Dr. Richard Kool has a new book chapter

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Dr. Richard Kool

As part of a newly-released publication, Envisioning futures for environmental and sustainability education, edited by Peter Blaze Corcora, Joseph P. Weakland and Arjen E.J. Wals and published by Wageningen Academic Publishers in the Netherlands, Dr. Richard Kool, Head of the MA program in Environmental Education and Communication in the School of Environment and Sustainability has a chapter entitled If the past is a foreign country, what is the future? The necessity of understanding the past, confronting the present, and envisioning the future.

Rick wrote, in the abstract to the paper: "Time is an under-explored dimension of environmental and sustainability educators. We tend to romanticize the past, worry about the present and despair about the future. It is time that we take a critical look at how we understand the past in all its complexity and uncertainty. We also need to speak about our present reality inasmuch as we can understand it, working diligently to see what is going on with an acute awareness that our ideological orientations may make it hard to accept some realities. Finally, we have to recognize that our work as educators is not to lead our students to face the future with despair, nor is it to live in a Panglossian sense of optimism. The future is going to pose serious dangers to our societies and the diversity of life on earth, and we need ways of imagining the future(s) our children will want to live in, grounded in the realities of today. To find those futures will involve building and testing scenarios; but it will also involve building strong affective relationships with those who do not yet live and with the world around. Those affective ties may yet pull us towards a sustainable society."

Kool, R. (2017). If the past is a foreign country, what is the future?: The necessity of understanding the past, confronting the present, and envisioning the future in environmental education. In P. B. Corcoran, J. Weakland, & A. Wals (Eds.), Envisioning Futures for Environmental and Sustainability Education (pp. 141-150). Wageningen, The Netherlands: Wageningen Academic Publishers.