Education for Sustainable Development: a movement towards pedagogies of civic compassion (FORUM 3)




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Format: Article

Publication date: September 1, 2016


This article explores the moral imperative for a renewed vision of schooling in the twenty-first century, from the standpoint of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). ESD advocates for teaching and learning spaces underpinned by civic compassion in the sense of ‘an active concern for well-being’. This paradigm of education seeks to expand the horizons of our compassion for others, calling for an education system that takes into account the need for biosphere, spatial and temporal dimensions of care for the common good. This vision of education is firstly outlined and then practically explored through an example of ESD innovation in practice; a participatory education programme in sustainability leadership with students from primary, secondary, and post-16 educational settings. ESD is put forward as offering a vital and broad opportunity for the advancement of social justice in education, supporting the creation of kinder learning spaces that position educators as facilitators of civically engaged and compassionate learning.

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