Order of the Symposium Proceedings
Chairperson Fumiaki Taniguchi
Professor, Konan University, Philosophy, Japan
I would like to have the speakers discuss "Environmental Ethics and Environmental Education" from a global point of view.
The symposium will take place as follows. Considering the Keynote Speech by Mr. Alan Drengson, each panelist from foreign countries will make a ten-minute speech based on each presentation. And each Japanese panelist will give a twenty-minute talk from the standpoint of their own research. The former half of the symposium will discuss the "development of Environmental Ethics". And the latter half will concern that of "Environmental Education".
In the former half, first of all, Mr. Hakobu Nakamura will discuss the concept of "life" which cannot be separated from its environment. Next Mr. Yonezo Nakagawa will discuss the idea of "respect for life" and health-education, which is environmental education in the widest sense. After that Mr. Jin Shibai will report on the history of ideas of "Environmental Education" and its development in China. Perhaps his talk will give a starting orientation to the latter half of the symposium.
In the latter half, the theme will change from the Environmental Ethics to Environmental Education. Ms. Laddawan Kanhaswan will show us a concrete curriculum based on Thai customs and Mr. Tetsuya Hisatake will inform us about the native American beliefs concerning environmental education rooted in the local culture. Compared with both, Mr. Wilhelm Vosse will propose approach of European environmental education, especially that of Germany.
After a ten-minute break, Mr. Zenji Suzuki will give a brief conclusion to the symposium with consideration to the international viewpoint.
After the panelists' presentations, we will go on to a discussion with the participants on the floor in order to focus on practical solutions comprehended in the abstract principles and make concrete efforts to deal with the environmental issues. Thus, I hope we will be able to arrive at a practical realization of the key concept of the symposium: that is, "Living together with Nature" or "Living in Harmony with Nature."
Developments of Environmental Ethics:
Life and Eco-system
Professor, Konan University, Biology, Japan
1. Formation of the life system
Environment is defined as all kinds of conditions that surround a certain subject. Therefore, the formation of the proto-life system four billion years ago was completed only within its supportive environment. However, even in pre-biotic nature, life-macromolecules were synthesized through chemical evolution on the primitive earth and the sea water was neutralized around neutral pH. Therefore, the primary cause from which the proto-life was born can be attributed to moderate conditions.
The present-day environment in the biological world contains the additional conditions as follows. (1). A great variety of species coexist in the same habitat. (2). As such the ecosystem has been creating new conditions of the environment, and organisms are constrained to adapt to them for survival. (3). Particularly, the harmful environment that mankind has produced contains such conditions, for example the presence of very toxic substances, which the organisms have never before encountered. However, to survive the biological world has to adapt. (4). Biological history teaches clearly that twice there were mass extinctions in which almost all of the organisms on the earth disappeared.
A number of ecologists consider that a third mass extinction is advancing in the present-day ecosystem and its cause is the destruction of nature by mankind. According to recent publications, the rate of extinction is forty thousand species per year for the present quarter century, and it will accelerate in future. The extant species of the biological world have been estimated to be 2.5 million, and thus the velocity of extinction is a surprising value that suggests the occurrence of the great extinction of the organisms on earth.
2. Survival and adaptation in the biological world
World adaptation is defined as a phenomenon in which the organisms genetically or non-genetically modify their organization to live in a new environment. Therefore, only adaptive organisms can grow to increase their descendants there.
Why did some species become extinct in spite of adaptability? The reason is that (1) environmental change exceeded the capacity of organisms to adapt and (2) environmental change occurred within a short period and thus the organisms could not rapidly adapt. It has been considered that the third mass extinction is occurring as seen by rapid changes in the environmental conditions: the destruction of nature is making rapid progress before the organisms catch up by adaptation. Originally, nature possesses the ability to restore itself through the adaptation of organisms, as mentioned above, and (pure) water is an excellent resource that is able to regenerate repeatedly. It is very important that we discover "the law of nature" and take positive steps to solve the problem in line with this law. In any case, the regeneration of forests after such destruction will require geological ages, especially in the Arctic regions. This is a problem of ethics beyond economy and science.
3. A rich ecosystem
An intact ecosystem is composed of actively living society of various organisms, where they coexist by exchanges of materials with each other and make a flow of energy in the food-chain. The chain consists of (a) plants as producers, (b) animals as consumers, and (c) fungi and bacteria as decomposers, and, therefore, recycles under sunlight. The system is quite different from a real city where no organisms except mankind are living and the system is too simple to be called an ecosystem. Human society has never experienced the coexistence of various races and thus history consists of repeated battles that might be termed an out-of-control form of natural selection. The natural ecosystem, on the other hand, has abundant experience of such diversity since the origin of life, and has already reached a climax dynamically balanced.
Respect for Life and Health Education
Emeritus Professor, Osaka University, Environmental Medicine, Japan
The essence of health education must be based on an awareness of life. It must be noted that health depends on relationships between the environment, behavior and human beings rather than development and diffusion of medical technology. Particularly the overwhelmingly great importance of the environment is nowadays pointed out by many authors. A problem here is the declining sensitivity of mankind to the environment when they have lived continuously live in the same environment. This is certainly a process of adaptation, but we should recognize that the modern environment is strongly characterized by the artificiality which has developed and encourages separation from nature. In other words, modern beings are lives supported by the elemental reductionism and egoistic utilitarianism which are distinctive features of modern thought. Consequently, modern people, losing sensitivity towards the meaning and works of nature, conceives of nature merely as an object of exploitation. Moreover, there is widespread ignorance that such exploitation has exponentially increased, thus endangering the very continuation of existence on Earth.
With regard to health, people are forced abandon self-reliance, for there is an emphasis on the simple idea that all health problems will be resolved with reliance upon modern medical technology. Nevertheless, such solutions are progressively comprehended as not guaranteeing health, but only furtherance of dependence, that results in increasing number of patients. Recent animated discussions about the futility of such technology may mean bankruptcy of modern principles, because the fundamental interest of modernity focuses on utility. In addition, the decreased sensitivity to the environment made by adaptation hinders hardly to convert.
To help behavioral modification in education, a cognitive approach alone is not efficient. To assist the emergence of awareness to life by means of dialogue with nature and the environment, or firsthand experiences may hopefully conduct people to healthy behavior. Not unidirectional, not dominating, and not manipulative, but convivial, co-supportive and finding meaning and pleasure in such forms of life is be essential.
The Development of Educational Thought
for Environment in China
JIN SHI BAI
MY THEME IS THE HISTORY OF IDEAS REGARDING ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND ITS DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA. I WILL COVER IT IN THREE STEPS. THE FIRST IS THE WAY OF THINKING ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION IN CHINA. THE SECOND WOULD BE THE ESTABLISHMENT PROCESS OF ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION IN CHINA. AND THE THIRD IS THE CURRENT SITUATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION IN CHINA.
