This Critical Moment: A Case Study in Education for Change

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by Dr. Paul M. Pulé

This article is a sequel to a previous article published in Deep Times Journal in Spring, 2022 by Dr. Paul M. Pulé and Abigail Sykes.  

Working with STEM Participants

After centuries of masculinist constructs that have created and sustained Industrial Growth Society (Macy & Johnstone, 2012), we are now contending with urgent social and ecological crises (IPCC, 2021). In the modern context, our species’ ways of conducting Business-As-Usual (Work That Reconnects Network, 2022a) are not working; in fact, they are largely life destroying. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) educational programs have traditionally played a key role in creating and maintaining the mechanisms that have literally and systemically constructed this circumstance.

the need for gender positive and ecologically aware training for staff and students, particularly in the ‘harder’ sciences, to bring about greater gender equality and environmental consciousness

This article presents an analysis of what happens when we work to shift the ethical and practical foundations of STEM professions towards a deep, long-range, and life-sustaining future through a customized and gender positive workshop series – called This Critical Moment (TCM), inspired by Joanna Macy and her colleagues’ Work That Reconnects. I piloted the workshop series over three replications between 28 October 2020 and 25 November 2021 at one of Sweden’s leading STEM institutions of higher learning – Chalmers University of Technology, in Göteborg. Data on average gender trends for base-funded faculty appointments across thirteen departments suggested that women are more readily employed in the ‘softer’ STEM sciences at Chalmers, which followed the same trends and was correlated with similar gender unequal spread of student enrollments. This indicated the need for gender positive and ecologically aware training for staff and students, particularly in the ‘harder’ sciences, to bring about greater gender equality and environmental consciousness in campus-wide staff and student attitudes. I created TCM to address this problem and, given the central significance of STEM professions in our systemic circumstances, as one response to alarming global social and ecological trends.

Theoretical Origins: The Masculinities of Social and Environmental Crises

In the prequel article to this (noted above), my colleague Abigail Sykes and I introduced three main forms of the most revered of masculinities: the warrior (who embodies bravery), the gentleman (who epitomizes gentility) and the self-made man (who manifests his own success) (Synnott, 2009, pp. 46, 51). We noted how these categorizations are not simple abstractions but have profound social and ecological consequences; they are all typically cis male, rely heavily on heteronormative constructs, tend towards social conservatism, and are entangled with militarization and gender-based violence, which collectively keep these typologies in positions of dominance, and pressure many non-cis males into valuative compliance as well. These hegemonized (Connell, 1995) social constructs, are particularly prevalent throughout the Global North; they are strongly aligned with industrialization on multiple scales, centering broadly on hydrocarbon guzzling high-energy lifestyles (Alaimo, 2009, p. 26; MacGregor and Seymour, 2017, p. 12). That said, it is important to note that these masculinist characterizations prioritize men who are: white, wealthy, travel frequently, consume copious amounts of energy, and eat high meat diets (Pulé, Hultman, & Wågström, 2021).

In the previous article, Abigail and I referred to the worst forms of these “malestream” (O’Brien, 1981) social constructs as industrial/breadwinner masculinities (Hultman and Pulé, 2018). However, we also noted that these life-destroying constructs are not restricted to industrial/breadwinner categorizations but also shape the reformist tendencies of ecomodernists, who also readily lean-in to technological solutions and international government regulations (e.g., smart grids, renewable energy initiatives, vehicular electrification, clean water desalination infrastructures, ocean deplasticization technologies, sustainable building, genetic modification, the COPs, etc.). These ecomodern masculinities aim for actionable societal and climatic mitigation and adaptation strategies on global social and environmental scales but do so in ways that balk at contesting the selfishness, consumptiveness, and polluting aspects of Industrial Growth Society (aka they remain oppositional to a degrowth agenda) (Fairytales of Growth, 2022; Schmelzer, Vetter and Vansintjan, 2022). 

Exposing their respective limits, as Abigail and I did in this article’s prequel, reveals a common denominator. Specifically, STEM training institutions and the professions that they support are strongly bonded to both aforementioned masculinities categorizations, and consequently do not exhibit a commitment to the intrinsic value of all of life, but rather remain profoundly anthropocentric (Drengson, 1992).

