Teaching Radical Human Ecology in the Academy
In my earlier chapter in this volume I explored the challenge of radical Human Ecology to the Academy, by which I mean western universities generally. I distinguished between relatively “safe” Human Ecology as PRED – the study of the interactions between population, resources, environment and development, and “radical” Human Ecology which, in addition to taking on the imperatives of PRED, explores the essence of what it can mean to be fully human. This moves us beyond merely rational and materialistic analysis and into the further reaches of both the nature of reality and human nature. In this chapter I want to explore the teaching of such Human Ecology and especially the supervision of student research. The chapter will be descriptive more than theoretical, and will draw heavily from 20 years’ personal experience of teaching the subject at postgraduate level in a range of academic institutions, especially as a sometime staff member, former director and a Fellow of Scotland’s small and now-independent Centre for Human Ecology (CHE).