1. The way of thinking about environmental education
First, we have to define the relationship of interdependence that consists of nature, human beings and society. And, it is necessary to make a sound relationship between one person and another, and between man and nature, when we think about the fundamental issue of environmental education. As you know, environmental education would be composed of a variety of subjects about human beings. In other words, environmental education is made from many different fields namely social sciences, natural sciences, literature and so on. So, we need to make comprehensive education that deals with such relationships, in order to bring up fine and tolerant people who have environmental awareness. However, environmental education has always emphasized knowledge alone as well as the general curriculum, and it has always dealt with superficial solutions to environmental issues. But, this would be not a truly satisfactory education. Knowledge and technology can be accumulated and systematized, so it can be transmitted from the teachers to the students. On the other hand, it must be hard to develop the consideration or the ethics on environment to the children. To this end, we have to emphasize field experience rather than environmental knowledge. The point is that, we will have to recognize environmental issues, and understand them, still more to think about what we should do, and then how to do it by the environmental education. Therefore, it is necessary to put a special emphasis on environmental ethics in environmental education; in brief we have to elevate the morale standard of the nation regarding the environment.
China has established various policies and laws for environmental preservation. However, they cause a lot of problems because of too much constraint by them. I think that if it were not for environmental education, we would never solve such problems. Newspapers reported that, for example, a certain chemical factory in Hopey green area dumped a number of toxic materials in the river which is 200 kilometers away from the factory in the middle of the night. Therefore, this toxic material had an adverse environmental impact on the water, and the 200,000 people who live in this area were affected by the water pollution. The factory owners and managers noticed this environmental damage and they understood that it was produced by an illegal act. However, why did such a problem happen in the first place? Such cases have generally happened everywhere in China now. There are several other examples: the environment that used to be the beautiful landscape of the Keisyo area has been recently spoiled by tourism. And also there are the number of apartments has been constructed throughout in China. So, inhabitants do not make clean around their outside environment, while they have been decorating too much on their room. It may be nearer the truth to say that such issue will not be solved by the law, for this is an ethical problem. In that sense, is very important to establish environmental ethics. They should love others and outside environment, as well as their room. And, we should establish responsibility for the environment by environmental education.
We can be fairly certain that the environmental education form the correct environmental awareness and correct environmental ethics, however, it should be started from the children age and be started from our own environment. "If you want to go far, then you have to start from your side", this is the statement in China, so we have to start to look at ourselves; at same time, we have to think about own world. There are a lot of volunteer activities for the young as environmental education in China. The youths are taken outside and directly experience nature through these activities. It is very important to experience nature and society directly. The environmental education is not only to prosecute the past environmental destruction but also to learn to life as human being. And we have to seek a specific moral and the specific ethics. Still more, such moral education should be incorporated with environmental education in order to establish new value of environmental ethics.
2. Developing of environmental education in China
The second step is the Chinese establishment process of environmental education. The term environmental education has been used for a long time in China; however, it was really admitted as past of the official curriculum from the middle of the 1970s. The Chinese environmental education can be divided into four areas. That is basic environmental education, special environmental education, social environmental education and environmental education for professionals. The development of environmental education can be separated into three groups according to the period. The first period is from 1973 to 1983, this is the initial period of development. The human environmental conference was held by the United Nations in 1972, and we responded to this conference and we also have recognized environmental education. The second period is from 1983 to 1992, at this point the environmental education was established. The third period is from 1992 to 1996, in which the new development of environmental education came about.
3. The current situation of environmental education in China
The issue that I would like to consider next is the current situation of environmental education in China. The environmental education is part of the official curriculum for both the elementary school and the junior high school in 1992. This education attempts to enhance environmental awareness in order to form an environmental perspective. This can be divided into three parts. The first part is penetrating method. The purpose of this way is to penetrate the environmental awareness into the children through the curriculum. The second way is to establish the selective course and the required environmental education. And third way is that we have implemented outside activities, like camping or hiking in nature, in order to cooperate with neighboring communities for practical environmental awareness.
Developments of Environmental Education:
Programs on Environmental Education
Based on Thai Custom
Since Thai customs and Buddhism are very worthwhile in developing ethics, therefore they are considered useful as a way to instill environmental awareness and ethics in people.
There are many environmental education programs based on Thai custom, set up for people. May I give you some examples of interesting programs that have been done successfully as follows:
1. The environmental program on Songkran Festival, the National Family day.
This program is to build up public awareness of social environment in the family.
2. The National Tree Day
This program takes place on Khao Pansa (Buddhist lent). People are encouraged to grow trees at their homes, schools, temples etc.
3. Loy Kratong Campaign Program
People are asked to use banana leaf to make a Floating Kratong on the Loy Kratong Festival and not to use plastic foam which causes environmental problems.
4. The program on the National Father's Day
This program takes place on His Majesty The King's Birthday. Cleaning the canals, rivers, road as well as taking care of trees are activities on this day.
In addition, there are many interesting projects such as "Forest Loving Water", "Small Houses in A Wide Forest", "Youth Loving Animal", and "Sunday Buddhism Schools".
All programs have been done continuously by government sectors, non-government sectors, people in communities and schools.
Through the Life Style of Native Americans
Professor, Konan University, Geography, Japan
Native Americans, like many other indigenous people of the world, and their life styles may be able to provide us and the unborn following generations with an alternative wisdom to reflect on the sympathetic treatment of the land as well as the sustainable management of human habitat under today's serious situation of world-wide environmental degradation.
The Native Americans' idea of Earth Mother as a key principle for their environmental behavior used to arouse in them an intense image of affinity between human corporeality and the physical lay of land, as well as a sense of pseudo-consanguinity between foster mother and human children. Metaphorical expressions such as the vegetative cover on the earth surface as her hair, water streams as her blood of vein and artery, soil as her flesh, and sacred mountains at the cardinal directions as the her internal organ of the Earth Mother, are anchored firmly in the Native Americans' ordinary discourses and narratives, sometimes visualizing her as an anthropomorphic figure in Navajo sandpaintings, and resulting in a praxis of rite and sacred chant.
The image of land as the body-landscape of the Earth Mother brings about a normative model that informs their actions and thought about their environmental settings. Through this model, Native American children can cultivate a congenial sensibility toward the land and develop an attachment to the environment, as well as their particular sense of "the full circle of life connection" on the earth. They give kinship terms to plant and animal life such as brother and sister, and therefore tend to fundamentally disapprove of such pejorative categories as "weed ", that are determined according to the degree of utility for human resources. They are also inclined to refuse the ordering of life itself. They regard soil not merely as a composite of inorganic minerals, but regard it as a deposited layer of the bones and ashes of human ancestors, and also of such organic remains as the corpses of plant "sisters" and animal "brothers". Thus the act of disturbing the top soil becomes of deep significance to them, which gives rise to earnest discussions of whether it may disturb the peaceful sleep of dead souls or not. Accordingly, the soil can mediate the relations not only between human ancestors and living kin, but also between plant "sisters" and animal "brothers" and human relatives in their way of thinking.
This touches only briefly on the ideas of Native Americans. Such indigenous ideas and knowledge concerning the treatment of the land and environment, however, bred as they are in different localities, cannot be directly transplanted to different soil, and they can never be easily adopted by different societies as a universal means of environmental education. However, they can provide us with new options for the selection of ways in which to reorganize our environmental behavior and help us to revise our environmental enactments.
Environmental Education in Germany
Environmental Education can be traced back to the beginning of the ecological crisis in the mid 1970's. But in the beginning, the (impulse) came from outside of the pedagogic discussion, namely from stateside environmental policy, as well as from the political ecological movement (Becker. 1987, in: Boeltz). The first aimed at "ecological modernization" (tackling environmental problems with the means of an industrial society) and the latter at a "break with the industrial system", because industrial progress and instrumental rationality have produced exactly those destructive forces which destroy the natural environment. In the following years, pedagogic discussion developed three major schools of thought: 1. Environmental Education (Umwelterziehung), which tries to raise "environmental consciousness" and "ecological activity competence" (oekologiesche Handlungskompetenz). 2. Ecological Learning (oekologisches Lernen), which wanted to use alternative learning environments and methods based on the experiences of social movements, and 3. Ecological Pedagogic (Oekopaedagogik), proceeding from the assumption that the only way tackle the environmental crisis is the departure from industrial production and a radical change of society, education and man-nature-relations.