Ecological masculinities provide …pathways to transform destructive masculinities norms towards ecologically inspired, heterogenous and intimate relational encounters between Earth, others and self

In other words, STEM contributions to our global social and ecological problems are at-worst a root source of our global problems, and at-best, they stop short of a deep green ecologisation, relying instead on unabashed industrialized extractivism even when operationalizing, with the best of intentions, humanity’s reduced global social and ecological impacts (Pulé & Hultman, 2019). Abigail and I proceeded to argue for a third way forward for masculinities socializations as one contribution to the broad mosaic of mitigative and adaptive strategies needed to help us manage the calamitous changes that are upon us with grace. That third way is based on research conducted by Martin Hultman and myself (Hultman & Pulé, 2018), termed ecological masculinities, which was informed by Critical Studies on Men and Masculinities (de Boise, 2018), Ecological Feminism (Warren, Ed., 1994), Deep Ecology (Naess, 1973), and Feminist Care Theory (Tronto, 1992; Pulé, 2013), as well as subsequent considerations of the Gender and Environment metanarrative (Buckingham, 2020), Feminist Political Ecology (Rocheleau et al., Eds., 1996), Feminist New Materialism (MacGregor, 2021), and most recently, Queer Ecologies (Sandilands, 2001; Pulé & Ourkiya, 2022 [in print]). Ecological masculinities provide conceptual and practical pathways to transform destructive masculinities norms towards ecologically inspired, heterogenous and intimate relational encounters between Earth, others and self (for an illustrative comparison of the three masculinities typologies described above, see Figure 1).

Figure 1: The three masculinities categorized by Martin Hultman and Paul M. Pulé in their 2018 monograph (Johansson and Holmberg, 2021).

Conceptual Foundations and Pedagogical Responses

With our attention on the relationship between masculinities and our global social and ecological trends, I asked myself and my colleagues: how do we design and implement educational processes that are both conceptually grounded in ecologisation and engage pedagogies that contend with the most destructive (Industrial/Breadwinner and Ecomodern) masculinities? Is it possible to ecologize these masculinities at the root sources of their implementations – such as STEM programmes of study? Will doing so transform STEM institutions? What impact might this have on global social and ecological problems? And how do we address these questions in ways that reach people of all sexual orientations and gender identities? 

Figure 2: Dandelion Spiral of the Work That Reconnects (Work That Reconnects Network, 2022c)

The remainder of this article examines the ways that TCM might help us respond to such questions. At its core, TCM was conceptually based on ecological masculinities (Hultman, 2013; Pulé, 2013; Hultman, 2016; Hultman & Pulé, 2018; Pulé & Hultman eds., 2021). But it was also pedagogically constructed to follow the Spiral of the WTR (Work that Reconnects Network, 2022b) (see Figure 2). The workshop series ran online through Zoom between Autumn 2020 and Autumn 2021, over three replications. It was advertised internationally through Chalmers University’s internal networks and was supplemented by advertising for enrollments through Paul’s social media channels internationally by creating a Facebook Event

The intention of the workshop series was to support STEM professionals and university training programs to be contributors to… The Great Turning.

The intention of the workshop series was to support STEM professionals and university training programs to be contributors to what Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone (2012) refer to as The Great Turning. The workshop series’ specific intent was to address gender equality and environmental care considerations; to empower STEM education institutions to become more fully part of needed global solutions rather than the principal ‘production lines’ for the social and ecological problems we face. In this sense, I took the concept of care to be a foundational premise of TCM; an ethical alternative that assists us to transform masculinities norms in ways that can prioritize and manifest equitable human societies that function within planetary boundaries (Steffen et al. 2011; Pulé, 2013; Puig de la Bellacasa, 2016; Requena-Pelegrí, 2017).

