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Sustainable Education: Revisioning Learning and Change (Schumacher Briefings) [Paperback]

David Orr , S.R. Sterling
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Green Books (1 Jan 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1870098994
  • ISBN-13: 978-1870098991
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 20.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 277,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


In this briefing, Stephen Sterling points out that: progress towards a more sustainable future depends on learning, yet most education and learning takes no account of sustainability; progress toward orienting education towards sustainable development since the Agenda 21 agreement has been very slow; and education is largely behind, rather than ahead of, other fields in developing new thinking and practice in response to the challenge of sustainability. Sterling argues that while the emergence of environmental education, and latterly "education for sustainable development", are important trends, they are not sufficient in themselves to reorient and transform education - and yet time is short to realize such change. The fundamental tasks are to critique the prevailing educational and learning paradigm, which has become increasingly mechanistic and managerial, and to develop an ecologically informed education paradigm based on humanistic and sustainability values, systems thinking and the implications of complexity theory. An outline, with illustrative examples, of a transformed education that can lead to transformative learning is given.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Have we made much progress? 14 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was written in 2001 and so it includes lots of discussion about initiatives for developing sustainable education but in the last twelve years I do not think that we have seen very much progress. In some ways it is too idealistic and not sufficiently practical. The great hope is for transformative change but this will not happen unless there is either impending doom or a very strong ground-swell of opinion. Neither of these possibilities exist.

The arguments are also slightly undermined by inclusion of too much "holistic" new age waffle. Fundamentally why is a student going to pay 9000 a year to a university? Because they want a job. So the capitalist, free-market education, targeting employment and wealth generation, rather than the development of students has triumphed and sustainable education has been vanquished at least for the foreseeable future.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 8 Mar 2013
By Walrus
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Easy to read if you are interested in the topic, very informative and small enough to carry in your handbag.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sustainable Education book 12 Feb 2010
This book has and will come in handy when writing essays for my Cert Ed course
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Education as if children and the future matters 18 Dec 2010
By Jim M. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the best book I have seen to provide an antidote for our failing educational system. Presently, politicians and educational policy makers are leading our children like lemmings into an unsustainable future. The current obsession with testing, technology, competition and consumption will hardly prepare our children to deal with the social, economic, and environmental consequences of population explosion, climate change, declining water supplies, threats to food security, and the breakdown of life sustaining ecosystems. Stephen Sterling provides a paradigm for an authentic education that emphasizes holistic and systemic thinking that will help students better understand the complexities of our rapidly changing world and learn the core values, skills and behaviors needed for truly democratic, equitable, and sustainable future.
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