In Earth’s CARE dispositions

GCE Otherwise:
In Earth’s CARE dispositions / learning objectives

The “In Earth’s CARE” curriculum proposes a set of dispositions for a pedagogy of everyday life organized around the five dimensions of transformative justice/wellbeing:

Cognitive justice/wellbeing (healing and transforming our patterns of thinking)

  • Deepening analyses of historical and systemic forms of violence
  • Critically examining assumptions, desires and complicities in harm
  • Thinking in multiple layers acknowledging tensions and paradoxes at the intersection of different histories, contexts and worldviews
  • Responding in generative ways to teachings that challenge one’s self image
  • Making space for and relating generatively to the unknown and the unknowable
  • Disinvesting in arrogance and desires for totalizing knowledge, superiority, certainty and control.


Affective justice/wellbeing (healing and transforming our patterns of feeling)

  • Developing the capacity to be in discomfort and to accept uncertainty without feeling overwhelmed or irritated
  • Learning to access the unconscious and to sit with internal complexities, paradoxes and contradictions
  • Identifying and starting to compost individual and collective projections, attachments, traumas and insecurities
  • Learning to interrupt intellectualizations in order to sense, relate and show up differently to oneself and to the world
  • Processing emotions and accessing and releasing pain without narrative framings
  • Disinvesting in desires for consumption and individualism


Relational justice/wellbeing (healing and transforming our patterns of relating)

  • Learning to form genuine relationships without idealizations (projections, instrumentalizations and romanticizations)
  • Exploring different possibilities for being and relating not grounded on shared meaning, identity or conviction
  • Feeling part of a wider metabolism (planet/land) and collective body (group/community)
  • Experiencing the difficulties and complexities of ethical engagements and solidarity from a space of accountability
  • Learning through difficult events with humility, compassion, generosity and patience
  • Going through the difficult work of mobilizing visceral responsibility


Economic justice/wellbeing (healing and transforming our exchanges)

  • Interrupting patterns of consumption (of stuff, knowledges, experiences and relationships) as a mode of relating to the world
  • Decentering yourself and centering collective needs (doing what was needed rather than what one wants to do)
  • Interrupting patterns of entitlement coming from social, economic and/or racial privilege
  • Interrupting calculations (based on self-interest or utility maximization) in order to give and receive differently
  • Learning to practice economies based on abundance, reciprocity and redistribution


Ecological justice/wellbeing (healing and transforming our relationship with the cycles of the wider metabolism of the planet that we are part of)

  • Manifesting education from a space where humans are not separated from the land/planet
  • Reflecting on the challenges of co-existence from different perspectives, including those of non-human beings
  • Grappling with the complexities of addressing complicities in ecological harm
  • Opening up possibilities for adjacent possibilities of thinking, relating and being
  • Developing stamina and resiliency for the slow and challenging work that needs to be done in the long term.

Course curriculum example:

You can see a version of the dispositions listed above applied as a self-evaluation tool in this course here:

Drawing on Indigenous, decolonial and postcolonial studies, this course posits that the unprecedented challenges we face today are not related to a lack of information or problem solving skills, but to a habit of being/existing in the world that is jeopardizing the futurity of our species in a finite planet. When the dimension of being is overlooked, approaches to social and global change tend to promote simplistic understandings of global problems and solutions, superficial analyses of power and history, paternalistic and tokenistic notions of inclusion, and ethnocentric and self-serving views of justice and change. The course aims to create land-based learning experiences that will open different possibilities for students to imagine justice and sustainability, by focusing on the following questions:

1. What are the contributions, paradoxes, and limits of mainstream problem-posing and problem-solving paradigms of social and global change?

2. What protocols need to be in place for ethical engagements at the interface of different and unevenly positioned knowledge systems? How can we relate to the (systemically and historically marginalized) Other as equally intelligent, capable, knowledgeable, deserving, complex and paradoxical? (beyond essentialist idealizations)

3. How do we develop approaches to community engagement that takes better account of the internal diversity and complexity of communities? How do we recognize both similarities and differences in assumptions and aspirations across and within communities? (beyond our projections and desires for consensus)

4. How can we enable the emergence of new paradigms of social change? How can we open ourselves up to different futurities and possibilities for (co)existence? (without simply replacing one system with another)

5. How can we experience the limits of the knowledge we consider universal and unlimited? (so that we can open up to different possibilities of knowing and being) How can we build capabilities and stamina for sustaining difficult conversations about the limits of our current system and its past and on-going violences?

6. What dispositions are necessary to enable us to learn from (inevitable) mistakes and failures of sustainability initiatives? How can we disarm and de-center in order to learn to walk together differently towards currently unimaginable futures

Learning objectives:

  • to develop more complex, systemic, multi-layered and multi-voiced social analyses that take us beyond simplistic solutions

  • to identify the origins and limits of dominant narratives, hierarchies, frames, and imaginaries

  • to expand our frames of reference, acknowledging the gifts, contradictions and limitations of different knowledge systems, moving beyond ‘either ors’ towards ‘both and mores’

  • to open the imagination to different forms of knowing and being, and to different futurities

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