Thumbnail Image

Transgressive learning in times of global systemic dysfunction: interview with Arjen Wals

Arjen Wals is Professor of Transformative Learning for Socio-Ecological Sustainability at Wageningen University. He also holds the UNESCO Chair of Social Learning and Sustainable Development. Furthermore he is the Carl Bennet Guest Professor in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) at Gothenburg University in Sweden. He obtained his PhD in 1991 with a Fulbright fellowship at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. His dissertation tackled the interface of environmental psychology and environmental and sustainability education. His recent work focuses on transformative social learning in vital coalitions of multiple stakeholders at the interface of science and society. His teaching and research focus on designing learning processes and learning spaces that enable people to contribute meaningfully sustainability. A central question in his work is: how to create conditions that support (new) forms of learning which take full advantage of the diversity, creativity and resourcefulness that is all around us, but so far remain largely untapped in our search for a world that is more sustainable than the one currently in prospect? In 2014 he was the lead author of an article published in Science Magazine on the role of citizen science in bridging science education, environmental education and sustainability. He is editor and co-editor of a number of popular books including: Higher Education and the Challenge of Sustainability (Kluwer Academic, 2004), Creating Sustainable Environments in our Schools (Trentham, 2006), Social Learning towards a Sustainable World with foreword by Fritjof Capra and an afterword by Michael Apple (Wageningen Academic, 2007), Learning for Sustainability in Times of Accelerating Change (2012), and of Routledge’s International Handbook on Environmental Education Research (2013). He has (co)authored over 250 publications in multiple languages. Wals is a co-founder of Caretakers of the Environment/International and a recipient of the environmental education research award of the North American Association for Environmental Education, and former president of the Special Interest Group on Environmental & Ecological Education of the AERA. He writes a regular research blog that signals developments in the emerging field of sustainability education: www.transformativelearning.nl
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Peters, M. A., & Wals, A. E. J. (2016). Transgressive learning in times of global systemic dysfunction: interview with Arjen Wals. Open Review of Educational Research, 3(1), 179–189.
© 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.