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Education for Sustainable Development:


Education for Sustainable Development: Cure or Placebo? David V. J. Bell, PhD ( Professor Emeritus and Former Dean, Faculty of Environmental Studies, – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Education for Sustainable Development:

Education for Sustainable Development  Cure or
  • David V. J. Bell, PhD( Profe
    ssor Emeritus and Former Dean,Faculty of
    Environmental Studies,
  • York University
  • Chair, Learning for a Sustainable
  • Facing Forward - Looking BackCharting
    Sustainable Development in Canada
  • 1987-2007-2027
  • Ottawa, Ontario October 18th 19th 2007

  • Where Have We Been?
  • Our Common Future and Agenda 21
  • ESD in Canada
  • Where Are We Now?
  • Canadas Response
  • Where Are We Going?
  • Cure or Placebo?
  • What we need to do over next 20 years

Our Common Future
  • Strengthen basic education
  • Communicate effectively with people
  • The changes in attitudes, in social values,
    and in aspirations the report urges will depend
    on vast campaigns of education, debate, and
    public participation.
  • A new kind of education also needed
  • Education should therefore provide
    comprehensive knowledge, encompassing and cutting
    across the social and natural sciences and the
    humanities, thus providing insights on the
    interaction between natural and human resources,
    between development and environment.

Agenda 21
  • Education mentioned in every chapter
  • Ch 36 Promoting Education formal, Public
    Awareness informal and Training non-formal
  • 4 thrusts
  • improve basic education (especially in the
    developing countries)
  • reorient existing education to address SD
    (strengths approach)
  • develop public understanding and awareness
  • provide training for all sectors of society
    including business, industry and government.

Other ESD Milestones
  • ECO-ED (Toronto, October 1992)
  • Nearly 6000 delegates, 500 Aboriginal reps
  • Each panel had govt/ed, business, aboriginal,
    youth, gender balance
  • International Conference on Environment and
    Society Education and Public Awareness for
    Sustainability (1997 Thessaloniki, Greece)
  • UN CSD reviews Ch. 36 of Agenda 21(1998)
  • WSSD (2002)
  • UNDESD (2005 2014)
  • UN University Institute of Advanced Studies
    UNU-IAS initiatives (including Regional Centres
    of Expertise RCEs on ESD)

ESD in Canada
  • Brundtland hearings led to NTFEE
  • NTFEE recommends round tables
  • NRTEE establishes LSF in 1991
  • Jack McLeod (former CEO of Shell) Chair
  • Jean Perras Executive Director
  • UNESCO/UNITWIN Chair in Reorienting Teacher
    Education Toward Sustainability established at
    York University in 1999
  • Chuck Hopkins appointed
  • EC Framework for Environmental Learning and
    Sustainability Education in Canada (for WSSD)

Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF)
  • A national, bi-lingual, non-profit organization
    founded in 1991
  • Required to self-fund
  • Promotes, through education, the knowledge,
    skills, perspectives and practices essential to a
    sustainable future
  • Partners with business, community, educators,
    students, and governments across Canada to
    encourage sustainability action projects

  • Where Have We Been?
  • Our Common Future and Agenda 21
  • ESD in Canada
  • Where Are We Now?
  • Canadas Response
  • Where Are We Going?
  • Cure or Placebo?
  • What we need to do over next 20 years

The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable
Development (UNDESD) 2005 to 2014
  • March 2005 - UN Economic Commission for Europe
    (UNECE) High-level meeting of Environment and
    Education Ministries adopted
  • ESD Strategy
  • Vilnius Framework for its implementation
  • The Canadian delegation
  • Gerald Farthing CMEC (formal)
  • Diane Rochon, Ministère de lÉducation Québec
  • Suzan Bowser, EC (non-formal)
  • David Walden, Canadian Commission for UNESCO

UNECE Strategy
  • Goal to develop and incorporate ESD into the
    formal, non-formal and informal education
  • Objectives
  • ensuring policy, regulations operations support
  • promoting ESD though formal, non-formal
    informal learning
  • equipping educators with the competence to
    include SD in their teaching
  • ensuring that ESD tools materials are
  • promoting research development of ESD and
  • strengthening cooperation on ESD at all levels
  • fostering conservation, use, and promotion of
    knowledge of Indigenous Peoples in ESD.

