing on social and ecological interdependence as a key ethical responsibility, while simultaneously attending to conflicting emotions, the chapter ends with 10 suggestions for a transformative environmental education program.
It can be relatively simple to cross disciplines if there is a bounded, common problem that requires specific expertise. However, to...
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