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Contributions to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development

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Edited By Fernando J. Gonçalves, Ruth Pereira and Walter Leal Filho

This book presents essential learning approaches. It introduces educational and training activities, as well as various innovative methods aiming at the development of practical skills, in order to strengthen the continuous process of environmental education, and in particular the education for sustainable development (ESD). In doing so, it focuses on three dimensions (social, economic and environmental) as a means of achieving an effective change of behaviour and «tries to bridge the gap between science and environmental education by describing a set of projects, initiatives and field activities». A special emphasis is put on teacher training programmes, conception, and implementation, highlighting the problems and barriers, which prevent development as far as integration of sustainability issues in higher education is concerned.

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Foreword

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Our world is currently facing many kinds of problems: economic, social, political and environmental. These problems are different among the various world regions and may have a different impact on people’s lives. The problems, and our under- standing of them, are influenced by the way we see and perceive the complexities of life. Each day, many unsustaintable facts call for our attention. Sometimes we are aware of them and act. But to the same level, sometimes we are not and, as a result, fail to act. In order to foster a global awareness about sustainable development, the United Nations General Assembly established a Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) which constitutes an urgent call for all people around the world to contribute to citizens’ awareness and action guided by the idea of sustainability, to the benefit of the world community. But, without learning, sustainable development is impossible. Thus, it is important to foster sustainable development learning and enable people to participate in well- founded decision-making process, particularly (but not only) those concerning the environment, and take the appropriate course of action. Bearing this in mind, this book presents essential learning approaches, in- troduces educational and training activities, as well as a various innovative methods aimed at the development of practical skills, in order to strengthen the continuous process of environmental education, and in particular, education for sustainable development (ESD). It does so by focusing on three dimensions: social, economic and environmental, as a means of achieving an effective change...

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