Joanna Macy provided insights into three notable dimensions to The Great Turning:

1. Holding Actions; those embodiments and practices that prepare and equip individuals to engage in life-sustaining activities that resonate with their unique gifts and passions in service of Earth. Joanna and colleagues considered these to be those ‘[a]ctions to slow the damage to Earth and its beings’ (Work That Connects Network, 2022c). Such actions include legislative lobbying and implementation to ensure that legal barriers are created against exploitative behaviors towards planet, place, and people. But more radical actions are included here as well, such as, direct action, localized blockades, civil disobedience, and other forms of defiant resistance and agitation of the vice-like grip of Industrial Growth Society overall of life (Macy & Johnstone, 2012). Throughout the workshop series, I provided examples of holding actions to highlight what direct confrontations with Industrial Growth Society look like, what the risks and the possibilities are, and how participants might find their own entry points into these strategies for change. While I recognize that these actions will not – unto themselves – bring about lasting change precisely because they so frontally target the repressive power and control mechanisms of Industrial Growth Society, they do, however, play a vital role in slowing the roll-out of life destroying machinations that characterize masculinist societal constructs.

2. Shifts in Conscious; require a deepened understanding of the structural causes of global social and ecological problems. The conceptualizations of ecological masculinities provide a suite of contributions to this dimension, which theorizes and educates about the damage being done by unfettered Industrial Growth Societies, and it is in this dimension – by Macy’s frame – that TCM primarily sits. Vain systemic agreements are the main drivers of Industrial Growth Society, which makes excessive wealth generation possible for some, at great cost to many – human and other-than-human alike. However, Joanna reminds us that it is insufficient to call for the dismantling or retrofitting of Industrial Growth Societies through rhetoric; that we must also offer viable alternatives as part of these endeavors, such as: teach-ins, consciousness-raising and systemic education groups; organizing and supporting non-violent direct actions; educating around sustainable energy security; divesting from carbon production and the military industrial complex; learning to grow food; participating in consumer cooperatives and community supported agriculture initiatives. These are just some of the alternative strategies that TCM presented as possibilities for its participants.

3. Gaian Structures; developing Gaian Structures was Joanna’s third recommended dimension, which focused on valuative change in both social constructs and individuals through cognitive revolutions and spiritual awakenings. This dimension allows us to feel the impacts of our actions as a species on planet, place, and people. It includes relational theories such a general systems theory, deep ecology, ecological feminism, social ecology, organized green religious as well as pagan spiritual community engagement and practices; clinical work on our psychological well-being; degrowth theories and practices, to name a few. TCM introduced these more intimate and personal dimensions as invitations for participants to find a place for themselves as agents for change. Macy continues to encourage a pursuit of all three of these dimensions simultaneously as much as possible and in doing so, to find ways that work for each of us to either prevent or rid ourselves of paralysis so that we can each act for the highest good of all life.

processes that enable participants to speak from their own experience and increase empathy for others … reduce marginalization, discrimination.

TCM’s central ethical premise falls outside of the ‘man box’ (Kivel, 2007), since it prioritizes the many faces of empathy and humility of simultaneous care for  Earth, others, and self. Research suggests that self-reflection and verbal processing of emotional reactions in group contexts can be crucial ingredients in facilitating shifts away from biases, identity-laden actions, and social (and environmental) injustices (Shah, Elison, & Kokini, 2020, p. 308). Notably, processes that enable participants to speak from their own experience and increase empathy for others have been proven to reduce marginalization, discrimination, and the negative impacts of hegemonized work cultures (Denson & Chang, 2009). 

The workshop series was presented from a foundational premise that men care for the future as much as women and genderqueer people.

As a customized process, TCM adapted exercises from an Education Material (Vetterfalk & Hedenqvist, 2019), which was developed from the unfolding theories and recommendations for practices that Hultman and Pulé (2018) posited on ecological masculinities, in collaboration with the Stockholm not-for-profit organization MÄN – Men for Gender Equality. The workshop series exposed the limitations of extractivism, technology, and the masculinist hegemonisations of STEM professions, joining the dots between gendered violence (see MÄN’s  #AfterMeToo – men’s domestic and family violence training) towards other human beings and the masculinist violence towards other-than-humans as one in the same violence. This workshop series also encouraged men to understand and support women and genderqueer people as allies in the pursuit of gender and environmental justice within STEM professions. The workshop series was presented from a foundational premise that men care for the future as much as women and genderqueer people. For this reason, the workshop series did not target cis males specifically but rather addressed the masculinities that dwell in us all. Those who participated addressed topics such as the gendered nature of chains of production, technology and change, and violence in its overt and covert forms, and were introduced to practical tools for more rounded ways of thinking, being, and doing, and self-care, which are life supporting rather than life destroying. 

