Is it time to get serious about sustainability education?

August 20, 2018 Island Teacher No comments exist

If we define sustainability as addressing the ongoing capacity for Earth to maintain life, and we consider this our goal, Education for Sustainability (EfS) is how we get there.

Education for Sustainability (EfS) is an educational approach that aims to develop students, schools and communities with the values and the motivation to take action for sustainability – in their personal lives, within their community and also at a global scale, now and in the future.

Education for Sustainability (EfS) aims to build awareness and knowledge of sustainability issues but also to develop students and schools that are able to think critically, innovate and provide solutions towards more sustainable patterns of living.
We have seen some very significant climate events this July and August. Record flooding in India and horrific fires in the tinder-dry areas of Greece. Australia has also seen extensive drought conditions and a peculiarly early start to the bushfire season. Western Europe has experienced a very warm summer. A heat wave might be pleasant, but it would have a significant impact if they became a regular feature of summer life. Some might argue, that these events are all part of a natural cycle and not anthropogenic in their origin. No one can doubt the power of climatic variation to constrain human activity and functions. Young people will have to engage in critical thinking and be able to have a holistic approach to climatic issues. Our unfettered exploitation of the planet has consequences that will need addressing so that we can leave something positive for future generations. Education for Sustainability offers a much-needed approach to our pressing issues. Despite the Australian Government's inability to secure climate legislation to everyone's satisfaction, they can be proud as a nation that they have a cutting-edge approach to Efs. Sustainability is a cross-curriculum priority within the Australian Curriculum. Maybe it's time to embed sustainability into your classroom, school, and community.

Have a look at the Australian Resource Portal.

Further reading on the challenges the next generation face.

Summer weather is getting 'stuck' due to Arctic warming

The influence of Arctic amplification on mid-latitude summer circulation

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