The Anthropocene as a transformative pedagogical platform

This essay by Dr. Josh Wodak, a senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University provides an overview of the centrality of the 'Anthropocene,' and its relevance for transformative pedagogy in tertiary education. Across all disciplines around the world, there is widespread recognition that we now face environmental changes and crises unprecedented in recorded history. These intractable and compounding challenges not only pose profound ramifications for civilisation in the twenty-first century, but also for the future of life on Earth. How then can the Anthropocene be a platform from which to develop transformative pedagogy for such environmental challenges?The chapter is framed through a survey of nascent art and design curriculum on the Anthropocene at universities around the world, to explore the potential forAnthropocene specific pedagogy in relation to art and design education that has atomised related environmental challenges, such as climate change, consumerism, globalization, and food security. To explore what sort of art and design education would be appropriate for the Anthropocene, the chapter draws on the author's research on developing art and design curriculum on the Anthropocene, including a critical reflection of the author's pedagogy in art and design on the Anthropocene.

The first project discussed is the 2014-2016, 'Anthropocene Curriculum,' project, at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, where the author was one of 100 Early Career Researchers from across the natural sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, humanities, art, and design who undertook a nine-day workshop in 2014 on the Anthropocene as a transformative pedagogical platform. The second project discussed is the 'Anthropocene Kitchen,' the first teaching project on the Anthropocene at UNSW Art & Design, which was also one of the first university courses in Australia to engage with the Anthropocene in the disciplines of art or design.

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