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Individual Paper: Transformative Learning for Degrowth: connectedness, body and ecology

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Transformative Learning for Degrowth: connectedness, body and ecology

In the peak times of our modern growth ontologies and worldviews the urge for alternative imaginaries becomes stronger (D'Alisa, Demari & Kallis, 2015). Education and Learning is a key to create new imaginaries towards a good life for all. This needs an education that promotes connectedness and empathy towards all living. Rosa (2016) highlights the importance of the relations and connections we have with the world and our need for resonance.
As Joanna Macy (1998) describes, many crises (ecological, social, and economic) are connected to the lost awareness of our place in the world and the feeling of detachment from the world and others. Arne Naess (1995) views, from a deep ecology perspective, transformative processes of self-realization as processes that not only connect us with our own nature but with nature at large. The approach of Transformative Learning is concerned about deep shifts in thoughts, feelings, actions and the ecological consciousness of ourselves, our relationships with other living beings and the world as a whole (O’Sullivan &Taylor, 2004).
In the paper, I present a qualitative research/ case study of the Heroine /Hero’s journey and its potential for Transformative Learning processes fostering connectedness, body awareness and ecological consciousness. I draw on narrative in-depth interviews and participatory observation of a Heroine /Hero’s journey workshop with 11 participants in March 2017 in Austria. The Heroine /Hero’s journey is based on the mythological work of Joseph Campbell (2004), The Hero with a Thousand Faces, originally published in 1949. Out of this idea, Paul Rebillot (2011) created an experiential approach in the form of a one-week workshop, utilizing methods from theatre, gestalt therapy, bodywork, dance and indigenous rituals. In this research, I describe the content and themes of people’s transformation and the processes that had greatest impact on bringing about those structural shifts. I narrate particular processes on a cognitive, bodily and emotional level that interviewees highlighted as facilitators of their transformative learning, especially in connection with its potentials as Learning for connection and Degrowth. For example, one Participant described how she became aware of patterns, such as, once worth is dependent on once performance or how material necessities are a compensation for human connection.

Campbell, J. (2004). The hero with a thousand faces. Novato: New World Library. (Original
work published in 1949).

D'Alisa, G. Demaria, F.& Kallis, G. [Hrsg.] (2015). Degrowth: A vocabulary for a new era. New York: Routledge.

Macy, J. (1998). Coming Back to Life: Practices to Reconnect Our Lives. Our World. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers.

Naess, A. (1995). Self-Realization: An Ecological Approach to Being in the World. In: Sessions, George (Hg.): Deep Ecology for the twenty-first century.
Boston, London: Shambala, 225-239.

O’Sullivan, E. & Taylor, M. M. (2004). Learning toward and ecological consciousness: Selective Transformative Practices. New York: Palgrave.

Rebillot, P. (2011). Die Heldenreise. Das Abenteuer der kreativen Selbsterfahrung. Wasserburg am Inn: Eagle Books.

Rosa, H. (2016). Resonanz: Eine Soziologie der Weltbeziehung. Berlin: Suhrkamp.


Day: 2018-08-23
Start time: 14:30
Duration: 00:15
Room: ABF (209)
Track: Spirituality and Religion



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