A genealogy of posthumanism and ecopedagogy for planetary wellness

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This study functions as a genealogy of posthumanism that argues for ecopedagogy as a necessary extension of critical pedagogy in order to adequately and inclusively respond to planetary crises for the sake of planetary wellness. Planetary wellness addresses the issues of the planetary community as a whole and includes issues that impacts the wellness of people, animals, the earth and the environment. As inspired by my time as a youth participant at the Highlander Research and Education Center, the major project of this study is to trace a genealogy of posthumanism in order to examine various intellectual traditions and the contributions they have made to a humanist philosophy of education, while also arguing the need for a posthumanist theory of education. The entry point for this genealogy is the work of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, examining his humanism and his advancement of critical consciousness. From there, I examine the contributions of Enlightenment’s liberal humanism, materialist understandings of the human experience, feminist subversions of identity, critical animal studies, and disability studies. Lastly, I examine criticisms of critical pedagogy, and argue for ecopedagogy as a posthumanist theory of education for its potential to address planetary crises and ensure planetary wellness, with biophilia as a basis for an ecopedagogy that remains critical in a theory of education that moves beyond the self.

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