Education for sustainable development (ESD) as if environment really mattered

Helen Kopnina*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This article discusses the possibility of integrating deep ecology (DE) and animal rights (AR) perspectives within environmental education (EE) and education for sustainable development (ESD). The focus of this article is on three questions: why are DE and AR not currently central to EE/ESD debates? What is the probability that DE and AR will be central within EE/ESD? What can be gained if they were? Different ethical frameworks in relation to non-humans are examined. Both non-consequentialist and utilitarian approaches suggest that DE and AR could be linked to the conception of underlying duty as well as consideration of utilitarian value. From cultural relativism and subjectivism perspectives, DE and AR could be central to EE, but this possibility is contingent on socio-political and cultural context within which educational practices are embedded.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-46
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Development
Early online date7 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


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