The Syllabus

I embedded the four stages of the WTR into a transformational change process defined by Prochaska & DiClemente (1983): 

  1. Pre-contemplation – stimulated by the pre-evaluation questions and the information provided on the poster and Facebook event page that was made available for all registrants
  2. Contemplation – Session 1 [Coming from Gratitude], where participants were encouraged to reflect on what they are grateful for as they face the social and environmental issues that await in the next session
  3. Preparation – Session 2 [Honoring Our Pain for Earth], where feelings of grief and loss in response to our social and ecological crises were uncovered so that the burdens of these challenges are not anchored down by emotional inertia or avoidance 
  4. Action – Session 3 [Seeing with New Eyes], where systemic and personal solutions were explored to empower the participant to get into action
  5. Maintenance – Session 4 [Going Forth], where customized action steps and personal support systems were established

I did this to reveal unconscious incompetence and obstacles, awaken consciousness-raising about them, that then reached for increased level of customized competence (Howell, 1982). Each session had a first half of slide presentation and large group discussion, followed – after a break – with a second half of small group and personal reflection time. 

Session 1: Coming from Gratitude

Session 1: Coming from Gratitude was designed to help participants break the distracting spell of preoccupation with possessions and appearances

This session focused on arriving in the workshop with gratitude for where each person has come from – in reference to their respective heritages, geographical locations, language and culture, sexual orientations, gender identities and states of being on the day. The purpose of Session 1 was to create a safe container for a community of practice to form. This starting point for the workshop series reflects Macy and Johnstone’s (2012, p. 43) recommendation that to face the steep challenges of systemic and personal change, we must recognize our respective gifts, savor them, use these celebrations to develop resilience and ‘psychological buoyancy’ and in doing so seek internal ‘balance and poise’. The Work That Reconnects prioritizes conscious acknowledgement of the aspects of our lives that we are grateful for, since in this way we build trust and generosity within us and from there, are better able to place our attention and actions on the world around us, effectively widening our circles of care. As a starting point for engaging in The Great Turning, Session 1: Coming from Gratitude was designed to help participants break the distracting spell of preoccupation with possessions and appearances so that we can move through the processes ahead, feeling the feelings of the crises that are upon us, and act beyond self-interest for the common good of all. Macy and Johnstone (2012) argued that in this way, we are better equipped to identify the folly and insecurity of materialism and see ourselves as immersed in and integral to life on the planet, where justice for all, human and other-than-human alike, must not only be prioritized but seen as the only natural and rational way to be; locating the myopic care that accompanies the overculture of Industrial Growth Society as narcissistic and pathological towards all others and the self.

Session 2: Honoring Our Pain for the Earth

Descending into the realities of our times, I designed Session 2: Honoring Our Pain for the Earth to bring participants face-to-face with our social and ecological calamities. The intention of this second session was to take participants through a process whereby they could face the challenging aspects of global realities individually and as a group; creating an entry point into our “interexistence with all life” (Macy & Johnstone, 2012, p. 76). Our global problems are so great that they can generate within us what Macy and Johnstone (2012, pp. 59-60) refer to as ‘blocked responses’ that keep us not simply married, but also addicted to Business-as-Usual. These blocked responses (Macy & Johnstone, 2012) take the form of denial, apathy, timidity and embarrassment, risk-aversion, self-doubt, protecting self-interests, overwhelm, paralysis, individualism, and resignation. These medicating addictions (to work, power, winning, drugs, alcohol, consumerism, sex, pornography, etc.) are common coping strategies that act as numbing agents in fickle attempts to shield us from the realities of our own lives and the ebbs and flows of the world. In this Session, participants explored the places in their personal or professional lives where these blocked responses have taken hold. It was acknowledged that these are normal and understandable consequences of the enormity of our troubled times. This was done to avoid shaming or blaming participants for the places where they might feel blocked. The purpose was then to shine a light on these stuck points, recognizing that they are different for each person and therefore require support and guidance to become visible so that they can be transitioned beyond.