However, due to the dwindling influence of social movements in the 1980's, the power of the latter two approaches has been declining, too, and the 'environmental education approach" has, supported by stateside and administrative support, proved to be the main school of environmental education in Germany since the late 1980's. The terrain of environmental education are the schools, adult education, clubs, associations, NGOs, and environmental centers. The means by which environmental education is imparted are teachers, educators, advisers and experts in adult education and environmental centers, as well as media (mass media and mini media). The organizations which are active in environmental education in the broader sense are therefore kindergartens, schools and universities, the federal and state administration and ministries, NGOs and environmental movements, as well as scientific and educational organizations, among them the German Society for Environmental Education (Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Umwelterziehung, DGU).
The latter organization has together with teachers' federations and the state cultural and educational ministries developed a framework for environmental education in schools. The core ideas are as follows: a) Environmental education should be action oriented, e.g. based on activities such as experiments and observations, and aims for products of activities, for example documentation, or the building of a biotop. b) Environmental education should be situation oriented, it should be based on the personal experience of students. c) Environmental education should be problem oriented, e.g. make "difference in interests" or "conflicts" a theme. d) Finally, environmental education should be system oriented, this means that the new knowledge is related to ecological relationships.
In my presentation, I want to describe very shortly the ideas and concepts of environmental education in Germany, their implementation in compulsory schools, vocational schools, citizens' movements, open adult education and environmental centers. But at the same time, I want to outline the shortcomings and deficiencies which have prevented environmental education from becoming more than just another subject to learn.
Developments of Environmental Education in Japan
Professor, Osaka-Kyoiku University, Environmental Education, Japan
1. Environmental Problems and Issues as those of Cultures and Civilizations
In human history, there were many environmental problems and issues which reflected each period, respectively. When their environment got worse, mankind changed their lifestyles in order to resolve the environmental problems and issues, and produced their new-lifestyle (i.e.. new cultures and civilizations). Today's environmental problems and issues are those of modern civilization: scientific civilization. So, we must reconsider our life-style at the present.
2. Environmental Education as Activities to Reconsider the Modern Civilization
The purpose of environmental education is to raise citizens who are able to reconsider their life-style. So, firstly, they must learn about their environment including both natural elements and artificial ones. And also, they must know the natural matters and natural phenomenon. Next, the nature of science and technology which are playing an important role in the modern civilization should be learned by them. Lastly, citizens should have the abilities needed to achieve a society desirable to mankind.
3. The Development of the Environmental Education in Japan
The economy of Japan has made rapid progress in recent years; however many environmental disruptions, especially Kogai: pollution and natural disruptions have been brought about. So the environmental education in Japan started in the beginning of the 1970's under the name of "Kogai" education, that is, anti-pollution education and natural conservation education. But these education activities did not develop smoothly. Especially, "Kogai" education was sometimes labeled as alternative education.
As the global environmental problems were known in the 1980's, peoples' concern about environmental education in Japan was again increased. In 1988, the Environment Agency presented its report about environmental education and suggested its purpose and objectives in order to spread the environmental education to the Japanese people. The Fundamental Law on the Environment enacted in 1994 pointed clearly the importance of the environmental education. From 1995, Eco-Club for children was organized by the Environment Agency.
The Ministry of Education of Japan started again the activities on the environmental education from 1989, and published guidebooks for environmental education in 1991 and 1992. In school, the subject for the environmental education is not yet set up and is operating now in all subjects. However, these activities of environmental education in Japan are still not enough.
[reference] SUZUKI; On the Education of the Human Environment (SOUGENSHA, 1994)
Thank you very much all of the panelists. I would like to summarize all of the presentations in this discussion. The term Environmental Education has lately attracted considerable attention and has become very popular in a certain sense. And it has become part of the official curriculum in the school. That is why we have to think it much deeply. Environmental Education is different from the Pollution Education that was part of the official curriculum in Japan from the '70s to the '80s. And, as one of the panelists has mentioned, we should pay more attention to the own culture of each country to make up the programs of Environmental Education. As Mr. Vosse pointed out, it is necessary to teach not only logic, form, and numerical formulas but also actual feeling in Environmental Education. On the other hand, it is very important to supervise a teacher to be good teacher of Environmental Education rather than to think about how to teach. These are issues of teachers or faculty member's of the university, and of course, for me, too.
First, it is important for Environmental Education that we have to restore the thinking which is already a fixed system. We have to go back to original flexible situation rather than fixed situation. As Prof. Nakamura mentioned, we call the relationship between man and nature "symbiosis" or "coexistence", but actually human beings live in a parasitical rather than symbiotic relationship in coexisting with nature. And we have to reconsider human beings or our own existence from the view point of ecosystem.
Second, we have to fuse the matter which is divided from the one. The following serves as an example: when we think about the issue of organ transplantation, we always have the dichotomy between "life" and "death". And then, if we think that "death" is the cause of evil, we only think about how to get rid of "death". So in this perspective we hardly consider about "life", and therefore, we scarcely think about the quality of life. It is big problem that only takes notice of the quantity of life with regard to the issue of organ transplantation. At this time, it is important to point out that life is inseparable from death; therefore, we can not consider about "life" without thinking about "death". Here is another example: as Prof. Nakagawa always mentions, when we have an illness, we have to dialogue with the illness. Because, to dialogue with illness is the same thing to dialogue with oneself. It means that you have to have a dialogue sincerely and honestly with yourself, whether it seems to be bad or not, in order to deepen yourself. We are apt to refuse the badness or dislike. But we have to dialogue with them. At this point, the thinking basis of the unity is the same as environment. Prof. Jin also mentioned that there are unity and integration between man and nature in ancient China. The Chinese proverb "tyen-ren-gau-i" was derived from this unity. Prof. Kanhasuwan told that a good means of having such integration, and gave us the idea of going back to religion. She talked about one model of earthly paradise in her discussion of the practice of Environmental Education in Thailand.
Third, we must draw attention to the identification by sympathy. Prof. Hisatake talked about the culture of Native Americans, especially about the images, sympathy and identification with nature and special terminology to describe our relations and so on. For example, someone occasionally uses the unsophisticated talks. If you would like to depend upon some of people warmly, and you will sometimes use artless talks in front of those people, it is completely trustful without using strict word, which is similar to Native American's language. Compared with this, there are a lot of clumsy human relations in modern society. Thus, we have to have the view point to feel the tree as our brother or to see God inside of a big tree. And, if we have such a view point of sympathy with nature we will do away with reckless deforestation. And, we have to share the same identity with other people, that is an expansion of the "ecological-self", as well as explained by Prof. Drengson. Thus, this is a way that you can exist as yourself as an ecological-self. If you are separated from the ecological-self, you are not yourself. In short, the ecological-self is "environment" of oneself. However, we can not directly transplant different culture from one country to another, as pointed out by Prof. Suzuki. But, this transplantation of culture provides the fixed system to "wave", and this "wave" can sometimes make a good motion or a good trend as thinking much deeper about own one's culture. And I think it is the theme of "ecosophy". So this is the self-realization of an ecological-self by going toward a better direction.
