Higher education in the global North, and exported elsewhere, is complicit in driving the planet's socio-ecological crises by teaching how to most effectively marginalize and plunder Earth and human communities. As students and activists within the academic system, we take a firm stand to arrest this cycle, and to redirect education toward teaching how to create conditions for all life to thrive. In this paper, we articulate a research and education agenda for co-constructing knowledge and wisdom, and propose shifts in the 'ologies from the current, destructive modes to intended regenerative counterparts. We offer to shift from an ontology of separation to that of interconnectedness; from an epistemology of domination to that of egalitarian relationship; and from an axiology of development to that of plural values for world- and meaning-making. Such paradigm shifts reflect the foundational aspirations of the consilient transdiscipline of ecological economics. We analyze several introductory university textbooks in economics, law, and natural sciences, to demonstrate how destructive 'ologies are taught in North American universities, and how such teaching implicitly undermines critical inquiry and effective challenge. Our strategy for change is to provide a new theoretical framework for education: the regenerative 'ologies of the Ecozoic', based on biophysicality, embedded relationality, pluralism, and the sustainable well-being of all members in the community of life.
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Vargas Roncancio I, Temper L, Sterlin J, Smolyar NL, Sellers S, Moore M, Melgar-Melgar R, Larson J, Horner C, Erickson JD, Egler M. From the Anthropocene to mutual thriving: an agenda for higher education in the Ecozoic. Sustainability. 2019 Jan;11(12):3312.