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The challenge of sustainabilityLinking politics, education and learning$
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Hugh Atkinson and Ros Wade

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447306467

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447306467.001.0001

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Learning, pedagogy and sustainability:

Learning, pedagogy and sustainability:

the challenges for education policy and practice

(p.63) Three Learning, pedagogy and sustainability
The challenge of sustainability

Ros Wade

Policy Press

In Chapter Three, Ros Wade examines the international education commitments of the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit on environment and development in relation to trends in education policy and practice over the last 20 years. Agenda 21 emphasised the imperative to reorient education systems towards sustainable development and laid out a clear programme for governments. The chapter highlights the urgency of this initiative in turning round the oil tanker of overconsumption and unsustainable lifestyles in the wealthier parts of the world and addressing the challenges of poverty, social justice and environmental destruction in the developing world. However, an overview of current education practice across a range of countries indicates that although policy commitments have increased, practice lags rather far behind. There are clear reasons for this. The last 20 years have seen neoliberal perspectives provide the dominant overarching framework for policymaking. The chapter will argue that marketisation and privatisation trends have frequently skewed educational practice towards unsustainable development. Yet, without a sea change at international and national levels, educational policy will fail to address the huge challenges that the world is facing in the 21st century.

Keywords:   learning, pedagogy, education policy, marketisation, neo liberalism, sustainability, education for sustainability, education for sustainable development

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