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Thoughts on learning, sustainability and the link between them

The role and responsibility of education ...

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I had an email from Transformative Learning the other day.  It said:

What is the role and responsibility of education to not only respond to sustainability problems, but also to prevent them and create more sustainable futures? 

This (which isn't quite a question) is at the core of the web-based course in Education for Sustainable Development, and so, presumably, are the answers.  The organisers say this:

"In this 15 credit MSc-level Master’s course you will critically and actively explore central concepts and perspectives in the field of education for sustainable development.  The course content will be related to your own interests and prior experiences.  You will be among other Master students from different parts of the world with different backgrounds (e.g. environmental sciences, social sciences, economics, arts and humanities).

They added, the course is of interest if you:

  • Want to work for increased public awareness, knowledge and action competence in sustainable development and responding to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
  • Are interested in supporting learning for sustainable development among diverse groups;
  • Are involved in social movements for people, animals, and the environment, and want to learn more about the role of education in creating a more equitable, peaceful, and ecologically viable world;
  • Are a teacher/educator looking for ideas and strategies to better integrate education for sustainable development in your classrooms or in community settings."

All this raises an issue as to why the question (above) which was about what education can do suddenly becomes focused what ESD can do.  Given that these are not the same, why not focus on the former (which everyone experiences, more or less) rather that the latter which hardly exists outwith the interests of its supporters.

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