And the fourth, most important, ethical problem is the position of Environmental Education within the official curriculum. Prof. Suzuki said that it is the most significant problem facing us and one we should ask in the Japan Environmental Education Society. Right now, the subject of Environmental Education is not an independent subject but a interdisciplinary one. So, we have to consider whether Environmental Education should be a interdisciplinary or a separate subject.
And, the last problem is to question how seriously teachers and family think about Environmental Education. Therefore, we have to include education at home. Environmental Education should be provided at first at home, through home education. Children have to gather an understanding of the environment at home, through education by parents.
Prof. Drengson, I would like you to ask one question about Environmental Ethics to some of the panelists. And also I would like you to ask one more question about Environmental Education to some of the other panelists. We have only thirteen minutes, so we would like to have a very flexible form or open discussion. I would like to ask Prof. Drengson to raise two questions to two persons in regard to Environmental Ethics and Environmental Education first of all.
Thank you. There are many questions and issues, and exciting ideas, which touched me, But it is difficult to draw on what to begin. So, I would like to ask two questions. Not to anyone in particular, but to anyone of the panelists who would like to talk them over. First, it has to do with home education, and education for children at home. And, I begin by reflecting on my own experience as a parent, and apply that. We have gone through as parents to educate our children in values. And, what we find as parents in our country, Canada, we know the matter shared by many other parents, is what we do at home and, what is done at school. After all it doesn't reinforce one action each other. And then, most importantly, here is tremendous amount of, miseducation, that is tightened up with what only my wife calls it pop-culture. I don't know if it is the best way to refer to it, but we found our own children were very powerfully influenced by media programs and things of this sort. And they just seemed to absorb it from their friends, and, even though we do not have television programs in our home and things of that sorts, they still catch on to this. And it seems to me that those are communication of the wrong kinds of values in such pop-culture, that encourages in them some consumption and you can't tell the story without having conflict in terms of fighting, and so on. I don't know what is represented in other countries. So, I would like to hear from people and panelists about that.
And, the other question I have to raise is that about future vision. Because I think that, if you put either elements presented here together, we could develop a very powerful future mission, and we have been persons who needed vision, and meaning, and so on. I'd like to hear the reflections on that. Thank you.
Thank you very much. Can anybody answer these questions? So let's start with the first question and the issue of the home education and school education. There is the issue around environment of home education, and there is some miseducation or difficulties to do with pop-culture. There kinds of things apply to Japan as well as to other advanced countries. For example, one of them is the "Famicon (a video game)" which is one of the computer games and the world of virtual reality. I would like to ask anybody concerned with that question about home education?
Well, I am not so good at home education. I would like to skip that part. But when we talk about Environmental Education, we have a very heated discussion about miseducation about environment, and the wrong values which are already established among the people in general. And we try to provide a good education at home but television or mass media are doing in the contrary wrong education. That is what you got as an impression of what is wrong and what is right. I think you have set such a value system so far, Prof. Drengson. We do determine something is wrong. You have your own set of the values. This kind of topic has been discussed frequently at other conferences. And, someone might say that values should be set properly, then children are persuaded to go in that way. This is one way. But others might tell that what adults can teach children is not specific values but they become to judge what is right and what is wrong on the way of growing up. And, when they grow up, they have the capability of decision by themselves and there are two furrows or directions of education. We can go toward neither of them extremely. We have to mix these two directions. If we want to find that the education at home is good and the education by mass media and television is not good, in that case we have to discuss what are your values. What kind of value system your discussions phrase. Otherwise, we can not clearly describe what is right or what is wrong. In other words, if the contents of your Environmental Ethics are not clear enough, we can not have any constructive discussion.
Well, we are talking about the norms contained in environmental ethics. Of course, that is as difficult a point as the education. And we are apt to settle into just one value system, however, we would like to acknowledge the diversity of different value systems as in deep ecology. And let's go back to the common field of all of us. We have to show the direction of Environmental Ethics. Let's forget all of the fixed ideas and fixed values and reconsider them. At the same time, we have to think about it deeply. As Prof. Suzuki mentioned that there are two directions of education, we should not impose one value system on education.
Prof. Drengson, please tell me, which is your desire in the practice of Environmental Education from the view point of deep ecology, to impose one value system on the education or to bring up the independent judgment? Or, please tell me what you meant by the term miseducation.
You might clarify what I meant by miseducation. Well, what I meant was what makes some of my family members, I am probably less so, but being distressed about some of it. Then, maybe because we have daughters and my wife should be a role model. But, the media program show an attitude which does not show respect for the natural world, and the attitude which are very far us in the way things we use and are not cared for too much. And, so we think, for instance in our family, we said we should be a good example to each other, and, we have done this to our daughters since early childhood. And other parents feel they are doing the same kinds of thing. But, for some reason children are not completely clear to us, for they don't act that way. Now we, of course, can trust in the natural wisdom of children, especially if they have contacts with natural world, they can show an extraordinary model, children's imagination, creativeness, sensitivity values which are developed by extensive experiences in nature. And, our children do have that. So, perhaps, we can trust to that in the long run. But, lots of children, are influenced by television and other media. And, it is the extreme culture images that more and more intrude into urban children when impressive natural experiences are taken the substitutes true in by the excessive manmade experiences. And, so I want to raise a general question. First, if it is true in another country. Second, what we, as parents as so on, do about that. Is it a matter of attempting to change these pop-culture programs and the other , is this part of reflection of the modern consumer culture? And, if not change whole, please make fundamental changes in values we've discussed them. Although those things I imagined, you can bring up.
Thank you Prof. Drengson. He just asked how the parents do that. For example, in the afternoon on Sunday, there is a cruel television program in the Japanese mass media, I have often been exasperated at this program. They put the young girls into a too hot bath, and then she can advertise herself so long as time that she has soaked in the hot bath. Still more, the people around are laughing at them. Is it really true laughter? Such kinds of cool laughing do not bear watching because of its vulgarity. We don't want to see again such cruel television programs. So, right now, there are a lot of such programs in the mass media in Japan.
Prof. Suzuki, how can we deal with such bad influences of television program?
What I want to say is that we've just been talking about home education and how children can be influenced by mass media. So, we would like rather to ask teachers and professors on the floor, how they feel about it.
Well, we do not have much time for the discussion. We would like to open the floor. Please may the teachers on the floor give us some advice. What kinds of the education can we give to the children? What can we do in terms of education, or what shall we do in order to avoid such bad influences?
Mr. Nakahara (a question from the floor)
My name is Nakahara. At the moment, I'm a member of the Japanese Society of Environmental Education. Regarding the deep ecology, this might be related to the Buddhist teaching. Prof. Kanhasuwan have made a presentation regarding it this morning. And I think that Buddhist teaching corresponds to deep thinking. There is a proverb like "Nothing is more valuable than spirit", so, we should value the spirit, and Buddhist teaching is really refined in detail, but at same time, it also gives a very abstract field. So, over all, the picture of Buddhism has brought integration or unity which relates to the body and mind.
Well, I feel that there is confusion caused by the mass media at home in Japan. However, the human being has not only rational way of thinking but also irrational way of thinking. And, at this moment it is causing confusion at home, in any house.
