Prioritizing Sustainability Education presents theory-to-practice essays and case studies by educators from six countries who elucidate dynamic approaches to sustainability education. Too often, students graduate with exploitative, consumer-driven orientations toward ecosystems and are unprepared to confront the urgent challenges presented by environmental degradation. Educators are prioritizing sustainability-oriented courses and programs that cultivate students’ knowledge, skills, and values and contextualize them within relational connections to local and global ecosystems. Little has yet been written, however, about the comprehensive sustainability education that educators are currently designing and implementing, often across or at the edges of disciplinary boundaries.
The approaches described in this book expand beyond conventional emphases on developing students’ attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors by thinking and talking about ecosystems to additionally engaging students with ecosystems in sensory, affective, psychological, and cognitive dimensions, as well as imaginative, spiritual, or existential dimensions that guide environmental care and regeneration.
This book supports educators and graduate and upper-level undergraduate students in the humanities, social sciences, environmental studies, environmental sciences, and professional programs in considering how to reorient their fields toward relational sustainability perspectives and practices.
Table of Contents
Foreword Jeanette Armstrong
Introduction Joan Armon
Part I: Comprehensive Sustainability Education Perspectives
1. The Challenge Ahead: Prioritizing Sustainability Education Stephen Scoffham2. This is Zero Hour: Students Confront Educators Zanagee Artis, Arielle Martinez Cohen, Kendall Kieras, and Ivy Jaguzny
3. Opportunities for Re-enchantment: Exploring the Spirit of Place Stephen Scoffham
Part II: Theory to Practice
4. An Education that Heals: Purpose and Practices Guided by the Great Work Chara Armon
5. Ways of Being Free: Finding ‘Pulses of Freedom’ in the Border Zone Between Higher and Public Education for Sustainable Development Heila Lotz-Sisitka
6. Sustainability Education: From Farms and Intentional Communities to the University Dan McKanan
7. Learning from Traditional Wisdom in Papua New Guinea: The Value of Indigenous and Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Higher Education Sangion Appiee Tiu
8. Sustainability Education from an Indigenous Knowledge Perspective: Examples from Southern Africa Soul Shava
9. Walking Mythopoeic Landscapes: Into the Heart of the Landscape to Find the Landscape of the Heart Simon Wilson
10. Theravadic Buddhism and Sustainability Accounting: A Sri Lankan Example Nuwan Gunarathne and Sasith Rajasooriya
11. Education for Sustainability in Early Childhood Education: Sustainability Transformation through Collaboration Nicola Kemp and Polly Bolshaw
12. Boundary-crossing Learning in ESD: When Agricultural Educators Co-engage Farmers in Learning Around Water Activity Tichaona Pesanayi
13. A Future That Is Big Enough For All Of Us: Animals In Sustainability Education Patty Born Selly
14. Developing a Curriculum for Sustainability Education: Lesson Planning for Change Mary F. Wright and Florence A. Monsour
15. Sustainability Role Models for Transformative Change: a Great Turning in Higher Education Thomas R. Hudspeth
16. Education for Sustainability and the Stories We Live By Arran Stibbe
Conclusion Joan Armon
Joan Armon is Professor of Education at Regis University, USA.
Stephen Scoffham is Visiting Reader in Sustainability and Education, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK.
Chara Armon is Lawrence C. Gallen Fellow in the Humanities and Assistant Professor at Villanova University, USA.
"Increasingly visible through the enveloping fog of political turmoil, economic uncertainty, social unrest and ecological decline is a new energy; one that is challenging old assumptions, is life-affirming, regenerative and ecologically passionate. It is profoundly aware relationally, and determinedly hopeful that humanity can yet win a safe and secure future for people and nature. In this endeavor, the vision and practice of education is being widely reclaimed, reconceived, and re-purposed by communities of educators and learners motivated to make a decisive and positive difference. Prioritizing Sustainability Education is part of this vital movement, and will offer any educator the knowledge, skills and spirit to join this critically important and timely wave of renewal." — Stephen Sterling, Professor Emeritus of Sustainability Education, University of Plymouth, UK
"Prioritizing Sustainability Education is sure to become one of the most important educational treatises for our time. The authors present a paradigm that energizes development of an Indigenous consciousness of a place and grounds "indigeneity" as a social construct. They explore challenges, indigeneity, spirit of place, students’ voices, re-enchantment, and urgency as a context for creating a truly comprehensive sustainable educational process that heals, liberates, communalizes, crosses boundaries, and sustains both people and environment by creating new stories, guiding children and communities, espousing an ethic of care, toward creating a life flourishing consciousness and that is adaptive, regenerative and resilient!" – Gregory Cajete, Ph.D., (Santa Clara Pueblo), Director of Native American Studies and Associate Professor in the Division of Language, Literacy and Socio-cultural Studies in the College of Education at the University of New Mexico
"Humane sustainability education that rewilds hearts and heads is sorely needed. Prioritizing Sustainability Education could well be a game-changer for creating an ethic of care, resilience, and optimistic activism. This book belongs in classrooms worldwide." — Marc Bekoff, PhD author of Rewilding Our Hearts and co-author of The Animals' Agenda
"This book uplifts mind, heart, and soul. It offers the possibility and necessity for a profound shift in sustainability education, unveiling new opportunities for hope. It is a grounded and visionary book, mapping the terrain that lies ahead and the wisdom and skills needed to transform these unsustainable times." — David Hicks, former Professor, School of Education, Bath Spa University, UK
"If you want a holistic and pragmatic approach to the concept of sustainability education, this book is a solid choice. The authors are diverse, skilled, and respected. They infuse the dimensions of comprehensive sustainability education with global developments and offer practical pathways for the transformation of minds and practice." — Akpezi Ogbuigwe, Former Head, Environmental Education & Training, UNEP; Adviser, UNU-RCE Africa; Member, Group of Experts in SDGs and Higher Education (GUNi)
"Prioritizing Sustainability Education tempers theoretical knowledge with practical realities while looking at global concerns related to the sustainable future of the planet,. It offers perspectives from different parts of the world, and attempts to address the nearly elusive essence of what is attempted to be defined by 'sustainable development'. This book throws abundant light on hard facts often hidden by a euphoristic trust in technology or a childlike refusal to accept the unsavoury facts related the environmental crisis we are relentlessly moving towards." – Dr Lal C A, Professor of English, School of Distance Education , University of Kerala