Immortalizing Values Through Education for Sustainable Development

Education is the primary agent of transformation towards sustainable development, increasing people’s capacities to transform their visions for society into reality. Education not only provides scientific and technical skills, it also provides the motivation, and social support for pursuing and applying them. For this reason, society must be deeply concerned that much of current education falls far short of what is required. When we say this, it reflects the very necessities across the cultures that allow everyone become responsible towards quality enhancement.

Improving the quality and revelation of education and reorienting its goals to recognize the importance of sustainable development must be among society’s highest priorities. It is not that we talk only about environment but also about every component of life.

We therefore need to clarify the concept of education for sustainable development. It was a major challenge for educators during the last decade. The meanings of sustainable development in educational set ups, the appropriate balance of peace, human rights, citizenship, social equity, ecological and development themes in already overloaded curricula, and ways of integrating the humanities, the social sciences and the arts into what had up-to-now been seen and practiced as a branch of science education.

Some argued that educating for sustainable development ran the risk of programming while others wondered whether asking schools to take a lead in the transition to sustainable development was asking too much of teachers.

These debates were compounded by the desire of many, predominantly environmental, NGOs to contribute to educational planning without the requisite understanding of how education systems work, how educational change and innovation takes place, and of relevant curriculum development, professional development and instructive values. Not realizing that effective educational change takes time, others were critical of governments for not acting more quickly.

Consequently, many international, regional and national initiatives have contributed to an expanded and refined understanding of the meaning of education for sustainable development. For example, Education International, the major umbrella group of teachers’ unions and associations in the world, has issued a declaration and action plan to promote sustainable development through education.

A common agenda in all of these is the need for an integrated approach through which all communities, government entities, collaborate in developing a shared understanding of and commitment to policies, strategies and programs of education for sustainable development.

Actively promoting the integration of education into sustainable development at local community

In addition, many individual governments have established committees, panels, advisory councils and curriculum development projects to discuss education for sustainable development, develop policy and appropriate support structures, programs and resources, and fund local initiatives.

Indeed, the roots of education for sustainable development are firmly planted in the environmental education efforts of such groups. Along with global education, development education, peace education, citizenship education, human rights education, and multicultural and anti-racist education that have all been significant, environmental education has been particularly significant. In its brief thirty-year history, contemporary environmental education has steadily striven towards goals and outcomes similar and comparable to those inherent in the concept of sustainability.

A New Vision for Education

These many initiatives illustrate that the international community now strongly believes that we need to foster – through education – the values, behavior and lifestyles required for a sustainable future. Education for sustainable development has come to be seen as a process of learning how to make decisions that consider the long-term future of the economy, ecology and social well-being of all communities. Building the capacity for such futures-oriented thinking is a key task of education.

This represents a new vision of education, a vision that helps learners better understand the world in which they live, addressing the complexity and inter-contentedness of problems such as poverty, wasteful consumption, environmental degradation, urban decay, population growth, gender inequality, health, conflict and the violation of human rights that threaten our future. This vision of education emphasizes a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to developing the knowledge and skills needed for a sustainable future as well as changes in values, behavior, and lifestyles. This requires us to reorient education systems, policies and practices in order to empower everyone, young and old, to make decisions and act in culturally appropriate and locally relevant ways to redress the problems that threaten our common future. We therefore need to think globally and act locally. In this way, people of all ages can become empowered to develop and evaluate alternative visions of a sustainable future and to fulfill these visions through working creatively with others.

