Considering global revisioning and reshaping of the relationships between and among people, other living things, geographies, epistemologies and ways of (re)presenting the world, environmental education might benefit from a more diverse knowledge community. The conversation in environmental education has been largely articulated by science educators and others schooled in the ways of the West. Indigenous communities have not been an integral part of the conversation, rather indigenous epistemologies have been absented or whited out (and otherly hued) and now virtual ized in the Net/scape.
According to John Willinksy (1998), the legacy of imperialism in the West is that we are schooled in differences. We are taught how to divide the world and to construct borderlines of discrimination and privilege between the West and ‘the rest’. In this context difference is seen as negative. Willinsky (1998) argues that students have a right to know that exclusion of ‘other’ is ‘not simply an oversight but a feature of how the disciplines … have gone about dividing the world since the age of the empire’ (p. 250). Furthermore, Noel Gough (1998) writes that Western education attempts to generate global knowledge for all and ‘all around the world,’ but it is the economic interests of ‘developed’ nations [and, I would add, the interests of the political/economic elite of ‘developing’ countries] which are reflected ‘obscuring the exploitation, domination, and social and political inequities underlying global environmental degradation’ (p. 511).