Sadly, we need to face up to the fact that our planet cannot sustain the way it is being abused at present. We in the West are using up too many resources too quickly, whilst people in the Third World starve. At present scientists have estimated we need three and a half planets to support the way we are currently living; what will happen when India and China are fully industrialised, as they will most definitely be in the near future? We can no longer afford in schools to bury our heads and hope it goes away. We are supposed to be educating our children for the future but will there be a future?
Too often our curriculum is backward looking but we owe it to our pupils to look at the future. What can we do in school to educate our pupils? We cannot frighten them so that they feel paralysed, negative and unable to act through fear. We need to empower them so that they feel they can have an impact on their future. Projects that can easily be managed in school such as saving energy, recycling and transport to school, can all help to make the children feel they are making a contribution. The children can also put pressure on their parents to behave in a responsible manner-real citizenship in action. We are asked to consider the Every Child Matters Agenda-by focusing on sustainability we are surely responding to the need to keep children safe and healthy, to making a positive contribution and ensuring economic well being.
The bottom line is can we afford for children in the future to say “What were teachers doing at the beginning of this century? Why didn’t they tell us about these problems?
It can’t be “Shall we look into LfS”, it has to be “We must teach Learning for Sustainability.” You have no choice!