Our quality of life as humanity has drastically improved since the first industrial revolution in the 1800s. Since then, we have been continually using and depleting non-renewable resources and this has presented significant challenges, the biggest challenge being that of climate change. The youth will be most affected by the implications of climate change and therefore they must be agents of change. How do we make this happen? The answer lies in SDG4: Quality Education! What constitutes quality education?
The book Teaching & Learning for Change: Education and Sustainability in South Africa shares research about how curriculum policy, teacher education programs, and teachers themselves are responding to this challenge through the integration of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). It draws on small-scale empirical studies in South Africa, that are embedded in a coherent national teacher professional development program.
ESD can provide children with the hope of being able to build a better world and improves their understanding of issues around the environment and sustainability. This article offers insight into what you can expect when delving into the pages of this book and highlights the Fundisa for Change program that GreenMatter is in partnership with. It answers the question, what constitutes good or quality education?
Links between sustainability and education
This book does an amazing job of highlighting the link between sustainability and education. You will learn that to position ESD in the broader educational context, we need to rethink education in terms of development intentions. Simultaneously it critically analyses the evolution of development thinking, identifying well-being, equality, and restoration of both social and planetary balances as core development considerations.
You may ask yourself, what is the key role of education? Well, the key role of education is to enhance human development, and development itself is not an end goal but an ongoing process. Education usually increases the quality of life for humanity and the flourishing of the human race is the ultimate end of development. This link between sustainability and development can also be found within the Sustainable Development goals.
Fundisa for Change program
South Africa’s latest curriculum, Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS), is rich in environmental and sustainability content. However, that does not eliminate the challenge for educators of the dominance of existing educational models and approaches. The Fundisa for Change program supports the integration of ESD in teacher professional development and curricula. This program was established in 2011 to provide a systemic approach to environmental learning through teacher education.
The approach used by Fundisa for Change:
This book comes highly recommended to help you form a deeper understanding of how education can be used as a tool to combat climate change. To read the full book click on this link. Let us know what you learned from the book in the comment session!
Environmental Youth for the Future!