It will be good to see John Huckle again after a few years when we share a platform at a School Design Futures seminar in Oxford next week. I shall be arguing that policy and practice around sustainable schools, and ESD more generally, tends to be based around largely tacit and usually unexamined assumptions about young people’s motivations, interests and knowledge, and commenting on implications for the enhancement of learning. John will tread more familiar ground:
“I will relate this very brief talk to introduce the session to an alternative eco-socialist mode of production and consumption; I will relate unsustainability to the social dynamics and logic of consumer capitalism; and sketch the main elements of the alternative outlined by Tim Jackson in Prosperity without Growth. I will then draw on Benjamin Barber's text Consumed to consider the impact of consumerism on children and projects such Sustainable Consumption: Young Australians as Agents of Change to illustrate attempts to educate young people as catalysts of pro-enviornmental behaviour. The limits of such projects will be explored and the case made for critical forms of ESD and consumer education linked to citizenship education. These allow learners to recognize the values and interests underpinning different discourses of sustainability; develop sustainability as a frame of mind; and engage with community initiatives, such as LETS schemes that anticipate alternative modes of production and consumption. The critical pedagogy outlined on the Open Spaces for Diaglogue and Enquiry website is central to such education and while current policy on sustainable schools is primarily concerned with ecological modernisation, or the greening of capitalism, the contradictions it raises provide space for conceptualizing sustainability and sustainable school design differently and so moving forward."
Looking forward to it ...