All thinking worthy of the name now must be ecological (Lewis Mumford, 1964)

This presentation will examine the meaning and validity Mumford’s claim, and then explore briefly what might be said to be the essential aspects of ecological or relational thinking, and contrast this with dominant modes of thought. It will then suggest how traditional worldviews tend to permeate and influence environmental and sustainability education debates, and suggest a framework which advocates a ‘cultural change’ position which is both committed and self-critical. This is argued as necessary to advance educational practice if it is to respond adequately to rapidly changing socio-economic-ecological conditions. Lastly, the presentation will ask whether an ecologically informed view of education is compatible with the liberal tradition in education, and suggest that perceived tensions here may be impeding the realisation of an ecological paradigm in educational thinking and practice.