ESD and other types of educations

The framework of the DESD International Implementation Scheme suggeststhat full-fledged ESD requires the integration of all dimensions of SD: social, environmental, cultural and economic

Since the launch of the DESD in 2005, but also in the years leading up to it, many sustainability issues have been included in education. These have taken place under the umbrella not only of ESD but also of other emerging types of educations (e.g., peace education, global education, development education, HIV & AIDS education, citizenship education, intercultural education and holistic education, as well as long-standing educations such as environmental education and health education). The list of SD-related educations is also long - more than 100. Generally speaking, the broader the interpretation of these particular educations, the more they resemble ESD.

ESD is “harnessing” all of education, including public awareness and training, to make progress toward more sustainable societies. ESD is not

ESD and Environmental Education

Although ESD can be seen as connected to the many SD-related educations, its particular relationship with environmental education (EE) stands out. This is no surprise as in many countries EE is firmly established, particularly in formal education systems. The simultaneous existence and development of EE and ESD has given rise to questions about the relationship between the two and the call for distinctions by some or for convergence by others.

ESD has its roots in EE. The founding documents are the Tbilisi Declaration (for EE) and, for ESD, Chapter 36 of Agenda 21, on education, public awareness and training. ESD is intended to build on the lessons of EE, not simply perpetuate EE under another name.

Environmental educators were the first group to endorse ESD, and in many respects kept the interest in ESD alive during the post-Rio decade. EE, like many SD-related educations, continues to contribute to ESD in terms of content and pedagogy.

Recent publications and educational discourse tend to show a shift from education to learning, emphasizing the need for continuous engagement in sustainability within formal, non-formal and informal settings, on the one hand, and the need for capacity-building, participation and self-determination for sustainable development, on the other. Synergies need to be created between ESD and other SD-related educations, which should mutually support rather than compete with each other. ESD provides a framework for facilitating such synergies and constructive interactions.



Related documents

ESDebate: International On-line Debate on ESD

UNESCO-UNEP 1977 Tbilisi Declaration on Environmental Education

Ahmedabad Declaration: A call for action

2009 M&E report

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