Sustainable Education: Re-visioning Learning and Change

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Green Books for the Schumacher Society, 2001 - Nature - 94 pages
How will we move towards sustainability? By learning through crisis, or by design? In this Briefing, Stephen Sterling points out that progress towards a more sustainable future critically depends on learning, yet most education and learning take no account of sustainability. He also argues that the reorientation of education towards sustainable developement since the Agenda 21 agreement of 1992 has been very slow, and education is largely behind other fields in developing new thinking and practice in response to the challenge of sustainability. Whilst 'environmental education' and more recently 'education for sustainable development' have become important trends, they are not sufficient to reorient and transform educatino as a whole. The Briefing critiques the prevailing managerial and mechanistic paradigm in education, and argues that an ecological view of educational theory, practice and policy is necessary to assist the sustainability transition. It then shows how 'sustainable education' - a change of educational culture towards the realization of human potential and the interdependence of social economic and ecological wellbeing - can lead to transformative learning. The Briefing ends with a discussion of change strategies, emphasizing the need for vision and design at all levels of educational systems, and includes action suggestions for both policy-makers and practitioners.

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Foreword by David Orr
Towards Sustainable Education
Education and Learning in Change

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About the author (2001)

Stephen Sterling is Schumacher Reader in Education for Sustainability at the Centre for Sustainable Futures, and Senior Advisor to the Higher Education Academy ESD Project, UK. He is also a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Research in Education and the Environment at the University of Bath.

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