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Education at the end of time: Ragnarök Now!

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This presentation centers on the role and potential of education in a society facing and experiencing a range of social, environmental and climate-related crises and collapses (Lysgaard, Bengtsson, & Laugesen, 2019; Wallin, 2014). By drawing on the Norse Mythology concept of Ragnarök we question how to navigate crises that are not only something that awaits us as an ultimate end, but something that defines our past, present and future. Education is often leveraged in order to address societal problems (labour market shortages, global competitiveness, social issues etc), mostly with limited success (Lysgaard & Bengtsson, 2020). The ecological crises we now face does, however, not represent demarcated challenges to well functioning societies, but marks wholesale critique of existing structures and demands fundamental changes to the way we live as individuals and together.
The argument of the presentation centers on how education has and can deliver visions of crisis and “the end” that allow us to engage with the future in the face of radical change and societal transformation. By opening up concepts of Bildung, transformative learning and critical engagement the presentation draws on ideas from continental philosophy, critical bildung perspectives and new materialist theory in order to outline in an accessible form of narrative how to move beyond anthropocentric perspectives that we face and increasingly are expecting to face in the onslaught of the Anthropocene (Mannion, 2020; Saari & Mullen, 2018).
The presentation indicates a series of key ideas to open up thinking about what it means to be coming-of-age and to live in “current” society that is facing its potential imminent end. The presentation will emphasize the concepts of death, life and education by rethinking the temporality of this relation by appealing to the notions of strange loops (Heijden, 2007; Hofstadter, 1979).
Heijden, E. L. S. G. H. M. V. D. (2007). The shape of a Mobius strip. nature materials, 6.
Hofstadter, D. (1979). Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid: Basic Books.
Lysgaard, J. A., & Bengtsson, S. (2020). Dark pedagogy – speculative realism and environmental and sustainability education. Environmental Education Research, 26(9-10), 1453-1465. doi:10.1080/13504622.2020.1739230
Lysgaard, J. A., Bengtsson, S., & Laugesen, M. H.-L. (2019). Dark Pedagogy. New York: Palgrave.
Mannion, G. (2020). Re-assembling environmental and sustainability education: orientations from New Materialism. Environmental Education Research, 26(9-10), 1353-1372. doi:10.1080/13504622.2018.1536926
Saari, A., & Mullen, J. (2018). Dark places: environmental education research in a world of hyperobjects. Environmental Education Research, 1-13. doi:10.1080/13504622.2018.1522618
Wallin, J. (2014). Dark Posthumanism, Unthinking Education, and Ecology at the End of the Anthropocene. In N. Snaza & J. Weaver (Eds.), Posthumanism and Educational Research. New York: Routledge.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventBILDUNG, EDUCATION AND SUBJECT DIDACTICS IN THE ANTHROPOCENE EPOCH - Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden
Duration: 11 Jan 202212 Jan 2022
https://www.kau.se/csd/UBAN2022

Conference

ConferenceBILDUNG, EDUCATION AND SUBJECT DIDACTICS IN THE ANTHROPOCENE EPOCH
LocationKarlstad University
CountrySweden
CityKarlstad
Period11/01/202212/01/2022
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