This Session focused on ensuring that participants’ feelings were voiced, heard by others and valued so that those feelings could be unlocked in customized ways and in solidarity with others in the workshop

To facilitate this process, case studies of the global climate emergency (United Nations, 2019) and ocean plasticization (van Boeckel, 2016) were chosen as visualizations of the grim consequences of industrial/breadwinner and the failures of ecomodern approaches, which impact our encounters with planet, place and other people. In this session, I demonstrated that the ways we are each blocked can be considered normal survival mechanisms and what lay beneath them are feelings of “outrage, alarm, grief, guilt, dread, and despair,” which are vital to engage with if we are to make profound changes in our respective lives and the ways we interact with the world as problem solvers rather than problem makers or avoiders (Macy & Johnstone, 2012, p. 67). This Session focused on ensuring that participants’ feelings were voiced, heard by others and valued so that those feelings could be unlocked in customized ways and in solidarity with others in the workshop so that each participant could tell that they are not alone nor is there anything wrong with them in their respective struggles to free themselves from the ‘stuckness’ (Klein Karoo U.Lab Coaching Circle, 2021) of their blocked responses. On an emotional level, I acknowledged that this can be the ‘hardest’ of the four sessions and therefore, I was particularly careful to support each participant by offering them (or encouraging them to seek me out) one-on-one support should the need arise.

Session 3: Seeing with New Eyes

In Session 3: Seeing with New Eyes, I led the participants through embodied exercises that help them develop widening circles of the self; accessing a Naessean-inspired ‘cooperative tendency’ (Naess, 1973). This wider or ‘total’ world view is one that nests the self within family-community-society-planetary life (Macy & Johnstone, 2012, p. 90). This interconnected approach could be considered a view of the self as immersed with others, not as a loss of self but as an expanding of the self beyond (skin and immediate life) borders that we are erroneously socialized to believe is the only way to be. Participants were taken through a series of embodied exercises to touch their engagements with the three masculinities categorizations described above. The embodiment exercises were designed to support them to experience these categorizations not as abstract concepts but as felt realities that impact their own lives and the world around them.

Session 3 was presented as an opportunity for participants to find a different kind of power within themselves; an alternative to the masculinist tradition

The pedagogical intention in this session was to encounter the three masculinities not only in reference to the ways that the world ‘out there’ impacts participants, but also how they are carrying versions of each of the masculinities ‘in here’, within themselves. The embodiments used in this session were intended to ‘hack’ the logical mind to give participants an opportunity to bear witness to the state of the masculinist world and themselves within it with ‘new eyes’ and from there begin to (re)evaluate how they might play a role in considered responses to transforming masculinities norms internally and around them. This session consequently focused on what Macy and Johnstone (2012, pp. 93, 100; also see Naess, 1987) describe as “restoring and ‘restorying’ connectedness” so that each participant could find their own unique ‘ecological self’ within the complex pulsing dynamics of life on this planet; to bear witness to all life on Earth as within an even broader cosmology as well. I reached for a ‘shift in identification so that people identity with and act for, the team rather than just themselves’ so that ‘our central organizing priority becomes the well-being of all life, [such that] then what happens through us is the recovery of our world’, as opposed to taking from it purely for self-gain. This is of course an intentional contradiction to the masculinist precepts of industrial/breadwinner and ecomodern worldviews. Session 3 was presented as an opportunity for participants to find a different kind of power within themselves; an alternative to: the masculinist tradition of hegemonic power for some and powerlessness for others; the commoditization of life with a select few gaining enormously while others are marginalized; the win-lose model steeped in competition and conflict. These old stories collectively blind us to long-term costs of present-day actions and shorten our consideration of the future that can leave life feeling meaningless. In session 4, I introduced a new power through relationships, compassion and connectivity; a ‘power-with’ ethos that is steeped in the notion of being (c)able within and enabling others (Macy & Johnstone, 2012, pp. 108, 145-148). This new way of being, thinking and doing, is, in ecological terms, a process of ‘partnering with Earth’ to prioritize ‘networks of mutual benefit’ rather than extracting from it (Macy & Johnstone, 2021), which provides an intentional contradiction to masculinist hegemonisation.

