Towards an Ecological Pedagogy: Body Movement for Ecological Consciousness
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This paper examines the moving body as a vehicle for raising ecological consciousness. Due to the modern over-preoccupation with the pursuit of rational aims, human interactions with the surrounding environment increasingly lack conscious awareness. Consequently, in the modern world people tend to lack an ecological consciousness. Nevertheless, the human body is a rich reservoir of ecological significance. From birth, humans are woven into tremendous interconnection with the world. However, humans thrive when their sensitivity to the physical world exists in harmony with their ability to pursue their rational aims. It is the combination of these characteristics that enables humans to survive in capricious surroundings and prosper in a wide array of contexts. Today, the human species faces an unprecedented crisis that threatens to collapse the reciprocality of the ecological bonds bolstering the prosperity of all worldly beings. This paper proposes that it is no longer a rational strategy for people to remain inattentive to their embodied ecological resonance, and that the moving body is an adequate pedagogical site for raising ecological consciousness. Ritualized body movements derived from Chinese traditional cultivation systems such as Taijiquan could orient practitioners to reestablish a perceptual intimacy with the larger cosmic world, thereby raising their ecological consciousness.