Article: The University at the Crossroads of Eco-Social Challenges

Title: The University at the Crossroads of Eco-Social Challenges: Pedagogy of Care and the Community of Life for a Transformative Learning

Authors: María Carmen López-López, Francisco Miguel Martínez-Rodríguez and Alfonso Fernández-Herrería

Access the article here:
Frontiers in Sustainability 01 April 2021 | https://doi.org/10.3389/frsus.2021.654769

In this article, published in the Journal Frontiers in Sustainability, the authors address long due issues of universities and their role in the world, a role in need of deep changes which also concern education at all levels. The authors turn to and highlight the Earth Charter’s principles to guide those changes and address the challenges they involve into a pedagogy of care and transformative learning, bringing to the forefront the community of life.

Universities are currently at the service of neoliberal globalization and are academically preparing individuals to be peons to themselves and to society. The path has led to seek ends with little attention to the means which lead to those ends and of individuals who are alienated and disconnected from themselves, from others and from the Earth we live in. With their noble missions gone astray they have adopted business missions with highly bureaucratic systems of little service to students and professors generating alienation, depression, stress, anguish, burnout and lack of meaning.

The call from the authors is clear, universities need to transform themselves from the neoliberal globalization model of rational thinking, economic growth and individuals’ struggle to “make it” within the system to one of care, community, and wisdom. They need a pedagogy of care adopting the Earth Charter’s principles and of the Gaia Theory so their individual members can have an integral vision of themselves, of human communities, of all living beings, of the Earth as the home of all as well as of the great diversity of all beings in a community of life.

The authors convey a sense of immediacy to change into a pedagogy of care promoting a community of life and of being rather than having as stated in the Earth Charter. That is, to move away from the current neoliberal globalization model, to one of care, of community and of learning that is transformative of themselves and of their worldview.

About the authors:

María Carmen López-López is a Professor at the Department of Didactics and School Organization, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
Francisco Miguel Martínez-Rodríguez and Alfonso Fernández-Herrería are Professors at the Department of Pedagogy, University of Granada, Granada, Spain