TAG: Sustainability education

Eco Education For Tomorrow

Education for Sustainability

For those in the know there is a growing field called Education for Sustainability (EfS). This is now taking hold across the world (hailed by the United Nations) as a key strategy for raising awareness, knowledge and skills toward improved sustainability behaviours. It is also considered by some writers to be more inclusive and effective than its predecessor, Environmental Education. Whilst it could be argued that the differences between Environmental Education and Education for Sustainability (EfS) are negligible, differences exist. These may be attached to the changing definitions of these terms (in particular, “environment”, “education”, and “sustainability”) in response to… read more

The Human Touch

Environmental education

It might seem obvious, but because environmentalists frequently focus on big issues relating to the non-human world, it’s sometimes easy to neglect the human element in our work as environmental educators and communicators. This “human touch” is best expressed in our people skills – our interpersonal (or relationship-building) skills and our ability to work effectively with groups. Most university degrees in biological science or environmental management tend not to emphasise knowledge, skills and practice in effective group work. And yet – in the big bad world beyond the hallowed halls – much of our environmental efforts operate within communities of… read more

The Leadership Challenge

volunteering in leadership

Time and again, people assert that strong national leadership is what we need to move toward a sustainable future. It could certainly be argued that our political leaders are yet to “step up” to the responsibilities of effectively navigating a healthy and prosperous future for people and planet alike. But what about personal leadership? What about the leadership required within our communities, our neighbourhoods, our homes? What about the leadership required of each and every one of us? From a social change perspective, “leadership” isn’t necessarily the job of a single person within a group. Within environmental or community groups,… read more

Eco Education – An Important Subject

Eco Education

Once upon a time, exemplary education involved an “expert” imparting words of wisdom upon the passive student who simply listened to, and processed new information and ideas. Dissemination was the key to learning, and learning happened by default. Thankfully, the world of education has changed…at least in principle. Today, amid increased awareness of the importance of education in social change for sustainability, learners are now viewed as active participants in their own development (and the development of their local communities). Today, educators need to be facilitators more-so than the traditional “sage on stage”. Within environmental education for sustainability, the focus has… read more

Is Education Really The Answer?

Is Education the Answer?

According to Leif Utne in World Changing (2006, p.313): “Access to education, or rather the lack of it, is one of the greatest barriers to sustainability. According to Lester Brown, director of the Earth Policy Institute, 115 million children do not attend school and 800 million adults are illiterate”. All this in a world where information access is the key to success, irrespective of whether a person is a taxi driver or a factory worker, an organic farmer or a hairdresser. “To be illiterate and unschooled is to be excluded from the possibility of a better future. If we want… read more

Sustainable Schools

School children playing

Sustainability in schools encompasses six key areas: water conservation, waste reduction, energy efficiency, green spaces, environmentally friendly transportation, and sustainability education. The first step to making a school more sustainable is to establish a sustainability team that includes students, teachers, other staff and, ideally, parent volunteers. This team must evaluate the school’s environmental friendliness, determine which issues can be feasibly addressed, create both short- and long-term goals, and develop an action plan. It’s also beneficial to consult with other sustainable schools and organizations to learn about best practices and to celebrate successes in meeting sustainability targets. The following are specific… read more