Thanks to a recent NAEE weekly news round-up for alerting me to news that the Education and Training Foundation [ETF] has issued Professional Standards for teachers and trainers in the further education and training sector.

Under the heading of Professional Values and Attributes, teachers and trainers are expected to “develop their own judgment of what works and does not work in their teaching and training”.

Despite this admirable statement that teacher and trainer autonomy and professionalism are key values, it goes on to provide direct instruction to those same teachers and trainers who are told that they have to:

"promote and embed education for sustainable development (ESD) across learning and working practices.”

More evidence, if we needed it, that the ETF a completely irony-free zone.

Worse follows.  Because the EFT knows full-well that most teachers and trainers have no clue what ESD is supposed to mean, it is forced to provide a definition.  Here it is:

  “[empowering] learners to take informed decisions and responsible actions for environmental integrity, economic viability and a just society, for present and future generations, while respecting cultural diversity. It is about lifelong learning, and is an integral part of quality education.”

This is c/o UNESCO which explains why so many fine phrases are in there despite there being no agreement as to what they mean.  Of course, some heretics might think that rather than "promoting and embedding" all this, the role of education might be to explore such ideas in an open manner in an effort to generate some meaning and understanding.

Some might think ...

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates, Talks and Presentations


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