Discovering earth and the missing masses—technologically informed education for a post-sustainable future

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Climate change education (CCE) and environmental education (EE) seek ways for us humans to keep inhabiting Earth. We present a thought experiment adopting the perspective of Earth-settlers, aiming to illuminate the planetary mass of technology. By elaborating Hannah Arendt’s notion of ‘earth alienation’ and Bruno Latour’s notion of technology as ‘missing mass’, we suggest that, in the current Anthropocene era, our relation to technology should be a crucial theme of CCE and EE. We further suspect that sustainable development (SD) and the education promoting it (ESD) are problematic, because the green growth proposed is inextricably linked to the unattainable goal of decoupling growth from environmental impact. We therefore suggest education for post-sustainability (EPS) that critically re-evaluates the connections between technology and sustainability. But can educators critically question technology, since educational institutions seem to be unconditionally committed to promoting technological progress? While tracing this professional dilemma, we call for educational responsibility and autonomy to question technology when it is at odds with sustainability. To this end, we outline technological literacy that introduces the arts of (a) seeing technology, (b) living with technology, and (c) delegating or sustainably assimilating technology.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Apr 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • climate change education
  • Environmental education
  • post-sustainability
  • earth alienation
  • technological literacy

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1


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