Learning-based transformations towards sustainability: a relational approach based on Humberto Maturana and Paulo Freire

Daniele T. Souza*, Arjen E.J. Wals, Pedro R. Jacobi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article investigates the relevance of the work of the Latin-American thinkers Humberto Maturana and Paulo Freire to learning-based transformations towards sustainability. This analysis was inspired by a case study of a Brazilian urban community seeking to develop pathways towards sustainable living and was informed by a review of their key works. The paper aims to obtain a better conceptualization of learning-based transformations and provide insights into collective learning processes focused on advancing sustainable practices. We present notions of the transformative social learning approach that underpins the case study, using the concepts of Maturana and Freire as a lens. Our results indicate the importance of a relational approach in fostering collective learning processes. Finally, we derive three principles that can guide such processes: (1) facilitating transformative interactions between people and places, (2) enabling dialogic interaction within a climate of mutual acceptance, and (3) creating space for ontological pluralism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1605-1619
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental Education Research
Volume25
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2019

Keywords

  • community-based initiatives
  • dialogue
  • relational pedagogy
  • Sustainability
  • transformative social learning

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