Sustainability Education

The State of Tasmania

TCCI Tasmania Report - 2015

Education for Sustainability concepts

Guiding Principles for the Global RCE Community

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) summary

Education for sustainability toolkit

Leading Practice Publication: Professional development of university educators on ESD in Europe

Principles of education for sustainability

Education for sustainable development seeks to engage people in negotiating a sustainable future, making decisions and acting on them. Every learner is different so education about sustainability must be customised, however there are some principles that are considered essential. The principles of education for sustainability are:

Transformation and change
Education for sustainability is not simply about providing information but involves equipping people with the skills, capacity and motivation to plan and manage change towards sustainability within an organisation, industry or community.

Education for all and lifelong learning
Education for sustainability is driven by a broad understanding of education and learning that includes people of all ages and backgrounds and at all stages of life and takes place within all possible learning spaces, formal and informal, in schools, workplaces, homes and communities.

Systems thinking
Understanding connections between environmental, economic, social and political systems helps us deliver education for sustainable development in a way that goes beyond piece-meal, problem-solving and causeeffect approaches. 

Envisioning a better future
Futures thinking engages people in imagining preferred visions for the future. It engages people in meaningful understandings and interpretations of sustainable development and enables the exploration of people’s assumptions. This process of envisioning futures leads people to take ownership and responsibility for a sustainable future.

Critical thinking and reflection (ability to reflect on our own and World views)
Critical and creative thinking enables people to explore new ways of thinking and acting, make informed decisions, and create alternatives to present choices. It involves reflecting on how people interrelate with each other, understanding cultural differences and creating alternative ways to live together.

The engagement of people is necessary in order to build a sustainable future together. Engaging diverse stakeholders and communities is essential, as they value and include differing knowledge systems and perspectives. The process of participation is also important to creating ownership and empowerment.

Genuine partnerships for change
Partnerships are a motivating force towards change. They empower people and groups to take action, take part in decision-making processes and build capacity in sustainable development.