Special Education Human Sustainability - Towards Dysfunction or Evolution? An Educational Programme for Healing
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This paper begins by considering two arguable positions; firstly that Humanity as a species is, through current behaviour, exhibiting trends of sickness revealed by our currently dysfunctional environmental relationships, and secondly that this dysfunction could be seen as a process of evolution, in the way that the often challenging behaviour of an adolescent can be considered a stage of the growing up process. Following an exploration of these thoughts, a nature-based educational programme is proposed that the author believes is of value to either of these positions and as such is a therapeutic form of Special Education. ~ This paper discusses the relationships between Humanity and the environment and it is important to clarify certain terminology used. Firstly the word Nature is recognised to have four different levels of meaning, the most inclusive of those is ‗Nature‘ with a capital ‗N‘ which refers to Universal/Supra-Nature, which may be taken to include all scientific, religious and spiritual concepts of an all-inclusive condition. Secondly there is planetary ‗nature‘ (nature with a small ‗n‘) which, for us, includes all aspects of Earth-based systems. Thirdly, as a species of the planet there is Human ‗nature‟ (in italics) which considers our species functions, tendencies, habits, expressions, etc. as a whole and is also considered to be the „nature‟ of the Human ‗Self‘ (with a capital ‗S‘). And lastly there are the tendencies, the nature, of each individual in which the word ‗self‘ (with a small ‗s‘) is used when necessary, rather than the word nature. Each of these is a subsystem of the former larger and more inclusive ‗Nature‘; Universal ‗Nature‘ v Planetary ‗nature‘ v Human ‗nature‟/‘Self‘ v Individual ‗self‘.