About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7556-7568
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.0352

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

EDUCATING AS IF SUSTAINABILITY MATTERED

A. Lautensach

University of Northern British Columbia (CANADA)
Many examples of mainstream curricula at all levels, as well as observations of common behaviour and discourse indicate that education has largely failed to prepare the necessary groundwork to make a ‘Great Transition’ possible, to give humanity a chance to achieve a sustainable future of acceptable quality (Raskin 2016). The consequences of this failure in terms of human and non-human costs seldom inform actual policy making or official curriculum development.

Beyond the shortcomings in curricula themselves, a multiplicity of causes for this failure include structural constraints and perceptual blind spots in the political, social, economic and cultural realms as well as certain intrinsic impediments in the learner that have been connected to ‘human nature’. Because those causes are so deep-seated, an effective reform of education that could address the failure seems both daunting as an undertaking and more urgently needed than ever.

This paper outlines the major agenda points that such a reform effort will need to engage with at the levels of curriculum and educational practice. The first part deals with educational failure by commission and how it could be mitigated. The second part focuses on failure by omission and underlying socio-cultural contingencies, which leads into a discussion of new educational aims that would enable learners to actively contribute toward the Transition. This includes broad requirements for curriculum reform, for socio-cultural empowerment, and for the praxis of teaching and learning. Some pioneering efforts that have been made by avant-garde educators in those directions indicate that such educational achievements are realistically possible. The goal is to provide a blueprint for transformative education in the context of the sustainability imperative, beyond the inadequacies of ‘education as usual’.

I shall argue that the following special focus areas deserve particular attention in the design of an effective curriculum for sustainability: human security, ecocentrist ethics, specific cognitive and affective skills, visioning change at the global and local levels, and empowerment.
@InProceedings{LAUTENSACH2018EDU,
author = {Lautensach, A.},
title = {EDUCATING AS IF SUSTAINABILITY MATTERED},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.0352},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.0352},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {7556-7568}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Lautensach
TI - EDUCATING AS IF SUSTAINABILITY MATTERED
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.0352
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 7556
EP - 7568
ER -
A. Lautensach (2018) EDUCATING AS IF SUSTAINABILITY MATTERED, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 7556-7568.
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