Resource 3: Education for sustainable development (ESD)
Background information / subject knowledge for teacher
What is education for sustainable development?
‘Education for sustainable development enables people to develop the knowledge, values and skills to participate in decisions about the way we do things individually and collectively, both locally and globally, that will improve the quality of life now without damaging the planet for the future.’
Sustainable development is an integral part of citizenship that will enable pupils to:
- understand that despite physical, material and cultural differences, there is a lot that connects us with the wider world;
- think critically and challenge injustice and inequalities;
- identify, respect and value diversity;
- develop a concern for and commitment to environmental issues and sustainable development;
- be willing to act to make the world a fairer and more sustainable place;
- take responsibility for their actions.
Both citizenship and ESD provide great opportunities for active, pupil-centred learning styles from which pupils get a sense of their role as global citizens. Such an approach to learning includes lessons that explore distant localities and environmental issues. Exploring the local community and then communities further afield will help pupils to expand their thinking about how different communities and cultures can be and how the same problem can be solved in many ways, and provide new ideas to try and test. ESD also explores ways to be more self-sufficient. This means making best use of the resources around you but not using them all up. Thinking about ways you can replenish or replant will ensure continuity. It means using only what you need.
Local resources are not everlasting but have a limit unless we try to share and use these wisely and replace, where possible, what we use.
Adapted from original source:(Accessed 2008)