Partnering to Respond to UNDESD
  • Environment Canada
  • Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth
    (MECY)/Manitoba Advanced Education and Literacy
  • Learning for a Sustainable Future

ESD Strategic Initiatives
  • Provincial/Territorial ESD Working Groups
  • National ESD Expert Council
  • Canadian Sustainability Curriculum Review
  • ESD Resource Database
  • Youth Taking Action Forums
  • Sustainability Model School Project
  • Sustainability Education Academy

  • Where Have We Been?
  • Our Common Future and Agenda 21
  • ESD in Canada
  • Where Are We Now?
  • Canadas Response
  • Where Are We Going?
  • Cure or Placebo?
  • What we need to do over next 20 years

Education Cure or Placebo?
  • Whats the disease? (Youve got humans!)
  • Is it really that bad?
  • Does education really help? Or does it buy time
    for more Business As Usual?

Some Ancient Chinese WisdomIf you are thinking
a year ahead, sow seed, If you are thinking ten
years ahead, plant a tree. If you are thinking
one hundred years ahead, educate the
people.  Kuan Tzu Chinese Poet, c. 500 B.C.
Looking Back 100 Years
  • population (about 2 billion)
  • global governance (few countries, many empires,
    national economies)
  • technologies (automobile and telephone just
    beginning to have an impact)
  • miniscule civil society sector
  • environmental awareness
  • no concept of global climate change
  • little understanding of pollution or its impacts
    on health
  • few concerns about biodiversity, deforestation
  • no one imagined seeing planet earth from space

Looking Ahead 100 years How will we
  • Meet basic needs for food, water, shelter, and
    energy of 10 billion people?
  • Stabilize the climate by reducing GHG emissions
    globally by more than 60?
  • Reduce proportion of the worlds population
    living on US2 per day or less? ( currently
    nearly half -- 3 billion)
  • Achieve a low carbon factor 10 economy?
  • shift from take-make-waste production cycle to
    cradle-to-cradle? (Theres no waste in Nature)
  • Achieve a more peaceful, secure world?

What do we need to do?
  • Do we need a culture shift?
  • Is this sufficient or merely necessary?
  • What would it entail?
  • Where should we be in 20 years?

What will this require?
  • ESD as basic, general education for the 21st
  • Reorientation of all professional and technical
    post-secondary education
  • Improved non-formal ESD in all sectors
    (especially governments?)
  • Strengthened informal ESD including in advertising

Funding for ESD
  • Complicated by the division of powers
  • Budget cuts, shifting priorities in EC
  • Lack of an overall GoC approach
  • Variable support from provinces and territories
  • Result
  • Canadian government providing much less funding
    than many other UNECE countries
  • Some national initiatives funded by LSF!

Is there any hope?
  • A pessimist is an informed optimist.
  • Russian proverb
  • Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.
  • David Orr

The Aboriginal Thanksgiving Address
Finally, we acknowledge one another, female and
male. We give greetings and thanks that we have
this opportunity to spend some time together.
We turn our minds to our ancestors and our
Elders. You are the carriers of knowledge, of our
history. We acknowledge the adults among us. You
represent the bridge between the past and the
future. We also acknowledge our youth and
children. It is to you that we will pass on the
responsibilities we now carry. Soon, you will
take our place in facing the challenges of life.
Soon, you will carry the burden of your people.
Do not forget the ways of the past as you move
toward the future. Remember that we are to walk
softly on our sacred Mother, the Earth, for we
walk on the faces of the unborn, those who have
yet to rise and take up the challenges of
existence. We must consider the effects our
actions will have on their ability to live a good
Appendix Additional slides
  • UNECE Vision
  • Elements of Canadas strategy

