I believe that ESD [Note: Education for Sustainable Development] is basic, general education for the 21st century. Every citizen, every consumer, every employee, every decision maker , every householder, needs to better understand the sustainability challenges and opportunities that will determine our fate. We should begin to measure “sustainability literacy” with at least as much vigour as we currently devote to other kinds of student performance.


from Education for Sustainable Development: Cure or Placebo?


I believe too. And I choose the term “Education about Sustainability” (there are debates about using the words “about” instead of “for”, “Sustainability” instead of “Sustainable Development”) to make it clear the education is to help people learn about the conditions to live sustainably on earth. The conditions include values, how much we care about future, but we will make them explicit for debates (such as the Earth Charter). In fact, articulating and refining our values is the key part of the Education about Sustainability. The other main thrusts are critical thinking (scientific method is part of it), looking things from the broader perspective (大视野) and understanding of dynamics (understand why things behave like that). At the end, the learner should have factual knowledge, skills, understanding, motivation and clear about his/her values to make the decisions.

This Education about Sustainability should start from the early age, formal, non-formal and informal (public awareness and understanding) education are all required. Why Education about Sustainability? Because in the past several centuries, in the effort we lift our standard of living through our daily activities, we also unconsciously made the the globe fast-paced, more interconnected (interdepandence) and more dynamically complex. Our living standards have been improved, but our culture is slow to change to deal with the undesired consequences (already there, if we trace the problems we face today to their roots).

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