EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AT HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS: A CRITIQUE

TitleEDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AT HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS: A CRITIQUE
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsPace, P
JournalJournal of Baltic Science Education
Volume15
Issue3
Start Page268-270
PaginationContinuous
Date PublishedJune/2016
Type of ArticleEditorial
ISSN1648-3898
Other NumbersICID: 1211235
Keywordseducation for sustainable development, higher education institutions, students learning
Abstract

Since the inception of the concept of education for sustainable development (ESD) (UNCED, 1992, Chapter 36, par.3), higher education institutions (HEIs) have been considered key actors in its promotion. HEIs were expected to achieve this by leading students to contextualise their learning within the realities of their own specialisation, profession and personal life by encouraging them to develop: (a) the notion of global citizenship; (b) a commitment towards environmental stewardship; (c) a reflection about the interaction between issues of social justice, ethics, wellbeing and ecological and economic factors; and (d) a commitment towards actively ensuring sustainable futures (Longhurst, 2014, p.5). However, Orr’s reflection while watching the yearly procession of graduands that “… without significant precautions, education can equip people merely to be more effective vandals of the earth” (Orr, 1994, p.5) is quite telling. Considering the resources invested in HEIs and the time elapsed since ESD’s learning objectives were spelled out, one would expect much greater achievements in the realm of sustainable development. This does not mean that there are no great examples where HEIs have done a great job at promoting sustainability (UNESCO, 2014a), but one must admit that, when looking at the whole picture, these are relatively isolated cases and that the overall picture is rather bleak.

URLhttp://journals.indexcopernicus.com/abstract.php?icid=1211235
Refereed DesignationRefereed
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