Rewilding Education in Troubled Times; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Post-Nature

  • Michael D. Sitka-Sage Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada
  • Helen Kopnina Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, Leiden University, The Netherlands. Sustainable Business Programme, The Hague University of Applied Science, The Netherlands
  • Sean Blenkinsop Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada
  • Laura Piersol Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada


The first part of this paper provides a series of conceptual critiques to illustrate how the recent move to inaugurate a “post-nature” world works to vindicate anthropocentric perspectives and a techno-managerial approach to the environmental crisis. We contend with this premise and suggest that troubling nature has profound implications for education. In the second part, we provide case studies from nature-based programs in The Netherlands and Canada to demonstrate how anthropocentric thinking can be reinscribed even as we work towards “sustainability.” Despite the tenacity of human hubris and the advent of the Anthropocene, we suggest these troubled times are also rich with emerging “post-anthropocentric” perspectives and practices. As such we offer “rewilding” as a means to think about education that moves beyond the romantic vestiges of “Nature” without lapsing into delusions of human exceptionalism.

Original Papers