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Transformative Learning
Educational Vision for the 21st Century:

Edmund O'Sullivan

A trenchant critique of the ideology of material progress and the pre-eminent symbols that fortify it: growth and development, globalization, competition and consumption


Published by the University of Toronto Press in Canada, Zed Books for World distribution and St. Martins Press in the United States.  © 1999.

About the Book

This book presents a far-reaching vision of the kind of educational system that will be needed for the new millennium. It argues that the ecological crisis faced by the planet demands a completely educational curriculum - and sets it out in compelling and inspiring fashion.

'If ever the demanding words 'holistic' and 'global' were appropriate, then they describe Ed O'Sullivan's beautifully written  book. What he envisages is a true globalisation - for humanity, and  for life itself.'     
Professor Johan Galtung

"O'Sullivan moves past the cliches of globalisation and consumer culture and draws a graphic picture of a divided globe in ecological and social peril. He then proposed a convincing critical and holistic education as an essential strategy if we are to survive as a species."
Richard Swift,
New Internationalist

"One of the most far reaching, compelling books on education and educational reform that I have read in a decade.  O'Sullivan offers a new language and set of theoretical and political assumptions for understanding and engaging some of the central issues of our time. I recommend this book to everyone interested in reading a fresh, innovative, and wholly imaginative work on what it means to face the educational challenges of the next century."
Professor Henry A. Giroux,
Penn State University

"A powerful ecological vision for education that we need to address as we move into the next century'  This book provides a way for education to develop whole human beings  in the context of a sustainable planetary environment."
John Miller,
author of The Holistic Curriculum

"A very powerful book on profoundly important concerns [which] should be read by all those who are (or should be) interested in human and planetary survival. Professor O'Sullivan writes with passion, urgency and eloquence about the extraordinarily vital issues facing us as a people and as a species. He speaks as a true prophet, combining persuasive alarm with genuine hope, unflinching realism with deep faith, and harsh criticism with healing love."
David Purpel,
author of The Moral and Spiritual Crisis in Education:
A Curriculum for Justice and Compassion in Education

"This deeply felt and thrillingly insightful articulation of a cosmology for educational sustainability that would radically transform the broken market-forces-driven, but spiritually bankrupt, education of the dying years of the 20th century, is absolutely essential reading for education. Should its powerful message be taken to heart and acted upon by teachers, students, communities and those who control educational systems, we will have gone a long way to restoring our right relationship with this planet."
David Selby,
author of Global Teacher/Global Learner and Reconnections:
From National to Global Curriculum

"Edmund O'Sullivan provides a sweeping, provocative challenge to all citizens and educators. He wants us radically to revise the role of education in building a sustaining future.  This book, taken to heart, will shift critical adult education theory in exciting new directions. Read it!"
Professor Michael R. Welton,
author of In the Defense of the Life World:
Critical Perspectives on Adult Learning

"This work allows readers to undertake a deep intellectual and practical reflection on education for change as we move into the next century.... As an anti-racist educator, I find O'Sullivan reading of race, difference and power very useful."
George Sefa Dei,
author of "Anti-Racist Education:
Theory and Practice

"This ambitious and imaginative book addresses the reform of education in new terms. Where most contemporary 'reforms' are really about how to make education cheaper, O'Sullivan focusses on how to make it more relevant - to the tremendous problems of global society and personal change in the new millenium. In an argument ranging from social justice to deep ecology, he calls us to the task of rethinking both educational methods and purposes on a scale rarely attempted before."
Professor R. W. Connell,
University of Sydney;
author of Making the Difference

"Ed O'Sullivan presents, shares and articulates from a  heart-formed mind. His book is destined to travel far, wrenching mind-sets, inducing healing, uplifting and transforming the consciousness of humans."
Dr. Joe Couture,
Cree Healer and former Director, Native Studies Programme,
Trent University, Canada

"In this visionary book Edmund O'Sullivan poses a major challenge to educators today to acknowledge and support in their work the boundless beauty and creativity of the planet and our place in it......He makes a powerful and convincing case that what we need above all today is not the global market, but a generative planetary consciousness and commitment which values difference, subjectivity and community at its  core. This is a message for our times.  Edmund O'Sullivan's book is not only a major resource for those of us already engaged in this project, it will inspire those who are not, to redefine their world and reconsider their role as educators."
Angela Miles, author, Integrative Feminisms:
Building Global Visions, and co-founder, Woman for a Just and Healthy Planet

"Edmund O'Sullivan offers insightful teachings on the evolution of humanity, revealing moral and spiritual atrophies resulting  from the current dominant development model. He exposes clearly the intricacies of power  and its negative effects on society, such as systemic racism and economic globalization. He also makes a lucid and intelligent analysis of alternative development models, highlighting the Indigenous peoples' contribution to the world that includes respect for the natural world, named "Mother Earth," and their spirituality. This book will serve as an inspirational and invaluable source of knowledge that calls for a collective awakening to our autodestruction and brings optimism and hopes for our future (seventh) generation."
José Zárate,
Quechua from Peru  and  Consultant for The World Bank in Indigenous peoples issues

"In this eye-opening book, O'Sullivan presents a new conception of planetary consciousness relevant to education and oriented to community and the natural world.... When the Chinese edition comes out, it will exercise a powerful influence on Chinese educational development."
Professor Ching Miao,
Beijing Academy of Social Sciences

"This book has a scope and depth which makes it of value far beyond the confines of educationalists. It is a truly integrative study which challenges us to relocate the roots of many of the critical issues facing humanity today within a crucially important and newly articulated cosmological context."
Colin Craig,
Director, The Corrymeela Community, Northern Ireland