So, I would like you to give us some comments, Prof. Kanhasuwan. In Japan we have a nuclear family, and the children have own rooms since they were children. Thus, they have their own world since childhood. And, if they collide into each other at home, it will the miserable situation in a moment, because of the lack of human relationship. In case of Thailand, place tell me the priorities in the family system from the spirit of Buddhism. I think there is stable environmental situation in the family in Thailand. Please show me about family system in Thailand. If vulgar miseducation, poor education or bad influences enter into the home, how do you treat it in Thailand? How do you deal with the bad influence caused by mass media? Or how do you deal with miseducation?
I would like to give you just a little background in Thailand, first. Most of Thai people are Buddhist. And, we respect Buddha, and Buddha's teaching is transferred from generation to generation. For example, my father and my mother respect Buddha, and believe in the Buddha's teaching. Then, that's transferred to me, and it is the duty of parents to transfer this kind of thing to the young generation. If we can do like this, then, problems as Prof. Drengson mentioned can be solved.
But, right now, everything is becomeing more difficult, because many factors came to Thailand. The first is that the population is growing in recent years. The second one is Western culture. That's come through the television, and we have a lot of youngsters. It is very difficult to convince them not to be influenced, because of the problem of economy, as well as household economy. So, the situation is growing worse in Thailand. It is former style that father goes out to work and mother takes care of her children. If we keep this style, we don't have any social problems or the problems of family. But, right now, both of them have to go out and work. Both father and mother have gone to work. Then, parents go to work and students go to school. And then, students come back home while their parents have not come home yet. Therefore, it is easy for children to be influenced by pop-culture like that.
Right now, we try to get back to instill morals and ethics in them by using Buddhist Sunday School and to try to give them a chance to be taught morals and ethics at the Sunday sermon. And the school itself tries to use the monk to teach them Buddha's teaching in the course of social studies. Besides this, we try to revive old customs. We get them back to schools. And we have a national holiday for the custom festival. And then, at school it is the duty of school to develop the idea and knowledge of ethics and morals. We try to set up many activities like music. Thai classical music is very soft. We had missed this music for long time, but right now, it's already revived due to support by the Princess, in every school. And, there is national Thai classical music day. On that day one thousand students play together at the same hall. And, this makes their minds more tranquil. The parents are very satisfied by this kind of activities. And I think that we will hope that in the short future, our students would be elevated. We hope that such trials will bring up children who try to help others. However, if parents think too much of making money, they will lose their children. Thank you.
Thank you very much. I have agreed with you, but on some points I have disagreed. It is really reasonable to Prof. Kanhasuwan in the cultural situation of Thailand. However, on some points I do not disagree because we are in Japan which is an extremely industrialized society being different from Thailand. Therefore, we cannot adopt what has done in Thailand just directly into Japan. Thus, we have to modify in order to incorporate factors from overseas into our country. Of course, the people in Thailand can share the same problem with us. But, the difference is that they use their custom and tradition as to absorb the problem, and this Environmental Ethics which also includes respecting the old people or senior people. Those customs still are remaining in Thailand. Therefore their way of doing Environmental Education is different from what we do in Japan. However, we have learned to treat children from Thai customs because the ethics and morals are beyond any particular culture and are universally valid to the home and school education.
Mr. Nakahara, if children hit parents , what do you feel? I think maybe you will get angry. However, if you look through the point of view of the violent child, and through sympathy with him, what do you think? Perhaps he was eager to get your understanding and contact with you, but his way of contact, hitting parents or teacher, was only too strong. It is straight confrontation between parents and children. And we will be apt to link them directly when their own peace of mind is broken. At this time, can we get angry, if we know the reason why he did violence? Hitting their parents or teachers is a kind of communication in order for him to be understood. There are both a positive side and a negative side. In that attitude, therefore, we find that it is necessary to reconsider what are the relations between children and parents. Relations between parents and children, and also the relations among the family we have to consider again.
Now, that is enough on the topic of the family environment. Therefore, we would like to invite questions from the floor. Please identify yourself before asking the questions.
Mr. Oda (a question from the floor)
I'm Oda. I'm from the prefectural agriculture university. Today I believe that the word "deep" has been frequently mentioned. From my point of view, I think it is very important to be "deep", but at the same time, to be scientific and to be objective is also necessary in dealing with environmental ethics. And relating to that, especially since the 1960's, the global environmental problems have started to be tackled. And the current or modern technology is regarded as one of the factors to cause the problems. So, we have to recognize that modern technology or modernization is very important to be focused on. If so, in Deep Ecology, in what way such a problem has evolved in the Deep Ecology? Maybe this question should be directed to Prof. Drengson. But if any other speaker can respond to my question, they are welcome.
Talking about Deep Ecology, thus we have to ask for Prof. Drengson, but since he has been explaining already, so perhaps, I can ask Prof. Nakagawa to respond to this question.
I think you have already had your answer, Mr. Oda. But you are dealing with or specifying "scientific" or "objective" in scientific technology. As R. Descartes believed, he understood this spirit and mind as a dualism. So the subjectiveness is not included in the term "modernism". But subjectiveness is one of the unique points of human kind. If we live without it, we have to do with the objective way. But I guess the objectivity cannot provide sufficient understanding for the human beings. By recent theory of science I have heard, I think that to recognize only objectivity is not sufficient for human recognition. We have to deal with the deductive approach and also the inductive approach as well. But such objective ways are not sufficient. For instance, weather forecast is not correct sometimes. Because that is based on only objective theory. If you think of: recent science, such as the theory of chaos or complicatedness, we have to incorporate. The other level also, that is, for objectiveness and subjectiveness to be incorporated.
And at the same time, if you think of the human beings' society, we come to know that the subjectiveness is also one of the important factors to deal with the direction that we have to go, we have to follow. But if you determined everything in an objective way, society would be deformed because of a lack of subjectiveness. So, not only the objective approach, we have to consider but also the subjective one as to environmental problems, especially. If we focus our eyes only on the objectiveness, then we will be missing something subjective. So, get together with the others, I think, we have to discuss with the subjectiveness as well as the objectiveness. It will be better not to draw clear distinction on the human affairs. In such way we have to do in the future, I believe. I totally agree with you. Thank you.
Mr. Oda (a question from the floor)
I agree with Prof. Nakagawa's idea, of course. Because of the nature human beings, subjective communication is necessary with each other and also in ethical problems such as environmental ethics. The relationship of the mankind through subjectiveness would be necessary to solve the concrete problems. But in order to grasp the current exact recognition or the exact construction of the ecosystem in the future, or the evaluation of the future, in that sense, we should not leave any vagueness or ambiguity. So in order to solve the current problems, we need to solve the objective problems if it is necessary. I believe that we sometimes need an objective approach.
The way you use words may be different from my way, but perhaps we are discussing the same thing. I believe that dialogue or communication is more necessary, because we could then recognize how we are different. And that is the starting point for any change. Then, we will find points of agreement while we discuss. However, by setting a definition as one specific definition and if we exclude other value, then we cannot solve the ethical problems, for we cannot grasp the whole. For instance, if we study the environmental ethics in a scientific way to consider what is their configuration, we cannot solve all the issues, by the molecular structure of the ethical problems. Instead, many people who live on the earth as humans should face together for learning what problems are common now, and make a consensus of an action for sustainable development. Otherwise, it might mean Fascism if only a limited number of people like scientists have authority for managing the nations. And if we only focus on one specific way with either approach, I do not think that we can solve these problems.
