Schools, the Learning Society and Sustainability

Posted in: Comment

Schools, as institutions, need to be seen as an integral part of the wider learning society with the key role of supporting young people in the early stages of acquiring those wide-ranging understandings and capabilities that they will need to continue to develop in order to successfully engage with, and live in, the wider world. 

In terms of sustainability, the purpose of education might be seen as engaging young people and stimulating their development of awareness, understanding, skills and capabilities in relation to living sustainably with the hope (but not certainty) that this will gives rise to social participation that can contribute to the goal of social justice and human well-being on the global scale, and bolster the integrity and resilience of ecological systems within the biosphere. 

In schools the current focus of such engagement relates, in the main, to students’ personal and social activities (how they live); in universities, currently at any rate, engagement almost exclusively focuses on vocational and professional preparation (how they work).  The following questions seem to follow from this:

1.  To what extent is focusing on the sustainability of a school, as an institution, necessary to support learning about sustainability?    [ as opposed to just addressing this through what is taught ]
2.  To what extent do universities need to teach all their students about sustainability?    [ as oppossed to just raising issues in those courses that are directly germane to sustainability ]
... whilst noting that the first of these is not a question that tends to be asked of universities; and that the second is not a question that tends to be asked of schools.  

Posted in: Comment


  • (we won't publish this)

Write a response