All those manifestos

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

I've been reading the election manifestos – well, three of them (and a sort of manifesto from the Greens).  I did some searches for the number of times the following came up:

  • education for sustainable development / sustainability
  • education for sustainability
  • environmental education
  • ESD / EfS / LSD/ SDE / etc

The answers are 0, 0, 0 and 0.  Could it be that all these parties think that ESD etc is so mainstreamed now that there's no need to mention it?  Or, that ...?

There's nothing more mainstream than curriculum, so how many mentions did that get?

Liberal Democrats 10       Labour 6       Conservatives 7       Green 0

The Conservatives had an emphasis on technical education and on the education provided through the Overseas Aid Budget, particularly for girls.  Labour talked about a National Education Service [NES] and the removal of fees from (seemingly) everything.  Are PhD studentships going to be free as well, do you suppose – and yoga?  The LDs set out plans for an educational standards authority [ESA] which sounds like an awful combination of SCAA and the CQC.  The Greens want to introduce political and active citizenship education into schools, but say nothing else about what should be taught.  In point of fact, none of them suggest that the curriculum is in need of more thinking, or that it might be more than the plaything of civil servants.  A pity.



Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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  • Thanks for the useful, if disappointing, research results that I will quote at an upcoming ENIRDELM symposium in Krakow in Sept. With Mike Bottery who in 2016 wrote "Educational Leadership for a More Sustainable World" London: Bloomsbury. The tentative title of the symposium is "Educational Leadership for Sustainability in a ‘Wicked’ Anthropocene Age". Here is a brief blurb that reinforces the gist of your manifesto research:

    "This interactive symposium will locate the debate about development and educational leadership in the context of the new geological age, the Anthropocene, created by human activity. David Oldroyd explores the unintended consequences of socio-economic-ecological ‘development’ based on maladaptive beliefs and implications for educational leadership for promoting global sustainability when most economic and political leaders seem unaware of developing existential threats.

    Mike Bottery then suggests that the arrival of the Anthropocene increases the threat to leadership sustainability per se, because it is a major example of locating educational leadership within a world of ‘wicked problems’, challenges of unprecedented complexity, which are insufficiently realised, and which provide direct threats to the sustainability of the leadership role."