The first principle agreed on at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro read: “Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature.” Furman and Gruenewald (2004) viewed “environmental crises as inseparable from social crises” (p. 48). Hence, we believe it is necessary to develop a holistic view of sustainability, in which environmental, cultural, economic. and social issues are inseparably interlinked.
To accomplish this purpose, we first develop the concept of transformative leadership as a basis for a critical engagement with ways in which organizations, policies, and civic engagement may promote ecologically and socially just sustainability. We then demonstrate the utility of our transformative framework for a more holistic approach to K-12 education for sustainability and social justice.
The need for such an integrated framework cannot be overemphasized. Despite extensive knowledge in various disciplines about the disparities between rich and poor, about environmental degradation, and about the ways in which “sustainable” development more readily sustains neo-liberal economic approaches than socially just ones, there is little scholarship and discussion about how these, and many other phenomena are integrally intertwined.
|Keywords:||Transformative Leadership, Sustainability, Ecology, Social Justice, Culture, Environment|
Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois, USA
Professor, College of Education, Department of Educational Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois, USA
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