Panel L.03 — Educating in a more-than-human world: ecological crisis and social inequalities

Convenors Alessandro Peter Ferrante (Università Milano-Bicocca, Italy); Andrea Galimberti (Università Milano-Bicocca, Italy); Maria Benedetta Gambacorti-Passerini (Università Milano-Bicocca, Italy)

Keywords Ecology; climate crisis; education; social justice; environmental justice


We live in a more-than-human world, that is populated not only by people, but also by objects, technologies, artificial intelligences, robots, rocks, lakes, rivers, mountains, oceans, volcanoes, animals, insects, plants, viruses, bacteria, and fungi. This statement may be trivial and obvious. However, our experience of living on this planet is often marked by a mental and cultural attitude that causes us not to fully perceive the implications of being part of ecosystems characterized by the interaction between heterogeneous elements. This is a deeply anti-ecological attitude that contributes to fueling the environmental and climate crisis we are currently experiencing. At the same time, in the contemporary scenario, old and new social inequalities are intensifying on a large scale, also accentuated by the effects of the climate crisis and the pervasiveness of an anthropocentric culture and neoliberal models aimed at the commodification and oppression of living beings, human and non-human.

Therefore, it becomes increasingly urgent to find ways to decentralize from cognitive, affective, and moral habits that are taken for granted and have become all too familiar, as well as to think with theoretical radicality and critical sense about what it might mean to live in a more-than-human world, crossed by different forms of social and environmental injustice.

Thus, education today is faced with the challenge of changing its paradigms to intercept and address issues that invoke the need to question the intertwining of ecological crisis and social inequalities, in order to release creative energies that allow for the questioning of widespread practices and knowledge and the possible rising of alternative, situated and sustainable visions.

We welcome proposals about (but not limited to) these topics:

– Critical reflections on epistemological, ethical, and political perspectives underlying ecological education projects and experiences;

– Analysis and deconstruction of neoliberal and anthropocentric assumptions embedded in education for sustainable development;

– Posthumanist, systemic, and neomaterialist approaches to education in a more-than-human world;

– Education between social and environmental justice;

– School and ecological transition: educational and cultural issues.


Guidelines and abstracts submission