Making the link with Education for Sustainable Development
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is an approach to the whole curriculum and management of a school, rather than an additional subject, and was recently introduced as part of the National Curriculum (England)
Sustainable means that something is viable and can be continued in the long term in ways that do not harm people but benefit them equally. This can apply to anything from decisions about the school playground design to issues relating to the national economy and global environment, e.g. fair trade issues.
Development refers to the way in which the interaction between the environment, the economy and society progresses and changes. Development happens everywhere and involves everyone.
It therefore follows that sustainable development is about ensuring a better quality of life for everyone now and in the future. This is also the raison d'etre of D&T education. It is through D&T that people effect changes and improve the quality of life with the creative and skilful use of material resources.
Within D&T, students should be given opportunities to explore the values aspects of decisions made about the use of materials, processes and resources. These include human, moral, social, cultural, political, economic, technical and environmental aspects and their impact. For example, students might devise their own criteria for evaluating both the process of production and the end product against benefits and costs to society, economy and environment. They might also develop their own set of social, economic and environmental criteria for evaluating and comparing the sustainability of commonly used products.
There are many areas of overlap between citizenship and values education, as there are with ESD:
- being aware of the global context within which trade, industry and consumption patterns operate
Practical Action, an international development charity has a dedicated website that supports the delivery of sustainability across all D&T material areas.
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