Eco-Education: A Required Element of Public Policies for Sustainable Social and Economic Development
KeywordsEco-education; environmental awareness and behavior; goals of ecological education; the new philosophy of education; sustainable development
Economics as a science
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AbstractIn this article, the author analyzes eco-education from a transdisciplinary perspective, as part of the “new education”, referring to its current dimensions, its goals and its utility in shaping the attitudes and behaviors of contemporary humans towards their environment and towards sustainable living. The goals and content of eco-education are dependent on a new philosophy, on a new axiological and ethical orientation that is, opposed to rationalistic philosophy, which guided the age of machinism and industrialization. The new view regarding humans’ (anthroposphere) relations with nature (biosphere and geosphere), is inspired from the fundamental rights of the human being, as part of nature, from universal values which harmonize sociosphere and biosphere, the ecological awareness of contemporary society with regard to the objective laws of nature, biodiversity conservation and environmental protection by juridical laws. These goals are meant for the entire population, especially children and young people, with the aid of schools and other educational factors (church, mass – media, cultural foundations, non-governmental organizations etc.), an ecological awareness, positive feelings and attitudes with respect to the environment, skills, abilities and capacities for efficient action in the sense of protecting nature and conserving ecological circuits. The author lays an emphasis on the idea that ecological education, in all its forms, will not yield the results expected by experts and future generations if it is undertaken randomly, fragmentarily, incoherently – regardless of how diversified and quantitatively extended it might be. As a global issue of today’s society – the efficiency of eco-education is dependent on the philosophy of nature and life, materialized in a global strategy, such as that of durable and knowledge-based development, which will facilitate the harmonization of various public policies launched by contemporary organizations and authorities. Generally speaking, any public policy has an ecological component, and the obtainment of performance in ecological policies necessarily involves an adequate ecological education.