The Need of Ecological Education
Leszek Pyra, The Pedagogical University of Cracow (Poland)
The paper stresses the urgent need of ecological education in contemporary times. Its main thesis is the insistance on the view that it is, among others, especially the educating in environmental ethics, that is most urgently needed nowadays. It consists, generally speaking, in awakening, developing and shaping the so called ecological consciousness and on its basis an ecological conscience. At the first part of my paper I try to explain why educating in environmental ethics is badly needed. It is also my deepest conviction that, as any other educational inventive, such educating should be based on true dialogue.*
In the second part of the paper I try to show how an academic teacher can awaken, sustain and develop the moral sensitvity in regard to the complexity of values that can be discovered in Nature. It is my deepest conviction that such values can be revealed in creative dialogue between an academic teacher and his students. Ecological education should help men to realize that: each man has some influence upon environment and is directly or indirectly responsible for actual and future environment, health and state of each man is dependent from environment, the proper state of environment is dependent from proper communication and cooperation of all men, etc. Also some problems and difficulties appearing in ecological education have been presented and discussed. The examples how to lead ecological education in university have been presented in the paper. I also try to prove that although education for environmental awareness is a worthy and badly needed goal, it is not only purely a matter of an appriopriate syllabus. It is a matter of becoming aware that there is almost always an environmental dimension in all our dealings.
Keywords: ecological education, environmental ethics, ecological conscience.