3 Workshop objectivesTo understand the nature, scope and purposes of reorienting educational policies, programmes and practices towards a sustainable future;To appreciate the contribution of teacher education to educating for a sustainable future; andTo appreciate ways in which Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future can be used to enhance teacher education courses and practice.
4 Workshop activities What is sustainable development? Reorienting education for a sustainable futureTeacher education for sustainabilityReviewing a moduleReflection
5 What is sustainable development? Sustainable development is:“. . . development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”Source: World Commission on Environment and Development (1987)Our Common Future, Oxford University Press, Oxford, p. 43.The term 'sustainable development' was popularised by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) in its 1987 report entitled Our Common Future. This book is also known as the Brundtland Report, after the Chair of the Commission and former Prime Minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland.For more information on this, you can refer to Module 1, Activity 1 of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future.There are literally hundreds of definitions of sustainable development, some of which embrace the perspectives of economists, politicians, etc. as well as environmentalists. Participants could be exposed to other definitions and asked to analyse the assumptions embedded in those definitions. Participants could also be asked to develop their own definitions.For example, see Interaction | Analysing Definitions and Values, Activity 3, Module 2 of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future
6 Interdependent dimensions of sustainable development Sustainable development takes into account four interdependent dimensions:SocialEconomicEcologicalPoliticalThe WCED argued for an approach to development that would take into account the relationship between ecological, economic, social and technological issues. The diagram on the next slide illustrates the interrelationships between these four dimensions.More information on this is available in Module 1, Activity 2 of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future.
14 Why do we need sustainable development? Pressing global realities:The rapid growth of the world’s population and its changing distributionThe persistence of widespread povertyThe growing pressures on the natural worldThe continuing denial of democracy and human rightsThe very notion of “development” itself, what it has come to mean and how it is measured.The global picture is striking. A quarter of the world's people have to survive on incomes of less than US$1 a day. A fifth have no access to health care. Huge though the challenge may seem, it is becoming larger: the world's population will increase by half, another three billion people, by 2050.In the past, economic activity tended to mean more pollution and wasteful use of resources. To clean up the mess has been costly. A damaged environment impairs quality of life and, at worst, may threaten long term economic growth for example, as a result of climate change. And too many people have been left behind, excluded from the benefits of development but often suffering from the side-effects.As a result, while the need for development is as great as ever, future development cannot simply follow the model of the past. This is true for the world as a whole, and for every community in every country.We have to find a new way forward. This is the challenge of sustainable development. For the future, we need ways to achieve economic, social and environmental objectives at the same time, and consider the longer term implications of decisions.
15 Education for a sustainable future An holistic, interdisciplinary approach to learning:Knowledge and skills for building a sustainable futureHow to redress the problems that threaten our common futureHow to face the future with hope and confidence.A deep understanding of global realities and their possible solutionsHow to develop and evaluate alternative visions of a sustainable futureHow to work creatively with others to help bring these visions into effectEducating for a sustainable future emphasises a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to developing the knowledge and skills needed for building a sustainable future. This vision requires us to reorient education systems, policies and practices in order to empower everyone, young and old, to make decisions and act in culturally appropriate and locally relevant ways to redress the problems that threaten our common future. This involves helping being able to face the future with hope and confidence as a result of having acquired a deep understanding of global realities and their possible solutions and skills for developing and evaluating alternative visions of a sustainable future and working creatively with others to help bring these visions into effect.
16 Education for a sustainable future A lifelong learning process that:Leads to an informed and involved citizenryDevelops creative problem solving skillsDevelops scientific and social literacyEngages people in responsible individual and co-operative actionsWill help ensure an environmentally sound and economically prosperous futureHelps to build stronger bridges between the classroom and business, and between schools and communitiesSource: Second Nature - An educational NGO in the USA.There is much discussion about the nature of education for sustainable development. This is related to the various perspectives on sustainable development and whether we should be educating for all of these.Participants could be exposed to various other understandings of education for sustainability - see Module 4 of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future - and asked to analyse the assumptions embedded in these understandings. Participants could explore links between definitions of sustainable development and various understandings of education for sustainability. Participants could also be asked to develop their own definitions.
17 Education for a sustainable future - Objectives - Education for a sustainable future aims to:promote understanding of the interdependence of natural, socio-economic and political systems at local, national and global levels.encourage critical reflection and decision making that is reflected in personal lifestyles.engage the active participation of the citizenry in building sustainable development.Source: Lopez, G. (1997) Putting new bite into knowledge, in I. Serageldin et al (eds), Organising Knowledge for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development, The World Bank, Washington DC, p. 10
18 Education for a sustainable future - Key features - Interdisciplinary Holistic Problem solving Student centred Participatory InteractiveExperiential Action oriented Coherent Progressive Reflective
19 Reorienting education for a sustainable future Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future develops teachers’ knowledge and skills for reorientating educational policies, programme and practices.
20 Reorienting education for a sustainable future Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future is rooted in a new vision of education, a vision that helps students better understand the world in which they live, addressing the complexity and interconnectedness of the problems that threaten our future.
21 Reorienting education for a sustainable future Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future emphasises an holistic, interdisciplinary approach to education in order to help empower everyone, young and old, to make decisions, and act in culturally appropriate and locally relevant ways, to redress the problems that threaten our common future.
22 Reorienting education for a sustainable future There are over 60 million teachers in the world – and each one is a key agent for bringing about the changes in lifestyles and systems we need. For this reason, innovative teacher education is an important part of education for a sustainable future.
23 Reorienting education for a sustainable future The multimedia format of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future means that it can be accessed and used in a great many ways by teachers, student teachers, teacher educators, curriculum developers, education policy makers and authors of educational materials.
24 Trends in teacher education Academic rigourExperiential learningReflective practiceAcademic Rigour: Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future incorporates up-to-date knowledge about key issues related to global realities and sustainable development themes from many disciplines. Since it has been produced by an international body (UNESCO), the programme has been developed through extensive consultation, review and evaluation and is as free as possible from cultural or other biases. Links to numerous Internet sites also provide multiple perspectives on topics and can enhance access to information and critical thinking.Experiential Learning: All the modules in Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future are based upon an experiential learning process that invites teachers to analyse and interpret information in a variety of forms (e.g. text, tables, diagrams, computer games, and linked WWW-sites); review new knowledge in the light of current understandings; develop skills in a wide variety of teaching and learning strategies; and adapt new ideas and skills to practical educational tasks.Reflection: Reflection is integral to the professional development experiences in Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future. A deepening appreciation of education for a sustainable future is encouraged by the use of a ‘Learning Journal’ in every module. Answering questions in the ‘Learning Journal’ is a practical way of learning. It also provides a record of what has been learnt, ideas and plans for applying these ideas in local situations, and opportunities for on-going professional reflection. Some questions in the Learning Journal may also be used as starting points for student learning material.