  • Vision
  • Our vision for the future is of a region that
    embraces common values of solidarity,
  • equality and mutual respect between people,
    countries and generations. It is a region
  • characterized by sustainable development,
    including economic vitality, justice, social
  • cohesion, environmental protection and the
    sustainable management of natural resources,
  • so as to meet the needs of the present generation
    without compromising the ability of
  • future generations to meet their needs.
  • Education, in addition to being a human right, is
    a prerequisite for achieving sustainable
  • development and an essential tool for good
    governance, informed decision-making and
  • the promotion of democracy. Therefore, education
    for sustainable development can help
  • translate our vision into reality.
  • Education for sustainable development develops
    and strengthens the capacity of individuals,
  • groups, communities, organizations and countries
    to make judgements and choices in favour
  • of sustainable development. It can promote a
    shift in peoples mindsets and in so doing enable
  • them to make our world safer, healthier and more
    prosperous, thereby improving the quality of
  • life. Education for Sustainable development can
    provide critical reflection and greater

National ESD Expert Council
  • Mission
  • Promote a Canadian culture of sustainability
    by developing and strengthening collaboration and
    leadership in education and training.
  • Goals
  • Strengthen, promote communicate ESD activities
    in Canada
  • 2. Provide leadership support innovation in
  • 3. Identify address gaps at a national level
  • Disseminate ESD research
  • Monitor report on ESD progress
  • Funding of NESDEC and Provincial WGs.

(No Transcript)
Provincial/Territorial ESD Working Groups
  • Goal To support and foster a culture of ESD in
    each jurisdiction
  • Objectives
  • Build ESD into the formal/non-formal and informal
    education culture
  • Establish strategic collaborations between
    governments, education sector leaders, business,
    and community NGOs
  • Bring together stake-holders for policy input,
    debate, exchange, planning
  • a sense of urgency and the latest science on
    critical sustainability issues
  • Pilot Working Group established in Manitoba June
  • Groups now in B.C., Alberta Sask., Ont., N.B.,
    N.S., and Nunavut

Canadian Sustainability Curriculum Review
  • Goal To infuse ESD into School curriculum policy
    and instructional methods
  • Objectives
  • Identify fundamental concepts, skills, values,
    and instructional methods for the following
  • Energy - Transportation
  • Climate Change - Citizenship Community
  • Ecosystems - Human Health Environment
  • Water - Indigenous and Local Knowledge
  • Biodiversity - Food and Agriculture

Youth Taking Action Forums
  • Goal To empower youth to take action on
    important sustainability issues in their schools
    and communities.
  • Objectives
  • Increase awareness and understanding of local
    sustainability issues
  • Empower youth by engaging them in community-based
    action projects that develop their leadership
  • Increase the teaching of sustainability issues
  • Enhance the capacity of local NGOs to deliver
    sustainability programs.
  • Share and celebrate success.

Education for Sustainable Development Model
School Project
  • Vision To inspire the effective integration of
    excellent ESD practices into Stouffville District
    Secondary School as a model of ESD for schools
    across Canada
  • A commitment to sustainability is evident in
  • School Culture the school mission, improvement
    plan, extra-curricular activities
  • School Operations the way the school is run is
  • Physical Surroundings the building and the
    surrounding area are consistent with the goals of
  • Curriculum curricular expectations and
  • strategies facilitate ESD learning

Sustainability Education Academy for Education
  • Goal to motivate and equip senior education
    officials to lead the integration of ESD as a
    core value in all aspects of formal education
    including policy, curriculum, teaching,
    learning, professional development, and the
    sustainable management of human, physical and
    financial resources.
  • Three day Seminar modeled after Sustainable
    Enterprise Academy
  • In partnership with LSF, Schulich School of
    Business, York U. Faculty of Education, and the
    UNESCO Chair in ESD.

Resources for Rethinking ESD Resource Database
  • Goal
  • To provide teachers with tools to facilitate the
    effective integration of ESD into formal school
    programs (K-12) across Canada
  • Objectives
  • Improve access to resources by providing teachers
    with a searchable ESD resource database, that
    links resources to all provincial/territorial
  • Provide quality resources by ensuring all
    resources are professionally reviewed by
    classroom teachers.
  • Enhance capacity of ESD publishers to produce
    quality resources for teachers.
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