The Role of Education in the Pursuit of a Sustainable Future LSF AGM Charles Hopkins UNESCO and UNU Chairs, York University
What is Sustainable Development • Global Change (environment) • Globalization (economic) • Human Development (social/culture) • Sustainable Development Plus concepts of: • intergenerational responsibility • Need verses greed / equity • Social justice, etc.
Many Questions Sustaining what? For whom?
Northern Issues • Sustainable production and consumption • 0.5 trillion in advertising • 50% targeted at USA • Working with “others” • Developing global citizenship • Redistribution of wealth and power • Improving democracy
The Power of SD Remains DormantLocked in Isolated Issues CleanAir AIDSPrevention Equity ClimateChange Sustainable Development Peace SustainableConsumption Poverty Eradication Bio-diversity PopulationGrowth
Many Paths to SD • Good legislation/governance • Economic incentives • Overcoming corruption • Environmental protection • Human rights/security • Infrastructure (roads to banking) • 40 issues identified in Agenda 21
“Education is a key and vital element in moving sustainability forward…”Report of the UN Sec. General • Agenda 21(Rio) • Millennium Goals • Earth Charter • UN Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD) • WSSD (Johannesburg)
2. Facilitating Development Through Improving Quality Education • 100 million children ages 6 to 11 never attend school in the developing countries • 90% of school aged are in developing/emerging nations • Millions more are “under- educated” in both the South and the North
Northern Problem As Well • Hard to serve students suffer • Preferred learning style other than reading • Poverty related issues • Irrelevant curricula • Home/family related issues • Student/school conflict
The 4 Major Thrusts of ESD • 1 Public awareness and understanding • 2 Access to quality basic education • 3 Reorienting existing education • 4 Training programs for all sectors Agenda 21 -92, UNESCO-96, UNCSD -98, JPOI-2002
Values Principles Perspectives Knowledge Skills Buildings Program Practices and Actions What we value and evaluate Reorienting formal ed. includes addressing
UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005 to 2014 • UN General Council Resolution Dec 2002 • UNESCO is the lead UN Agency • Mainly a coordinating role • Integrate with other Decades and programs • Mainly up to each country / state • Organization / institution / private sector etc.
Strengths Model: A Starting Point • No single discipline/group/teacher can do it all • Every discipline/group/teacher can contribute something • Some can take lead roles in reorientation
Reorienting Informal and Non Formal Ed • What can you contribute that could help the UN DESD?
2 Key Websites www.esdtoolkit.org www.earthcharter.org www.unesco.org/education/tlsf
Regional Centres of Expertisein Education for Sustainable Development A contribution by the United Nations University to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development
RCE Objectives • To help implement the education, public awareness and training components of Agenda 21, and the Millennium Dev. Goals • To research and develop ESD • To contribute to the success of the UN DESD • To assist national sustainability plans
UNU Regional Centre of ESD Expertise Methodology • Engage the esd messengers (current and potential) within a community • Work together to identify and address community needs, relevant issues • Focus on improving pedagogy • Focus on integrating delivery mechanisms
Regional Centre of ESD Expertise Methodology 2 Engage the sources of locally relevant sustainabilty information Infuse local issues data, information and programmes Identify emerging issues Collaborate with the messengers
UNU Regional Centre of ESD Expertise Outcomes • Improved academic outcomes • More knowledgeable/supportive citizenry • More sustainably oriented production and consumption • Perhaps a shift in behaviour as learning is relevant and in scale etc. • Process is crucial
Why do we teach what we teach ? • To preserve culture _____% • To prepare/train for work _____% • To care for environment _____% • To live a full, meaningful life _____% • To contribute to society _____% • To be creative and resourceful _____% • To live a religious life _____% • To live together in peace _____% • To be self-sufficient _____% What is the vision for our schools ?