What is the Role of Education in Sustainable Development

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					  Education for Sustainable
  Development: The Oregon

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
 Reorienting existing education to address
 Improving public understanding and awareness of
 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
   • 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
   • 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

Answer: An appropriately reoriented education includes more
  principles, skills, perspectives, and values related to
  sustainability than are currently included in our educational
Three Levels of Action for
Implementing ESD
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
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
 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
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.
Education for Sustainable Development Toolkit

National Education for Sustainability K-12 Student Learning
 References cont.
State of Washington, Office of Superintendent of Public
   Instruction, Environmental and Sustainability Education

UNESCO Guidelines & Recommendations for Reorienting
  Teacher Education to Address Sustainability

Silent Epidemic: Perspectives of high school dropouts.
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

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