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BNELIT - Datenbank zu Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wissenschaftliche Literatur und Materialien
Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wiss. Literatur und Materialien (BNELIT)
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Education and sustainable development: a political analysis
Educational Review
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This paper examines the inter-relationships between ′education′ and ′sustainable development′ as these are played out in the political arena. Each of these two important areas of policy is prioritized by the UK government: education for over a 150 years, but emphatically so since 1997; sustainable development since at least 1992 when the Rio Earth Summit brought the issue to political (if not) public attention, and when this (and other) governments entered into treaty obligations to advance sustainable development through the policy process—obligations which were reinforced during the Rio + 10 Summit in Johannesburg in 2002. We have written, with others, about the rise of interest in education's role in sustainable development in the period since Rio (Reid et al. , Geography , 87(3), pp. 247–255) and this paper does not go over this ground. Instead, we examine a range of contrasting perspectives that have been taken on these issues, ask what they reveal and what they do not, and further ask what we can and cannot say about politics, education and sustainable development. Finally, we argue that if sustainable development is to be promoted through education this requires that we learn to re-think our thinking about politics.