ERIC Number: EJ924597
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
The Road from Rio to Johannesburg: Where Are the Footpaths to/from Science Education?
Kyle, William C.
International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, v4 n1 p1-18 Mar 2006
When the United Nations General Assembly authorized holding the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, it was hardly a secret--or even a point in dispute--that progress in implementing sustainable development had been disappointing since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. With poverty deepening and environmental degradation worsening, what was necessary, the General Assembly said, was not a new philosophical or political debate, but rather a summit of actions and results (United Nations, 2002). We can question the WSSD accomplishments and whether the subsequent actions and results will contribute in meaningful ways to sustainable development. However, I think it is more important for science educators to ask: What are the implications of WSSD for science education? Why is science education not more intrinsically linked to the goals of human rights, democracy, and social justice? What are the ways in which science education ought to be connected to issues of sustainable development? In essence, where are the footpaths to/from science education? I investigate such questions in this position paper, while arguing that an education in science ought to enable learners to: (a) understand how the natural world works, (b) understand how human systems are interacting with natural systems, (c) assess the status and trends of crucial natural systems, and (d) promote and follow a long-term, sustainable relationship with the natural world. These are the very ways in which an education in science (i.e., science education) ought to be connected to issues of sustainable development.
Descriptors: Social Justice, Democracy, Position Papers, Sustainable Development, Science Education, Foreign Countries, Science Instruction, Evaluation Methods, Correlation, Investigations
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa; United States