Seeking sustainable development through education requires educators to:

• Place an ethic for living sustainable, based upon principles of social justice, democracy, peace and ecological integrity, at the center of society’s concerns.
• Encourage a meeting of disciplines, a linking of knowledge and of expertise, to create understandings that are more integrated and contextualized.
• Encourage lifelong learning, starting at the beginning of life and stuck in life – one based on a passion for a radical transformation of the moral character of society.
• Develop to the maximum the potential of all human beings throughout their lives so that they can achieve self-fulfillment and full self-expression with the collective achievement of a viable future.
• Value aesthetics, the creative use of the imagination, an openness to risk and flexibility, and a willingness to explore new options.
• Encourage new alliances between the State and civil society in promoting citizens’ liberation and the practice of democratic principles.
• Mobilize society in an intensive effort so as to eliminate poverty and all forms of violence and injustice.
• Encourage a commitment to the values for peace in such a way as to promote the creation of new lifestyles and living patterns
• Identify and pursue new human projects in the context of local sustainability within an earthly realization and a personal and communal awareness of global responsibility.
• Create realistic hope in which the possibility of change and the real desire for change are accompanied by a rigorous, active participation in change, at the appropriate time, in favor of a sustainable future for all.

These responsibilities emphasize the key role of educators as ambassador of change. There are over 60 million teachers in the world – and each one is a key ambassador for bringing about the changes in lifestyles and systems that we need. But, education is not confined to the classrooms of formal education. As an approach to social learning, education for sustainable development also encompasses the wide range of learning activities in basic and post-basic education, technical and vocational training and tertiary education, and both non-formal and informal learning by both young people and adults within their families and workplaces and in the wider community. This means that all of us have important roles to play as both ‘learners’ and ‘teachers’ in advancing sustainable development.

Key Lessons

Deciding how education should contribute to sustainable development is a major task. In coming to decisions about what approaches to education will be locally relevant and culturally appropriate, countries, educational institutions and their communities may take heed of the following key lessons learnt from discussion and debate about education and sustainable development over the past decade.

• Education for sustainable development must explore the economic, political and social implications of sustainability by encouraging learners to reflect critically on their own areas of the world, to identify non-viable elements in their own lives and to explore the tensions among conflicting aims. Development strategies suited to the particular circumstances of various cultures in the pursuit of shared development goals will be crucial. Educational approaches must take into account the experiences of indigenous cultures and minorities, acknowledging and facilitating their original and significant contributions to the process of sustainable development.

• The movement towards sustainable development depends more on the development of our moral sensitivities than on the growth of our scientific understanding – important as that is. Education for sustainable development cannot be concerned only with disciplines that improve our understanding of nature, despite their undoubted value. Success in the struggle for sustainable development requires an approach to education that strengthens our engagement in support of other values – especially justice and fairness – and the awareness that we share a common destiny with others.

• Ethical values are the principal factor in social consistency and at the same time, the most effective agent of change and transformation. Ultimately, sustainability will depend on changes in behavior and lifestyles, changes which will need to be motivated by a shift in values and rooted in the cultural and moral precepts upon which behavior is based. Without change of this kind, even the most enlightened legislation, the cleanest technology, the most sophisticated research will not succeed in steering society towards the long-term goal of sustainability.

• Changes in lifestyle will need to be accompanied by the development of an ethical awareness, whereby the inhabitants of rich countries discover within their cultures the source of a new and active solidarity, which will make possible to eradicate the widespread poverty that now besets 80% of the world’s population as well as the environmental degradation and other problems linked to it.

• Ethical values are shaped through education, in the broadest sense of the term. Education is also essential in enabling people to use their ethical values to make informed and ethical choices. Fundamental social changes, such as those required to move towards sustainability, come about either because people sense an ethical imperative to change or because leaders have the political will to lead in that direction and sense that the people will follow them.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Immortalizing Values Through Education for Sustainable Development

Adult Literacy Jobs – Are You Interested in a Career in Remedial Education?

Adult literacy teachers are responsible for teaching adults and older youths how to read, write, and to speak English, in addition to teaching them basic mathematics skills, so that they can become active participants in society, and receive employment. There are three main categories of educators which include remedial, adult secondary, and English literacy.

English literacy training is responsible for teaching illiterate individuals and foreigners how to speak English as a second language, while adults secondary education is based around helping students receive their general educational development certification. Adult basic education is based on improving the skills of grown ups with an educational level below the eighth grade.

The courses that a remedial educator will teach usually include such subjects as mathematics, history, writing, size, languages, and life skills, and these courses are usually taken by students who are over 16 years of age. Most teachers will make student assessments beforehand in order to learn precisely what skills that their pupils will require.

