Education for Sustainability: Meeting the Challenge by Introducing Human Security into the Curriculum

By Alexander K. Lautensach and Sabina W. Lautensach.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Most official curriculum seems ill-designed to support effective education for sustainable living; nor does it adequately prepare students for the challenges arising from the global environmental crisis. On the examples of the school curriculum in British Columbia and tertiary education in general we argue that the inattention to such important topics as crisis causation, overshoot and ecological footprint creates tension between educators’ personal knowledge and moral priorities on the one hand and the dictates of the inadequate curriculum on the other. The curricular inadequacies are rooted in the beliefs and values that inform the dominant concept of progress. The assumptions and moral claims that underlie this dominant concept cannot serve as an adequate conceptual basis for teaching sustainability in schools, nor do they work for teacher education. Moreover, the fact that those beliefs and values are deeply entrenched in our cultures creates additional moral tension for the educator. We suggest that the new field of human security in its multidisciplinary conception can provide much needed scientific backing and moral reassurance to educators in this situation.

Keywords: Education for Sustainability, Curriculum Reform, Progress, Human Security, Teacher Education

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp.69-82. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 621.185KB).

Dr. Alexander K. Lautensach

Assistant Professor, School of Education, University of Northern British Columbia, Terrace, British Columbia, Canada

My academic background includes a DiplBiol. (University of Munich, Germany), MSc. (University of Guelph, Canada), BEd. (University of Toronto), MScT. (McMaster University), PhD. (University of Otago, New Zealand). My research expertise extends into environmental ethics and human behaviour, determinants of human security in the areas of health and environmental support structures, science education and affective learning outcomes, teaching and learning for sustainability, and bioethics education and cultural safety. I am also associate editor of the Journal of Human Security in charge of educational and environmental aspects of human security http://www.rmitpublishing.com.au/jhs.html. As deputy director of the Human Security Institute I am involved in collaborations with colleagues in New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, India, Turkey, Bulgaria, Austria, Slowenia, Russia. http://www.hsihumansecurityinstitute.com/

Dr. Sabina W. Lautensach

Director, Human Security Institute, Terrace, British Columbia, Canada

My academic background includes a BA (hons) (McMaster University, Canada), MA. (Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Canada), PhD. (University of Otago, New Zealand). My research expertise extends into social anthropology, sustainable policies in fisheries, confidence building measures in international affairs, conflict resolution, human security, and intercultural negiotiation. I am also editor-in-chief of the Journal of Human Security http://www.rmitpublishing.com.au/jhs.html. As director of the Human Security Institute I am involved in collaborations with colleagues in New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, India, Turkey, Bulgaria, Austria, Slowenia, Russia and other countries. http://www.hsihumansecurityinstitute.com/

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