Animals as stakeholders in education. Towards an educational reform for interspecies sustainability

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Linnanmaa, lecture hall IT115, Zoom link: https://oulu.zoom.us/j/66471371320Linnanmaa

Topic of the dissertation

Animals as stakeholders in education. Towards an educational reform for interspecies sustainability

Doctoral candidate

MA Translation and Interpreting Studies Maria Saari

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Education, Teachers, Teaching and Educational Communities

Subject of study

Education

Opponent

Associate Professor Helena Pedersen, University of Gothenburg

Custos

Docent Pauliina Rautio, University of Oulu

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Animals as stakeholders in education. Towards an educational reform for interspecies sustainability

Our current path towards deepening ecological crises is increasingly recognised, yet education has been slow to respond to the need to address the root causes driving us further down this path of unsustainability and destruction, namely hierarchical anthropocentrism.

This study explores how we might move towards an educational reform for interspecies sustainability, grounded in the understanding that a just multispecies coexistence and sustainable futures require disrupting violence against other animals and attending to the creation of spaces of peace (within and beyond education). The overarching aim of this study is to explore through a multi-angle approach the occlusions and openings for attending to the ways in which forms of (educational) violence are (re)produced in formal education and how we might understand animals as stakeholders in education, sustainability and in our multispecies communities, and thus move towards an educational reform for interspecies sustainability.

This overarching aim is elaborated by a set of sub questions and objectives. The first objective is to examine the ways in which human-animal relations are socially constructed. The second objective is to assess how animals are addressed in (and affected by) educational policies related to sustainability, consumption and curriculum. The third objective is to explore the openings offered by animal-inclusive educational frameworks and how they might propel us forward in educating for interspecies sustainability. These objectives are explored by using cows and the dairy industry as a case example, given the stronghold the dairy industry continues to have in the (Finnish) education system. Finally, the fourth objective is to inquire how humane educators are facilitating the implementation of animal-inclusive pedagogies.

Overall, this study seeks to explore how, with effective alliances, we might move beyond the current impasse of a politics of unsustainability, which is inherently a multidimensional, interdisciplinary, intergenerational and interspecies endeavour.
Last updated: 26.11.2021