"Professor O'Sullivan transcends a provincial 'northern' perspective and creates a vision of universal application. His book provides a welcome framework for creating bridges in North/South dialogue in relation to how we can truly cooperate in educational transformation."
Professor Abelardo Brenes,
University of Costa Rica and the United Nations University for Peace

"Out of the current educational wilderness of contradiction, paradox, ambiguity and uncertainty comes the voice of O'Sullivan who seeks to enhance educational discourse with a bold cosmological and transformative vision that is timely and apposite for our collective and individual futures. His bold imaginings are potentially the generative principles of educational reforms for the next millennium. Against the destructive reality of what O'Sullivan labels the biocide of competitive industrial globalisation, he proffers a rich and imaginative alternative vision for education. The hallmarks of this vision include - ecological awareness rooted in diverse communities and finding expression in individual psyche and civic, spiritual and cultural in a variety of forms. To ignore O'Sullivan's prophetic voice is to collude in our mutual destruction."
Ciaran Sugrue,
Professor of Curriculum, St.Patricks, Dublin

"This book is an invaluable 'companion' for researchers and practitioners in education.  O'Sullivan demonstrates his deep commitment to global peace and justice.  He challenges the reader to search for a spiritual reunion with 'mother-earth' and the cosmological world.  His book brings an integrated approach to social transformation and educational reform".
Thomas Mark Turay,
Director Caritas Makeni,Sierra Leone

"Edmund O'Sullivan's new book is a profound critique of much of presentday education, and a vision of transformative education based on the sense of a persons-in-community in a more-than-human world. He combines passionate commitments to both social and ecological justice. As a long-term professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and a colleague of Thomas Berry, he brings wisdom to the daunting tasks of the 21st century."
Anne Lonergan,
Centre for Ecology and Spirituality,
Toronto and coeditor of Thomas Berry and the New Cosmology

"Here is a text of rare discernment in a time of turbulent change. O'Sullivan's energy for contributing to a vision for the future is everywhere evident. But so is his deep feeling for the sufferings that inevitably follow in this period of the "terminal cenozoic". It is this admirable grasp of complexity that makes him both a sure guide to the thought of Thomas Berry and an innovative educator. He carefully refines his concept of "integral development", giving it an excitement sure to inspire those who will accept the task of transformation argued for by the author. In the urgency of our "one-time-only" planetary situation, O'Sullivan's leadership is timely and persuasive."
Stephen G. Dunn,
Director, Elliott Allen Institute for Theology and Ecology, Toronto, Canada

"A sweeping analysis of transformative learning on a planetary scale. This book captures the dilemmas, struggles and potential for new educational visions."
Michael Fullen,
author of The New Meaning of Educational Change and Change Forces


Contents of the Book

•   Foreword by Thomas Berry

•   PROLOGUE: The Dream Drives the Action.

•   PART ONE: Survive

1. Education in a Period of Historical Decline.  Finding our Place in History at the Millennial Turning - Postmodern Education - The Educational Praxis for the Survival Mode - Tragedy is not our business

•   PART TWO: Critique

2. Education and the Dilemmas of Modernism: Toward an Ecozoic Vision.  The Need to Choose between Visions - The Cosmological Context - Assessing the Forces: The Cenezoic-Ecozoic Tension - Progressive-Technozoic Vision - Conservative Vision - Transformative-Ecozoic Vision

3. Modernism: The Eclipse of Cosmology and the Loss of the View of the Whole Pre-modern Cosmologies - Modern Cosmological Systems -Historical and Evolutionary Perspectives - Educational Vision: The re-enchantment of the Natural World

4. Ringing in our Ears and Invading our Souls: A Reflecion on the Dream Structure of our Western Cultural Mantras Progress -Growth and Development - Globalization - Competition -Consumerism - Critical Resistance Education in the contexts of Privilege and Marginality

5. Dimensions of Power: Education for Peace, Social Justice and Diversity Location of Privilege - Ecology, War, Patriarchy and the Institutionalization of Violence -     Violence within the Cultural Context of the Human - Patriarchy and the Ecology of Men's Violence - Racism - Class - The Integral Webbing of Gender, Race and Class - Education, Equity and Difference -Education and Class in the context of Globalization - Peace Education: Dealing with conflict and violence

•   PART THREE: Create

6. The Planetary Context of Creativity: Educational Vision in a Cosmological Context Planetary Consciousness: The Necessity of a Cosmological Context - The Universe Story - Principles - E ducational Vision in a Planetary Context

7. Education for Integral Development Integral Development and Creativity - Integral Development and the Self-regulating Dynamics of the Earth System - Human Emergence and Integral Development - Integral Human Development - The Primal Matrix: The Personal World as a Relational Totality - Trauma and Violation:  The Disruption of the Primal Matrix - Educating for a Planetary Consciousness: Developing an Ecological Self - The Council of All Beings: An Educational Ritual Fostering Ecological Identity

8. Quality of Life Education: Transformative Ecozoic Vision Human Needs: A Generative Natural Law Conception - Humanscale Development - Education for Community and a Sense of Place - Education for Communities of Diversity -Education and the Need for Civic Culture - Education and Biocentric Diversity

•   EPILOGUE: Kindling the Fires of the Soul: Educating the Human Spirit in Our Time Diversities of Spiritual Expression - Awe and Mystery -Eros - Sanctuary and Silence - Celebration

•   Bibliography

•   Index


ISBN/PRICE: 1 85649 698 8 hbk  GBP49.95/US$65.00
1 85649 699 6 pbk  GBP15.95/US$25.00, Canada, $27.95 Canadian.
FEATURES: Notes/Bibliography/Index/320pp/Royal Format
LIBRARY CATEGORIES: Education/Environment
Please note that the Zed edition of this title is not for sale in Canada or the Caribbean