Universalized discourses: in whose interests in teacher

Year: 1993

Author: Gough, Annette Greenall

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In this paper I present a case study of the universalized discourses that dominate environmental education, particularly the teacher education publications for environmental education forthcoming from Unesco. Since its inception a Western, Eurocentric, industrialized, male and English speaking worldview has dominated statements about environmental education, particularly those made at the international level. Such statements can be read as attempts to universalize environmental education, but they can also be read as an effect of colonization and marginalization of others by male English speaking worldviews. The silencing of the voices of the colonized and marginalized at United Nations meetings is increasingly being recognized, and the universal models developed for environmental education within this worldview have been limited in their success even within the genre in which they have been developed. Drawing on a poststructural analysis of these Unesco models I argue that the colonialism and marginalization they embody only serves to privilege the powerful and that a different approach is needed for environmental education in teacher education, one that starts from the silenced voices in all our societies.