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What is Education for Sustainability? Jason Hamilton Dept. of Environmental Studies & Sciences Ithaca College.

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Presentation on theme: "What is Education for Sustainability? Jason Hamilton Dept. of Environmental Studies & Sciences Ithaca College."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is Education for Sustainability? Jason Hamilton Dept. of Environmental Studies & Sciences Ithaca College

2 Capable of being sustained Definition: Sustainability ?

3 What is sustainability? “Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well- being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment.” Definition: Sustainability

4 At Walmart, we know that being an efficient and profitable business and being a good steward of the environment are goals that can work together. Our broad environmental goals at Walmart are simple and straightforward: To be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy; To create zero waste; To sell products that sustain people and the environment. Definition: Sustainability

5 Sustainable Development Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs World Commission on Economic Development. (1987). Our Common Future. England: Oxford University Press.

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7 Sustainability is…… A fundamental concept like “liberty” or “justice”

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10 Alternative Energy Preserving Biodiversity Stopping Climate Change Saving Trees Green Building Eating Tofu

11 First Basic Axiom of Sustainability The current state of people is not a morally acceptable endpoint

12 People Below the Poverty Line Zimbabwe 95% Turkmenistan 60% Haiti 41%

13 People Living With Water Insecurity

14 Second Basic Axiom of Sustainability The current state of people is not a morally acceptable endpoint We have reached a state where we are negatively impacting the ability of future generations to live

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16 “Human activity is putting such a strain on the natural functions of Earth that the ability of the planet’s ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted.” “Nearly two thirds of the services provided by nature to humankind are found to be in decline worldwide.”

17 Time before 2005 (years) Carbon Dioxide (ppm) Methane (ppb) Nitrous Oxide (ppb)

18 Proof that global warming is real

19 The State of Our Global Temperature Muir Glacier, Alaska August 1941 Photos by Bruce Molnia, USGS.

20 The State of Our Global Temperature Photos by Bruce Molnia, USGS. Muir Glacier, Alaska August 2004

21 Third Basic Axiom of Sustainability The current state of people is not a morally acceptable endpoint We have reached a state where we are negatively impacting the ability of future generations to live The major types of problems have to be addressed simultaneously: there is no ranking of importance

22 Sustainability is the mindset that considers the systemic connections among the major challenges facing humans impaired immune function Increased rates of polio and measles respiratory problems in children pollution from flaring Royal Dutch Shell Exxon Mobil Corp Chevron vaccination for polio & measles Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Money reduced vaccination rate Reduced rates of polio and measles &

23 Fourth Basic Axiom of Sustainability The current state of people is not a morally acceptable endpoint We have reached a state where we are negatively impacting the ability of future generations to live The major types of problems have to be addressed simultaneously: there is no ranking of importance The system isn’t broken

24 THE CENTRAL LAW OF IMPROVEMENT Every system is perfectly designed to achieve the results it achieves. Donald Berwick

25 So where do we keep going wrong?

26 The “50 simple things...” Trap

27 The Basic Axioms of Sustainability The current state of people is not a morally acceptable endpoint We have reached a state where we are negatively impacting the ability of future generations to live The major types of problems have to be addressed simultaneously: there is no ranking of importance The system isn’t broken

28 Healthy People

29 Physical Health

30 Mental Health

31 Physical Health Mental Health Emotional Health

32 Physical Health Mental Health Emotional Health Spiritual Health

33 Healthy People

34 Healthy Environment

35 Healthy People Healthy Environment

36 Healthy People Healthy Environment Healthy Communities

37 Healthy People Healthy Environment Healthy Communities

38 Healthy People Healthy Environment Healthy Communities Healthy Trade

39 Healthy People Healthy Environment Healthy Communities Healthy Trade

40 Healthy People Healthy Environment Healthy Communities Healthy Trade

41 Moving Beyond a Sustainability “Mission Statement” Goals Useful approaches Ways to measure progress

42 Sustainability is the mindset that considers the systemic connections among the major challenges facing humans Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger Achieve universal primary education Promote gender equality Reduce child mortality Improve maternal health Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, etc. Ensure functioning of Earth’s life support system Develop a global partnership for development

43 Sustainability: DESD The UN has declared this the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and called for a complete rethinking of the role of education in our world Sustainability must become the guiding focus and organizing principle of everything we do.

44 What? Learning that is about knowledge and also about doing, being, interacting with others and changing the world Why? Prepares learners to enter the workforce as well as handle a crisis, be resilient, become responsible citizens, adapt to change, recognize and solve local problems with global roots, meet other cultures with respect, and create a peaceful and sustainable society How? Learning that is enjoyable, hands-on and relevant to life outside school while addressing the problems of our world

45 Complexity, Systems & Design Thinking Place-based & Locally Relevant Agents of change Sustainability-Oriented Content Core Learning Objectives of Education for Sustainability: Ethical/affective values based

46 Sustainability Must Become Second Nature Sustainability is about all choices and connections Investment Choices Formal Education Community Involvement Spiritual Life Personal Development Political Choices Consumption Choices

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