This dissertation describes a dominant abstract modern frame of mind—termed object-thinking—as a root cause of unsustainability. I argue that for long-term sustainability we need a different kind of thinking, called living thinking, that is modeled after the dynamism, interconnectedness, and wholeness that informs the life of organisms and ecological processes in nature. The methodology of Goethean phenomenology is discussed and applied as a means to learn living thinking. I present and describe the adult education course work at The Nature Institute as a model for nature-based, participatory, and transformational learning in sustainability education. A central concern is to show how the phenomenological study of plants can serve as an exemplary way to develop context-sensitive, relational, and holistic ways of conceiving and interacting with the world. The analysis of a course participant survey shows how the personal and professional lives of participants have been affected in a variety of ways, and often deeply, by their learning experiences at The Nature Institute.
|Commitee:||Riegner, Mark, Sloan, Douglas, Zajonc, Arthur|
|Department:||Education / Sustainability Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/06, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Plant biology, Environmental philosophy, Sustainability|
|Keywords:||Adult education, Experiential learning, Goethean science, Holistic science, Phenomenology, Transformational learning|
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