Now, we would like to welcome other questions.
Mr. Ikoma (a comment from the floor)
It is not a question, but a comment. My name is Ikoma. I think most of the discussion is abstract and is not practical. In Japan, we use a lot of energy in social development. Althogh the nuclear power became indispensable one, it become a great problem, whether the merit or demerit. However, if we stop using the nuclear power, then we have to go back to the stone age as a matter of fact. So, there is a dilemma. Please think it over. So, I don't need the response at all. Just a comment.
Well, of course, it is necessary to work on the practical things especially in Environmental Education. And all of today's panelists are activists. I believe that their discussions are based on the practical experience. They are doing very practical things with children in the field of Environmental Education. But we can not show it in this discussion. We agree with your comment in a sense as far as the Environmental Ethics is concerned. And, the scientific civilization can not be denied completely. This is a true dilemma of Environmental Ethics.
In this direction, Dr. Nakagawa is suggesting very practical things. Communication is necessary between the medical doctors and the patients. So far, or in the past, the medical doctors were respected by the patients, because the medical doctor have always the greatest authority by wearing his coat in practice. And we would like Prof. Nakagawa as a doctor to invite a comment from a viewpoint of the doctor.
A medical doctor began to wear the white coat just 100 years ago. It started in the 19th century. In America it is called "lab-coat". And they are giving a diagnosis with it. That is based on the authority of science without subjectivity. It is a symbol to wear the white coat. Although a medical doctor who is a so-called scientist examines patients, they often give their patients diagnoses by unscientific methods or by rather subjective judgment. In addition, sometimes they force on their patient only the bad side of science. And I am saying that they have to stop wearing the white coat, for it causes "the white coat syndrome". If the doctor is wearing white coat, then the patient becomes nervous. That is why blood pressure becomes higher than usual, so if the doctor is measuring blood pressure without white jacket, then a blood pressure is lower. And in Japanese clinics doctors are sitting at very luxurious chair. On the other hand patients are sitting on a bench. I think that the medical culture like this is observed only in Japan. It is only symbolism. I did not see such a situation in China. A doctor and a patient do have the common place at the medical clinic.
Thank you very much, Prof. Nakagawa. I think that your opinion concerning a theory, for example "informed consent" which is originally derived from the reflection about the relationship between a doctor and a patient, shows us to make the matter concrete exactly. On the one hand we should talk about the history or the facts in theory, on the other hand through discussion we could acquire the concrete concept in practice such as "the informed consent". The paternalism of a doctor was so strong that the rights of a patient used to be invaded. But the concept of "informed consent" has been acknowledged by people in general in Japan recently. So the situation of the patient is greatly improved.
From Prof. Nakagawa's opinion we can learn that abstract or theoretical measures are indispensable when we discuss the complex clinical environment. On the abstract level we talk about Environmental Ethics, and on the concrete level Environmental Education based on such Ethics. This is the way we are discussing today.
Now, I would like to ask your opinion about the realization concerning Environmental Ethics and Environmental Education, Prof. Drengson.
There is very extensive work done about how to change economic system in order to make a response to ecological function and values. There are changes of tax system and energy use. These changes might cost a lot and if we do that, we should change our energy consumption pattern. For that lots of work has been done in that area. Now, I will call it ecological economics. You see, we want to have such a new approach in economics instead of traditional economics. It is looking at supply and demand and thinking about economics connected with the natural phenomenon like the weather. Then, we can do anything with the limits of sustainable development in environmental issues. This is part of Environmental Education further concerned. The economist should be also educated, so that governments begin to educate the environmental educator based on Environmental Ethics. We see how to do this with a very institution. Then, we can realize relatively rapid changes of the environmental policy in which way to go.
Thank you very much, Prof. Drengson.
As Prof. Nakagawa talked about before, there are no ethics which come from the aspect of molecular order or molecular biology. Well, Prof. Nakamura, I think you are studying in this field. Do you have any suggestions from your field to the Environmental Ethics or the Environmental Education.
I am studying "evolution" in molecular biology. So far, the books written about the evolution which have published in the world, are always discussing mankind, and nobody has discussed what will happen in the future. And it is said that by learning the past we can consider the future, but nobody has responded to where we are going on the future. These are the environmental conditions that are beyond remedy now because of its destruction. In spite of the fact that we are standing at the edge with the serious risks as somebody has already said from the floor, it is the present conditions that there is hardly dialogue between mankind and nature. And it is certain that if the natural species are extinguished, mankind would also disappear soon. So I think that we are standing at the edge or the brink of the crisis. Therefore, what I would like you to teach children in the Environmental Education is to teach them about the present crisis. That is the matter of fact by the study of environmental science. And from that, we can proceed to next step what to do for conservation then. That is the matter of right by the study of Environmental Ethics. So, these kinds of methodology should be established. Thank you.
Thank you very much, Prof. Nakamura.
Do you have any specific suggestions, Prof. Hisatake? I would like to have one comment from you.
What I told you is the unique cosmos of sandpainting, and, in that cosmos there are two meanings. As Prof. Kanhasuwan mentioned, there is the channel which is connected to traditional culture not in school but at home. In the process of human socialization, school education is a very efficient and rational one, and provides for the arrangement, order, and efficiency of the society. That kind of teaching is necessary for us to live in modern society. But at the same time, it is very important to learn our culture by home education. The children can learn it by the fairy tales. For instance, human beings can talk to the trees in the fairy tales. A tree is taught as only a plant at school, but at home, a tree may be considered as one of your brothers or sisters. That is the common cosmos in the common culture. So, in socialization, I believe that it is very important to teach such kinds of worlds. Therefore, mankind has two worlds. They have a rational world that is taught by school and also another world that is taught at home. Thus, I believe that, we have two terms of each world, and we are living in two worlds. The former we live in is to adapt ourselves to the real society, and the latter we live in is to keep our identity, our Ecological Self. When we think about Environmental Ethics and Environmental Education, we have to think that these two world are the same one.
Thank you very much Prof. Hisatake. And then, Dr Vosse, you have researched environmental policy. Have you ever participated as a member of the environmental strategy committee or been an advisor of such a committee?
So far, I am not a director or member of such a committee. What came to my mind, when hearing a comment of Prof. Drengson, was that Environmental Education is not one-way street education and not always taught by a educator to children. But the experience I heard from teachers in Germany was that, it is very general case, small children some times 3, 4, 5 years old, still in kindergarten, were taught not to use plastics or not to use chopsticks only once, for example. They are also learned to separate may other things, your rubbish, for example, from paper, from the plastics. So they come home, and teach the parents the process about it. And they are very angry if the parents do not do so. That is a very interesting experience. The other point I want to mention is that most educators are very energetic and very eager for teaching children to respect nature in the Environmental Education. And I don't think that there is so much lack of norms, or lack of what we should do. I think it is a kind of common sense to respect nature and not to do anything to disturb natural ecosystem in a way.
The problem is usually on the side of the policy maker. Seen from the social scientific point of view, even if individuals protect the environment by not leaving any rubbish in the forest and by respecting the nature, it is always very few individuals, who decide industry policy, who cause deforestation. And they have forgotten to respect nature as a result of their work over a long period of time. Then this brings about very severe problems usually. So 99% of the population knows very well, what to do, or not to do, and has very high standard of environmental ethics. However, it is maybe only 1% or 0.1% who are not doing this, and who are in the position of making lots of money by taking advantage of the environment for their own purpose. Then, this few causes environmental pollution.
