Lecture: On the way to a socio-ecological transformation? Current implementation of education for sustainable development (Dr. Johanna Weselek)


July 15
03:45 PM - 05:15 PM

In 2015, the “2030 Agenda” (UN 2015) was adopted by the United Nations. The central goal is the socio-ecological transformation. The 17 “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) formulated therein provide an important political orientation for dealing with global challenges. Education, and in particular “Education for Sustainable Development” (ESD), are considered to be of great importance to achieve the global sustainability goals. Its relevance is emphasized even more in the current UNESCO program “ESD for 2030” (UNESCO 2020). In my presentation I will provide detailed insight into the challenges of implementing ESD in schools. My analysis is based on a qualitative reconstructive study with the help of the documentary method. I conducted 20 group discussions with teachers in Germany in order to to interrogate how they understand “sustainability” and how they approach ESD in their daily school business. My analysis reveals a dominance of the environmental aspect in the school sustainability discourse and a focus on individual responsibility in the form of resource-conserving behaviour. Despite being anchored in the curriculum, whether and how ESD is addressed depends on the commitment of individuals. In addition, my results also show that sustainability is understood as a question of awareness, and that there is a strong tendency of reproducing existing social conditions due to a class-specific view of sustainability. In my presentation I will give a critical account of these findings and compare them with other national and international studies on the current implementation of ESD.

UN. (2015). Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. General Assembly. A/RES/70/1. United Nations. https://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/70/1&Lang=E

UNESCO. (2020). Education for sustainable development: A roadmap. #ESDfor2030 #BNE2030. UNESCO. https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N15/291/89/PDF/N1529189.pdf

The lecture will be held at Universität Augsburg, Hörsaal III/C at 3:45 PM.