Sustainability Frontiers: Critical and Transformative Voices from the Borderlands of Sustainability Education. By David Selby & Fumiyo Kagawa (eds), Barbara Budrich, Opladen, 2014
Education for sustainable development – the educational offshoot of the concept of ‘sustainable development’ – has rapidly become the predominant educational response to the global environmental crisis. This collection of fourteen essays applies a critical lens to the field and finds it wanting in many regards. Generally accepting of the prevailing neo-liberal agenda, education for sustainable development still largely shies away from confronting market globalization and rampant consumerism as key factors and forces in fomenting an unsustainable world. It also continues to prioritize technological, scientific, and policy dimensions, paying insufficient heed to social and axiological (values) domains. Pivotally, education for sustainable development is more or less underpinned by a mechanistic and reductionist worldview rather than a holistic or ecological paradigm and, as such, often advances problem as cure in its proposals and programs. Its discourse is overwhelmingly occidental, occluding the voice and experience of the South. The book’s contributors – from Asia, Australasia, Europe and North and South America – speak from the borderlands of sustainability-related education, a fertile, generative zone rich in insights, ideas and proposals for transformative education, a zone free of the unsustainable ‘business as usual’ tenor and assumptions of much of education for sustainable development.
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