Session 4: Going Forth

Guided by Macy and Johnstone (2012, p. 167), Session 4 noted three important steps in process thinking. Firstly, we must acknowledge how things currently are. Then we must reveal different choices and pathways that can lead to something new. And finally, we must locate ourselves within futures we feel inspired to manifest; futures we hope for and dream about that, under traditional constraints, could easily be dismissed as pipedreams. These affirming futures are not only held out as alternatives to the drudgery and life-destroying aspects of Business-As-Usual. They are sources of Active Hope that help us manifest – in the case of TCM – the new masculinities that were introduced above.

Through participation in the workshop series, participants were supported to discover their unique visions for a life-sustaining future and how they might help make that dream become a reality. Participants were given the opportunity to share with others about their goals, create a project to help get them there, identify what resources they need and how their project could help generate a different, more caring, masculinity within and around them. To achieve this, Session 4: Going Forth borrowed from Steven Covey’s (1990) The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, as well as Chapter 8 in my monograph with Martin (Hultman & Pulé, 2018, pp. 239-240). This entailed the exploration of four aspects of the self:

  • Zeal – activities that empower participants, that they value the most, and find themselves dedicating (or wanting to dedicate) most of their time to pursue
  • Superpower – those skills that participants are naturally adept at
  • Hurts – the unique set of wounds that each participant has been afflicted by
  • Wishes – the thing(s) that each participant hopes will become realities in an ideal world, if it were of their making

I lead the participants through embodiment exercises once again, but this time to explore their unique calling(s) in life and how they might contribute their respective personal and professional gifts to the Great Turning. Further to uncovering these aspects of their respective lives, participants were also encouraged to create networks around themselves for support and accountability. I encouraged this to help ground them in collaboration and resource sharing, along with creating mentor—mentee relationships (Carnes et al., 2021). As additional support for longer-term integration, I offered participants follow-up trainings of a similar nature to TCM, giving them the option to join a mailing list to receive future announcements. The workshop series was concluded on this footing, where participants were asked to join the dots between what we had experienced together about the social and ecological state of the world as a masculinities problem, and how they each can contribute to manifesting a socially and ecological just world for all living beings. 

Here’s some of the affirming feedback that I received about TCM from participant evaluations:

Workshop Series Replication 1:

Anonymous 3 Paul gave such different perspectives on the converging social and environmental crises, which not only gave us knowledge about the subject, but also provided tools for harboring the strong emotional reactions this situation provokes.

Workshop Series Replication 2:

Anonymous 5 – It is clear to me the damage that is created by and in the wake of the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. This course is one of the few opportunities I’ve had to talk about it in a group––and not one led by a minoritized woman. Thank you, Paul, for working to interrogate this situation and to turn the ship toward one that supports all (creatures, plants, and Earth).

Workshop Series Replication 3:

Anonymous 7 –  Firstly, even not being able to attend the four sessions in their entirety, I felt welcome every time (and it was very kindly and helpfully facilitated by Paul for me to jump in on those occasions I was arriving late) – and I believe that the ease that I felt in sharing my points of view and experiences didn’t come just from my intent to do so, the safety and openness of the group was evident from the beginning. I think that is one of the core things that is necessary for each of the participants to make the most out of the workshop series, safety to be able to look honestly and openly at oneself and oneself within the world/in relation to it. The workshop series also equips one with a conceptual framework with which to understand the different kinds of behaviors as they relate to this notion of masculinity and their impact on the earth; and, despite the unavoidable limitations of language, having words and concepts will, moving forward, definitely be of support in understanding and communicating. Overall, what I encountered in the workshop series I didn’t expect at all – a non-judgmental environment where one could share anything that came up in thinking or through the exercises; I didn’t know it would feel so intimate, that it would allow one to see others so closely as well. Ultimately, to feel one is not alone in this struggle nor in the endeavor to contribute positively was one of the most helpful things that the workshop can provide.