Basic educators may also help students acquire study skills and self confidence, in addition to helping them overcome any physical or learning disabilities that they may have. A GED is usually essential in order to obtain a job, and some instructors will specialize in getting students ready to take this exam, so that they can obtain their diploma.

Adult literacy teachers will usually have much more satisfying work than those who work in primary and secondary schools, as they are mostly dealing with highly motivated students who want to learn. Most remedial instructors will work part time, with adult classes held during nights and weekends in order to accommodate job and family responsibilities.

A bachelors degree is usually required in order to become an adult instructor, but others may require a masters degree depending on the state in which they are teaching. Most states in America have specific licensing for adult education teachers, which include the completion of a special training program.

In 2006, remedial educators had about 76,000 jobs in America, with a large number of these working as unpaid volunteers. Most of these jobs are funded by the Federal government in order to improve the quality of living of distressed communities. The job outlook over the next ten years is expected to be bright, with English as a second language teachers experiencing the largest boom in growth.

In 2006, the middle 50th percentile of literacy educators made between $32,660 and $57,310.

To find out more information concerning Adult Education Courses [], visit Killer Careers, for additional info about Adult Education Classes [].

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Adult Literacy Jobs – Are You Interested in a Career in Remedial Education?

Basic Educational Theories for the Classroom Instructor

As a classroom instructor, are you familiar with the basic adult learning theories? It is understood by most educators that the process of adult education involves more than providing students with a textbook and developing learning activities. Adult learning is influenced by classroom conditions created by the instructor and the characteristics of the students, which includes their specific needs, expectations, societal roles, and responsibilities. The process of learning involves an acquisition of transferable knowledge and the development of academic skills, which is also the primary goal of most adult education programs. There are three basic educational theories that inform the process of classroom facilitation and include andragogy, self-directed learning, and transformational learning.


The theory of andragogy was developed as a method of informing educators about the process of adult learning, with an emphasis on the adult’s needs. Andragogy was developed as a means of understanding the adult and is a learner-centered approach. This is in direct contrast to the theory of pedagogy, which is an instructor-centered approach to learning. Andragogy places an emphasis on active learning with the adult taking responsibility for learning and becoming a co-creator of knowledge. Pedagogy is a theory of teaching children and utilizes a passive form of learning where the students are given knowledge by the instructor. When andragogy is used as an instructional strategy the classroom becomes a collaborative learning environment. Instead of the traditional use of lectures to deliver information and tests to measure learning, adult learners are allowed to interact with the information to create knowledge and they are given choices about projects that will demonstrate their progress towards meeting the learning objectives and outcomes.

Self-Directed Learning

Self-directed learning, as an adult education theory, is an extension of andragogy that considers the needs of an adult and how learning occurs. A self-directed learner wants to make decisions about the process of learning and be given choices that promote a sense of autonomy. In addition to taking responsibility for their learning the adult is expected to plan and control their process of learning. The theory of self-directed learning as a teaching strategy involves offering options about learning activities and projects, while providing tools and techniques that support the process.

Transformational Learning

Transformational learning as an adult education theory is focused on the cognitive process of reflective thought as a means of learning. As an instructional strategy, the adult learner is asked to reflect on their belief systems and then they are challenged to consider alternate views through discussions, self-assessments, and group problem solving. As an adult begins to consider other perspectives they become transformed and learning occurs. The theory of transformational learning is effective when utilized as a planned activity rather than as a means of course design.

Many instructors are assigned a course that includes a pre-programmed syllabus and learning activities. While there may be little flexibility provided for modifying or adapting assignments, it is still beneficial for an instructor’s facilitation practice to understand the foundational theories of adult education. Andragogy and self-directed learning remind instructors that adults expect to be involved in the process of learning and want an opportunity to make choices about their level of involvement. Transformational learning provides a basis for understanding the role of cognition in the process of educating adults. At the very heart of these theories is a recognition of the adult’s developmental needs and the co-creative nature of adult learning.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Basic Educational Theories for the Classroom Instructor