This new book by EdD Lili-Ann Wolff gives a historical and philosophical view of education that deals with nature and sustainability and highlights the ethical dilemmas that arise if we expect education to be the main promoter of sustainability. The discussion makes a loop starting from contemporary educational problems and the quest for sustainability and continues to the era of Enlightenment. There it brings forward the thoughts of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and finally it returns to the present time.
This study also employs Michel Foucault’s historical research methods, and even brings him in as a speaker with his own voice. Rousseau's writings offer excellent examples of the role of both ethics and education in dealing with sustainability. And Foucault sets the stage for understanding such fundamental ethical and educational issues as matters of power that act in complex networks on both individual and social levels.
The conclusion of the discussion between the three voices: the author, Rousseau, and Foucault, is that the sustainability enigma calls for an education that makes a profound difference, in order to be able to bring about mindfully responsible actions. The education has, therefore, to face three basic challenges: firstly, the promotion of self-transformation through self-understanding and self-training; secondly, the development of social relations and collective responsibility; thirdly, the promotion of understanding of the natural world and life on a global scale.