Copenhagen Convention on Climate Change and Education

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Rolf Jucker, of the Swiss Foundation for Environmental Education in Bern, contacted the SHED network recently saying that "a few people here in Switzerland are trying to word a paragraph for the Copenhagen Convention on Climate Change which aims to put education right at the top", and wondered whether anybody else was trying to do the same, and asking people to get in touch.

My response was:  I'm sure that there are many such paragraphs.  What follows is the one that I use when talking about the relationship between learning and sustainability.  This captures, for me, the core role for learning as a collaborative and reflective process, the inter-generational dimension, the imperatives around social justice, and the idea of environmental limits.  This may be a text that I use, but it's not, of course, really mine.  It owes much (if not everything) to the past and continuing work of John Foster, Steve Gough and Paul Vare, and to other colleagues at Bath and elsewhere.

"The process that we call sustainable development makes no sense other than as a social learning process of improving the human condition that can be continued indefinitely without undermining itself.  In this sense, sustainable development doesn’t, instrumentally, depend on learning; rather it’s inherently a learning process of making the emergent future ecologically sound and humanly habitable, as it emerges, through the continuous, responsive learning which is the human species’ most characteristic endowment."

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