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What is the Role of Education in Sustainable Development

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					  Education for Sustainable
  Development: The Oregon
  Context




Rosalyn McKeown, Ph.D.
Graduated School of Education
Oregon the Sustainable State

What does it mean to educate for a
 more sustainable future?
Oregon the Sustainable State

What does it mean to educate for a
 more sustainable future?

Many organizations around the world
 are grappling with this question.
The United Nations General Assembly
declared 2005–2014 as the
U.N. Decade of Education
for Sustainable Development.
 UNESCO Guidelines & Recommendations
for Teacher Education to Address Sustainability

 National Education for Sustainability
K – 12 Student Learning Standards

 Washington State Environmental and
Sustainability Education Standards
UNDESD defines education for
sustainable development (ESD) as:
 Improving access and retention in quality basic
  education.
 Reorienting existing education to address
  sustainability.
 Improving public understanding and awareness of
  sustainability.
 Providing training related to sustainability to all
  sectors of the economy (government, business,
  industry, etc.)
1st Goal of ESD
 Improving access to and retention in quality
  education
   • In 2006 the USA graduation rate was 69%. (Can
     the USA be economically competitive if only
     two-thirds of our workforce has a high school
     diploma?)
   • According to Silent Epidemic the majority of
     dropouts found classes “uninteresting.”
   • ESD addresses relevancy of K – 12 curriculum.
2nd Goal of ESD

 Reorient existing education to address sustainability

Question: How is education for sustainable development (ESD)
  different than the education we are currently providing our
  students?

Answer: An appropriately reoriented education includes more
  principles, skills, perspectives, and values related to
  sustainability than are currently included in our educational
  system.
Three Levels of Action for
Implementing ESD
Disciplinary
Whole school
Educational system
Level 1 – Disciplinary:
Strengths Model
ESD is such a large task that efforts from many
  people and disciplines are needed to make
  progress.
Elements of the Strengths Model
  Every discipline can contribute to ESD.
  Every teacher can contribute to ESD.
  No one discipline should claim ownership of ESD.
Level 1 – Disciplinary: Strengths
Model Examples
 Mathematics helps students understand extremely small
  numbers (e.g., parts per hundred, thousand, or million),
  which allows them to interpret pollution data.
 Social Studies helps students understand ethnocentrism,
  racism, and gender inequity as well as to recognize how these
  are expressed in the surrounding community and in nations
  worldwide.
 Language Arts, especially media literacy, creates
  knowledgeable consumers who can separate fact and opinion
  and analyze the messages of advertisers and see beyond
  "green wash.”
Level 2 - Whole School
 Whole-school approaches
    It takes more than information about sustainability
     to make the enormous behavioral shift needed for a
     more sustainable future.
 Schools model environmental, social, and economic
  sustainability in the daily operations of a school.
 Sustainability is practiced to reinforce concepts
  taught in the classroom.
 Walk the walk and talk the walk.
Level 3 - Educational System

UNESCO identified 5 key aspects of quality
 education at the systems level.
  creates a legislative framework,
  implements good policies,
  builds administrative support and leadership,
  provides sufficient resources, and
  measures learning outcomes
The Oregon Opportunity

ESD helps us attain the Oregon High School
  Diploma Essential Skills, especially 5 – 8.
Essential Skills

5. Think critically and analytically.
6. Use technology to learn, live and work.
7. Demonstrate civic and community
   engagement.
8. Demonstrate global literacy.
Education is our great hope for a
sustainable future. By taking on
the important task of implementing
ESD we bring the possibility
of a more sustainable future to
our communities and state.
References
Education for Sustainable Development Toolkit
http://www.esdtoolkit.org

National Education for Sustainability K-12 Student Learning
   Standards
http://www.uspartnership.org/resources/0000/0062/USPEfSStan
   dards_V2.09.08.pdf
 References cont.
State of Washington, Office of Superintendent of Public
   Instruction, Environmental and Sustainability Education
   Standards
   http://www.k12.wa.us/curriculumInstruct/EnvironmentSustain
   ability/default.aspx

UNESCO Guidelines & Recommendations for Reorienting
  Teacher Education to Address Sustainability
  http://unesdoc.unesco.org/imaes/0014/00143370E.pdf

Silent Epidemic: Perspectives of high school dropouts.
   http://www.gatesfoundation.org/.
Presenter Contact Information
 Dr. Rosalyn McKeown, Associate Professor
 Portland State University
 Graduate School of Education/ELP
 P.O. Box 751
 Portland Oregon 97207
 Telephone +1 503 725 8934
 Fax +1 503 725 3200
 Email mckeownr@pdx.edu

				
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