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ERIC Number: EJ1112451
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1691-4147
Twenty First Century Education: Transformative Education for Sustainability and Responsible Citizenship
Bell, David V. J.
Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability, v18 n1 p48-56 2016
Many ministries of education focus on twenty-first century education but unless they are looking at this topic through a sustainability lens, they will be missing some of its most important elements. The usual emphasis on developing skills for employability in the current global economy begs the question whether the global economy is itself sustainable over the course of this century. According to the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) whose membership comprises 29 of the largest, most important companies on the planet, it is "not". Continuing on the current development path would require approximately 2.3 planet Earths to support existing levels of resource and energy use, and waste production, projected out for a global population which will reach 9 billion by 2050. And yet most discussions of 21st century education are premised on servicing, rather than transforming, the current global economy. This paper explores the opportunities and benefits of connecting the discourse on twenty-first century education with Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) which seeks to prepare learners for the varied and interrelated environmental, social, and economic challenges they will meet as they confront a changing world. ESD emphasizes futures thinking and strategic planning that will enable learners to help create and flourish in a more sustainable economy. Conventional teaching models must also shift to a "transformative" style of education for the twenty-first century in order for humankind to learn how to live more sustainably on this planet.
UNESCO Chair on Interplay of Tradition and Innovation in ESD. Parades 1-220, Daugavpils University, Daugavplis LV-5401, Latvia. Tel: 371-6542-5452; Fax: 371-6542-2890; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A