What is it about?

Ecocentrism has roots in environmental philosophy, which questions the conceptual dichotomy between humans and the environment, acknowledging nonhuman species' right to flourish independently of human interest (Naess 1973). Generally, ecocentrism refers to a planet- and nature-centred as opposed to the human-centred (anthropocentric) system of values. Inspired by this philosophy, ecocentric education focuses on intrinsic values of the ecosystem, environment, and individual living beings and habitats in environmental education (EE) and education for sustainable development (ESD).

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Why is it important?

What is the prevalence and characteristics of ecocentric education? Does EE/ESD positively influence environmental knowledge and attitudes in school children and help develop competencies and skills necessary for a transition to a sustainable society in students of higher education? What are the most effective forms of EE/ESD taking environmental sustainability as an ultimate goal? How can context-specific studies of EE/ESD contribute to the scholarship of social change that contributes to environmental sustainability?


Since ecocentrism and ecojustice require values change, as well as knowledge, skills, and motivation to achieve this change, ecocentric education has many purposes, applications, and methodologies. A number of questions, discussed in this encyclopedia entry, as well as open for future research, start to emerge. In response to these questions, and in order to outline directions for future research and practice, different existing types and new and emerging ideas in relation to ecocentric education will be discussed.

Dr Helen Kopnina
Northumbria University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Ecocentric Education, January 2019, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-63951-2_533-2.
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