Thank you very much.
Thank you very much Dr. Vosse. There is a prize or an award system of Environmental Education in Japan. Prof. Suzuki, I believe that you are the member of the jury for the award of Environmental Education. And, a lot of program for Environmental Education apply to this prize from all of schools in Japan. So, Prof. Suzuki, could you show me one of the good examples?
I visited many schools, and there were some schools, where education was provided only from the viewpoint of the concept. But at some other schools children are trying to clean a river near by the schools with the local people in the community. They are doing actions and activities in the community. I have encountered those examples.
But some schools are teaching the energy and electricity problems in Environmental Education class just by means of role-playing. For example, teachers ask students if they are approve or disapprove of nuclear power generation, then the class is divided into pro and con groups. They have a debate, a discussion between these two groups in the classroom. And they do not come to any conclusion about whether the nuclear power generation is good or bad. This is the kinds of education provided sometimes with the topic of the nuclear power plant. They also have some discussions for agreeing or disagreeing about the construction of golf course, for example, some students discuss the golf course construction by means of Role-playing. But they can not reach any conclusion. However, this way, I think, remains only on the level of the concept. It is not a very effective way. So we should work in the community and in nature after we get the correct concept of the relationship between the environment and human.
Thank you very much, Prof. Suzuki. As he said, Nature Games and Role-plays are good ways to introduce us to what is the Environmental Education. But in addition to that, it is necessary to experience directly with the real nature and community. And there is a lot of educational activity, like the children collect the garbage and waste, and recycle the wasted materials for the cross curriculum at the school according to the Environmental Ethics, which is not so strict as the one in the ethical books, but is similar to common sense.
Thank you very much for all the discussion. I would like to summarize now today's discussions. We have already heard about Life and Ecosystem from Prof. Nakamura, about the Health Education from Prof. Nakagawa, and about the History of Educational Thought from Prof. Suzuki, all of which are based upon "the development of Environmental Ethics". This is the weft of today's discussion. The other hand, the warp based upon "the development of Environmental Education" is the concrete and the respect for specific culture in today's discussion. Prof. Jin and Prof. Kanhasuwan, for example, introduce the habits and customs of each region, and the religions and systems of China and Thailand as the Eastern Thought. On the other hand, Prof. Drengson, Dr. Vosse and Prof. Hisatake introduce the thoughts of Canada, Germany and America as the Western Thought. Actually, we have various sense of values.
Therefore, we have to create a "larger framework" for the fruits of discussion on Environmental Ethics and Education. And we have to discuss environmental issues based upon this "larger framework". In other words, if we continue to use conventional right/wrong judgment, we should not get this "flexible and larger framework". But we have already been given "the larger shared place" in today's discussions. What shall we do, in order to realize this "larger shared place"? For that purpose, we have to weave the both weft and warp into common textile with that we shared, before we distinguish sharply between "what is right" and "what is wrong". Moreover, the individual has to think about "what is sound" or "what is unsound."
I believe this should be new measure to consider the Environmental Ethics and Education instead of the measure of right/wrong judgment. Accordingly, each one of us has to decide whether something is sound or unsound. The environmental or ecological system issue can not be treated by the opposition of the two items, or what was called right/wrong judgment. Traditional ways of thinking and the value standard have been derived from this right/wrong judgment. In general, we prefer the efficient way. Of course, as a result of rapid economic growth, for example, there are some positive results by the right/wrong judgment. As it was, that development was "right", but at the same time that is very "unsound" development. Therefore, we have to establish a different methodology. We have to look at the new values from the view point of ecological "soundness". There is nothing for it but to add this condition, so that we will get the "flexible and larger framework" of Environmental Ethics and Education that all of us can agree, too.
And thank you very much for your attention and participation and the constructive contribution to this conference. I also express my thanks to all the panelists who came from other parts of the world. I hope that this will be one step for the instruction between us and please let us have the discussion at next time. Thank you very much for your attention.
The summary for the International Symposium'96
Director of the executive committee
The International Symposium'96 "Environmental Ethics and Environmental Education: Living Together with Nature" was held on the 14th of December in 1996 at Konan University. Around 350 people participated in the Symposium and many people also joined the party session. On behalf of the executive committee I would like to express our appreciation to all panelists and participants for the success of the symposium. Through the Symposium I confirmed that we could improve our relationship between foreign countries. Especially I would like to address my deepest gratitude for guest speakers and panelists from four countries abroad.
First, the term "environmental ethics" has become familiar to us recently. However, we need to discuss what kinds of meanings this word possesses, and how useful is it for practical environmental education. Second, the term "environmental education" has become familiar to us as well, but we have not recognized the concept of this word fully.
This Symposium was held in order to re-build innovated ethics and new subjects from conventional ones.
The classical ethics is documental or abstract one. We had better amend these kinds of ethics to more practical ones to address questions like "How should we live?" which are the questions in terms of the view of life, "How should the world be?" which are questions in terms of world views. Thereby we could focalize clearly on environmental problems caused by the present world without any bias. For instance, if we are bound by classical ethics which focus on only present people's relationship, we could not consider the equality between present and future generations (the theme of intergenerational ethics). Also if we are constrained by ethics, we could not recognize the rights of all forms of life such as "the rights of plants and animals". In that sense it is necessary for humans to reform proper views of life and the world, which is properly called environmental ethics.
The next issue is what kind of subject "environmental education" can be. This issue is always argued by members of the Japan Society of Environmental Education. Although the character of the education as an interdisciplinary subject has been established already, how can we make a definition beyond practical technologies? However, we might be in danger of missing environmental education altogether due to its diversity. Therefore, it is indispensable to construct "Philosophy of Environmental Education".
On the one hand, as the long-term goal we would like to construct such environmental ethics and education. On the other hand, as the short-term goal we wanted to shape the common perspective of ethics and form a concrete practice of education under such a perspective.
I would like to summarize the conclusions of the Symposium as following.
First, it is necessary to trace back the stiffened and rigid way of thinking to its origin. For instance, although we call the relation between humans and nature "symbiosis" from the viewpoints of humans, as Mr. Nakamura pointed out, humans only "parasitize" nature. In other words, if we consider human location from the viewpoints of ecosystem, we would realize that all forms of life derive from a common root. In that sense humans need to reconsider about themselves, otherwise they can not escape from their "anthropocentric ideas".
Second, it is necessary to identify or compose separated things in a holistic way. For instance, Mr.Nakagawa addressed how important it is for patients to converse with their own diseases. In short, it is not the doctor but the patients themselves who understand and treat their own diseases, for the one who creates such diseases is the patient himself. Through such patient's attitude, it is possible for them to share his life with diseases and improve his health condition more effectively. Still further, although it is more usual to consider the ideas of life and death separately, as we persist in living and avoid dying. However, if we persisted in living as good, we tend to be attached to life and to treat organ transplant surgery as the ultimate good.
As Mr.Jin insisted on the identification originating from idea of fusion of human and nature as well as Mr.Nakagawa. Furthermore, Ms.Kanhasuwan reported on the customs in Thailand for explaining to us how indigenous the practical environmental education is in Thailand and how peaceful lives would be if humans and nature could form a unity based on religious background like Thailand.
