Education for Sustainable Development

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Individual interest groups, politicians, or companies – each makes a contribution to societal development. On the other hand, it is often the case that important actors cannot articulate themselves or are prevented from bringing their concerns to a societal level. This is frequently followed by a period of stability, although sooner or later the concerns that are seen by many people as important or urgent will break out. What does this history of reforms, transformation, revolution, taboos, and oppression have to do with sustainability?


[edit] Empowerment for Change

When a society wants to make essential changes to its way of being and functioning fundamentally in every of its parts, it needs actors who can think in a new way and carry out concrete actions. Education on sustainable development starts at this interface between citizens and sustainability. In this section we will give an overview of how individuals can be empowered to take the idea of sustainability into the places they live and transform them. The former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan spoke on the role of education in this:

“Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy, and sustainable human development.”[1]

[edit] UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development

To foster Education for Sustainable Development the UN has proclaimed the World Decade on ESD from 2005-2014. For these ten years, the UN and its members are running and supporting projects involving sustainable development, the members are to integrate Education for Sustainable Development in their national educational concepts and a host of conferences are to be held.

[edit] Addressing Competencies to Act

ESD empowers people to foster sustainable development. Even though the background is theoretical, the practical part of Education for Sustainable Development is very concrete. At its heart, it is focused on providing people not only with knowledge but with the competencies to act. On a practical level, Education for Sustainable Development includes many didactical principles and methods from environmental education or civic education, such as experiential learning.

[edit] Combining Education, Activism and Advocacy

Education for Sustainable Development gains impact, when the participants in training activities disseminate afterwards their experience in everyday life, or in their local initiatives. A Moldovian project shows excellent, how educational activities may be combined with activism, social advertisement and advocacy:

[edit] Recommended Methods

[edit] Source

  • Arpine Galfayan, Sebastian Wehrsig, Nils-Eyk Zimmermann: Environment and Civil Involvement; How Can We Connect Sustainable Development Education and Active Citizenship Empowerment? ISBN 978-3-944012-01-8 Online
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