From these testimonials, we can see that the combination of TCM framed to follow the WTR provided participants with personalized leverage points to transform masculinities norms towards greater care for Earth, others, and self. Outcomes such as these suggest that we can indeed find ways to customize educational processes that transform the levels of understanding and the values associated with the STEM professions. In other words, guided by the four stages of the WTR, we see that TCM did provide at-least some STEM participants with ecologized visions for alternative masculinities futures. 

In Summary

we must prioritise educational processes that confront participants’ stuck perceptions in ways that they can feel and understand.

On the whole, TCM achieved its goal of facilitating notable shifts in participants’ knowledge about the intersections between destructive masculinities norms and environmental concerns. If we are to liberate ourselves from these masculinist traditions and their life destroying social and ecological consequences, we must use alternative ontologies than those that created our social and ecological problems in the first place. With the guidance of the WTR, TCM presented one pathway through this suggested ontological transformation that has demonstrated some successes. I came away from  the workshop series with a sense that I had created a pathway  to facilitate transitions beyond anthropocentric norms. The successes of TCM affirmed for me that rather than making individuals bad and wrong, we must prioritise educational processes that confront participants’ stuck perceptions in ways that they can feel and understand. Through TCM, I provided participants with opportunities to also discover their unique roles in generating nuanced responses to our planetary problems that collectively prioritize deep, long-range, and caring future for all of life.
Paul would be delighted to hear from you if you would like to learn more about ecological masculinities, This Critical Moment, or using the Work That Reconnects to inform education for change. 
Email Paul at: [email protected]
Follow Paul on: Facebook – Paul Mark Pulé; Facebook – Ecological Masculinities; Twitter
See Paul’s Website at: 

Some resources and links to our work on masculinities and the environment:

Monograph: Martin Hultman & Paul M. Pulé, (2018). Ecological Masculinities: Theoretical Foundations and Practical Guidance
Anthology: Paul M. Pulé & Martin Hultman, eds., (2021). Men, Masculinities, and Earth: Contending with the (m)Anthropocene
Education Material: Vidar Vetterfalk & Robin Hedenqvist (2019). Men in the Climate Crisis
Podcast Interview with Paul Pulé: From Ecomodern Breadwinners to Ecological Masculinities
This Critical Moment: Chalmers University Website for the Workshop Series

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Macy, J., & Johnstone, C. (2012). Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy. Novato, CA: New World Library. 

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Dr. Paul M. Pulé is an Australian social and environmental justice activist, ecopreneur and scholar. His research ponders the intersections between men, masculinities, and Earth through the lenses of Critical Studies on Men and Masculinities (CSMM), Environmental Philosophy and Feminist Care Theory, resulting in numerous popular science and academic articles as well as two books (a monograph: Ecological Masculinities: Theoretical Foundations and Practical Guidance, followed by an anthology: Men, Masculinities and Earth: Contending with the (m)Anthropocene). He is working on a new book and documentary that expose the masculinist aspects of our growing social and ecological crises; offering profeminist, gender diverse and environmentally caring responses to our pressing times.

 He is a freelance researcher/educator for change and Honorary Research Fellow at Coventry University’s  Centre for Global Learning (GLEA) where he explores embodied educational practices through Paolo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed and Arawana Hayashi’s Social Presenting Theatre. He is also eco-queering Ecological Masculinities in support of non-binary explorations of the human/nature relationship.

2 thoughts on “This Critical Moment: A Case Study in Education for Change

  1. Wow Brother, YOU ROCK!
    I love how much you have funded your sensitivities. You are an inspiration.

    I am writing from the island of Kauai. Currently I am enrolled in an on-line Climate Psychology Certificate Program at CIIS. (I got a Master’s Degree in Integral Counseling Psychology there in 1986.) Your work dovetails so nicely with what we are learning. I will research more of your work and incorporate it into what I am doing!
    Again, you are an inspiration!
    Much Love
    Dennis Mendonça MFT

  2. Pingback: Exploring "ecological masculinities" - A reflection on our recent session - WECF

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