Third, it is the issue of identification through sympathy. Mr.Hisatake, who has been studying Native American mythology for many years, emphasized re-valuing their own terminology, images and kinwords which contained diverse meanings. On the other hand, in modern society computer terms are utilized for categorizing matter as 0 or 1.
However, this might lead to lacking emotional communication because of too rigid a division between the self and others. Then, humans and nature would be divided, and humans would dominate over nature in destroying from the viewpoint of anthropocentrism.
So as to confirm the self and others in the ecosystem it is crucial to utilize terms which contain diverse forms of creativity and imagination. These terms would make a core of norms for ambiguous spirits and lifestyles. For instance humans in modern time can hardly understand that huge tree is inspired in the sense of animism. However, because of such a sense trees, including other trees around the spiritual tree, can be cherished and sustained. Turning to the matter of identification, humans can prevent themselves from losing their identification with the outer world through the sympathy with all nature, plants, and animals.
As represented by Mr.Drengson, such identification with others would result in the expansion of the Ecological-Self. The Ecological-Self is the recognition that some have originated from particular climates and regions like native Canadians. Then, if someone leaves their own original place, they would not be themselves any more. As Mr.Suzuki told us, different cultures can not be transplanted into other places. However, I believe that each people nationalized in different countries can understand the differences between one another through discussions in the Symposium. Then, we can fluctuate between a rigid culture and existing system, and transplant or import something new from abroad. At the same time we have an opportunity to think about our own culture "deeply". That would be tie in with the main theme of Deep Ecology or Ecosophy.
Fourth, there is the issue of how environmental education can be located. Is environmental education one particular subject or should it be an interdisciplinary subject? In modern Japan it is considered as the latter, but I believe it will be developed as particular one in the higher dimension such as philosophy of environmental education in the future. If environmental education is put into the curriculum as one subject, it might lose its flexibility and creativity. In that sense the establishment of philosophy of "environmental education" should be urgently needed.
Fifth, according to the problems of environmental education, the one who educates has problems to solve. Educators should have talent, knowledge, and eagerness based on their experience and sense in the field. They should not think about education as one single subject. Because, although it should have one specific principle, the principle would be interdisciplinary and would be found in various subjects. In that sense educator has to possess the principles as well as knowledge based on practical experience.
According to the summary above we achieve a conclusion as following. On the one hand, in terms of "Environmental Ethics" we can locate the ethics of creature and ecosystem, medical ethics through health education, and educational ethics concerned with educational thoughts on the horizontal axis. From this viewpoint, we learned that a flexible framework including specific cultures is necessary rather than classical ethics which are based on abstract principle. On the other hand, in terms of "Environmental Education", concreteness and indigenous cultures were emphasized on the vertical axis. If we could intersect these axes, in the crossing we would find "topos(common places)" to discuss and communicate with other people and cultures beyond time and space at the level of sentimental judgment based on feeling as well as rationality.
Although Eastern thought such as Thai customs and indigenous cultures, and the Western thought such as European, German, Canadian ones are valuated differently depending on individual, we need to put all of them in a flexible framework to think about and work together on environmental problems. Therefore, if we still utilize only the rational standard of values based on good or evil, we can not expand the framework to the moral sentiment. Then, there should be meeting points in an intersecting place between the rational judgements of "good or evil" and the sentimental judgements of "sound or unsound" in order to make the consensus about concrete matters such as environmental issues. As to the individual each should have common standards of moral sense for judging their behaviors as the standard of sound or unsound. We can transcend the standard of values good or evil. For instance economic system was considered good one in the period of economic growth, if it brought profits to humans. But, such a system brought us the destruction of global environment at the same time, and that can be called unsound system.
In that sense we had better expand from the standard of values as the classical dichotomy to one that include extra-rational values. Then, each foreign country could be included and suited easily into a such huge perspective of Environmental Ethics, and according to such a principle we could practice Environmental Education from another point of view to solve the problem of the global destruction of the environment.
Environmental Ethics and Environmental Education
- Living Together with Nature -
9:30 Guest Speeches
Atsuo Murakami (Professor, Konan Univ.) Masahisa Ota (Professor, Konan Univ.)
Tateo Fujimoto (Professor, Konan Univ.) Anna Ford (Lecturer, Konan Univ.)
Kaoru Takasaka (Professor, Konan Univ.)
Ms. Laddawan Kanhasuwan from Thailand
(Director, Environmental Education Center, Rajabhat Institute Phranakorn)
"Thoughts of Environmental Education Based on Thai Custom"
Mr. Jin Shibai from China
(Emeritus Professor, Central Institute of Educational Science)
"Environmental History of Ideas and Environmental Ethics in China"
Mr. Wilhelm Vosse from Germany (Lecturer, Department of Policy Management, Keio U.)
"The Environmental Movement in Japan and its Future"
12:30 Lunch (at the campus cafeteria)
13:10 Welcome Address
by Mr. N. Nakanishi (President, Konan U.) & Mr. M. Numata (President, The Japan Society
of Environmental Education)
13:30 Keynote Speech
by Mr. Alan Drengson (Professor, U. of Victoria, Canada)
"Ecological Philosophy: Ethics and Education
Paths of Value Between Cultures and Nature"
14:30 A Mini-Concert (Kinreikai, Konan Women's U.)
14:50 International Symposium Environmental Ethics & Environmental Education
- Living Together with Nature -
Developments of Environmental Ethics:
Mr. Alan Drengson "Education and Ecosophy"
Mr. Hakobu Nakamura (Professor, Konan U.) "Life and Eco-System"
Mr. Yonezo Nakagawa (Emeritus Professor, Osaka U.)
"Respect for Life and Health Education"
Mr. Jin Shibai
"History of Ideas of Environmental Education and Its Developments in China"
Developments of Environmental Education:
Ms. Laddawan Kanhansuwan
"Programs on Environmental Education Based on Thai Custom"
Mr. Tetsuya Hisatake (Professor, Konan U.)
"Environmental Education through The Life Style of Native Americans"
Mr. Wilhelm Vosse "Environmental Education in Germany"
Mr. Zenji Suzuki (Professor, Osaka-Kyoiku U.)
"Developments of Environmental Education in Japan"
Chair ; Mr. Fumiaki Taniguchi (Professor, Konan U.)
18:30 Party Session (at the campus cafeteria)
Kinreikai (Konan Women's University.)
Composer: Tadao Sawai:
Date of composition: February, 1972
I wished to compose a bright piece of music since up until then I had been composing only minor scale music, but lately I have wanted to compose music in a major scale. It appears, however, that minor scale music may reflect my personality. This theme "akogare, or yearning" expresses my longing for brightness.
This music shows the ambition of young people. Although this is one of Sawai's early works, it isn't easy to play. Sawai is the most famous composer who modernized Japanese music for "Sou" which means "Koto". This work has been loved and performed by the "Sou" player.
"Rokudan no shirabe (The melody of six parts)"
Composer: Kengyou Yatsuhashi, 1614-85
Date of composition 1600's
This music is known as one of his master pieces like "Chidori no kyoku (song of a plover)". It is called "dan mono" which is composed in the Sonata form (instrumental music). This music is performed by many players, regardless of their school, as worth playing.
DIRECTOR OF EXECUTIVE COMMITEE: Fumiaki Taniguchi (Professor, Konan Univ.)
DIRECTOR OF SECRETARIAT: Zenji Suzuki (Professor, Osaka-Kyoiku Univ.)