The Anthropocene concept denotes not only the realities of endangered Earth systems but also the many controversies surrounding this predicament’s interpretation and conceptualisation.
Hence, it reflects education’s need to address both the factual consequences and the normative questions of guilt, justice, ecojustice and human self-understanding, to which the Bildung dimension is central. The notion of Bildung can encompass – on the one hand – modernistic ideals about emancipating from nature’s restrictions and – on the other hand – potential foundations upon which to reimagine alternative social organisations and human self-understanding. Hence, in relation to the Anthropocene, Bildung denotes layers of tensions in education as an individual or societal project, as a project of cultural socialisation or constant critical questioning.
Our network also relates takes an interest in subject education and the role of specialised knowledge. While the Anthropocene challenges many disciplinary epistemologies, its implications for subject-based education are not self-evident. Generally, education for sustainable development and environmental humanities focuses on the importance of transcending disciplines to identify ways of addressing environmental change. EBAN takes a complementary interest in how specialisation also offers powerful tools to transcend everyday experiences and think new thoughts.
Our research problem is the actual and possible responses to the tensions that the Anthropocene pose for Bildung and subject didactics. Our overarching research questions are:
- How can Bildung during the Anthropocene ideally cultivate reimaginings of possible futures?
- How can the dynamics between the Anthropocene, Bildung and education be regarded, and what epistemological implications might result for education?
- How can the nature of specialised knowledge in relation to the Anthropocene drive new curricular principles and manifest in teacher transformations within and across disciplines and school subjects?
EBAN seeks is to establish research connections, exploring relationships between the Anthropocene, Bildung, and subject didactics. The aim of the network is to:
- Create a multidisciplinary platform for researchers.
- Support the co-production of research applications and publications.
- Establish a web-based, open international seminar.
- Establish biannual research conferences.
- Develop a Ph.D. course.
- Provide writers' retreat/workshops.