“The key to sustainable, self-reliant development is education. We must be ready, in all countries, to reshape education so as to promote attitudes and behaviour conducive to a culture of sustainability”. (Federico Mayor,1997)
What could we have done to build up an effective relationship between us and the environment, increasing respect and protective action for the needs of our ecosystem?
If we answered that question we would say that education informed us, made us wiser, more critical and capable of action. But is there anything further? What about the value of awareness, as well, that education can create as a means to tackle environmental issues? If we really wish to reach the goal of sustainability, then we have to admit that we are mature enough to go through radical changes in our attitudes and actions.
We can start with the more reasonable use of consumable products, and improved recycling of materials to contribute to sustainability. And why not? We can take on challenges in our everyday life, within the schools and universities! A current opportunity is the ‘WHOLE EARTH?’ exhibition, which sets a ‘University Challenge’ to trainee teachers with the hopes of exchanging ideas and practices of sustainability for teachers and students. The challenge is this:
Teachers around the world are developing innovative ways to work issues of sustainable
development into most class levels and most disciplines: maths, literature, science,
geography, art, etc. These need to be gathered and the best approaches taught in teacher
training courses. There is a spectrum of challenges: from giving teachers the overall
mindset to help students think about how to care for their planet and their civilization, to
giving teachers the individual techniques and ‘tricks of the trade’ to do this effectively and
creatively. How do you think teachers can be equipped to effectively and creatively
bring sustainable development issues to the classroom?
(Lloyd Timberlake, WHOLE EARTH? 2015)
So what do you think to this?
Let’s practice what we already know and spread the word for a better life with the inspiration and peace that sustainable education can offer!
by student blogger, Thea Toumpa