The Purpose of Education: Australian and Slovenian perspectives in Education for Sustainability
Keywords:purpose of education, sustainability education, cross-curriculum, integration, ESD school model
Clarity of purpose in education drives sensible decisions about curriculum, policy, infrastructure, funding and training. This article proposes that sustainability must be central to the purpose of education in the 21st century, and it looks at two examples of how this is being incorporated into schools in Slovenia and Australia. Cross-curriculum approaches lie at the heart of effective integration in both countries: these connect current school subjects, and they help form the ethos of the whole school. The National Education Institute of Slovenia (NEIS) has developed a cross-curriculum concept by emphasizing Education for Sustainable Development as a model called the ESD School. The structure of an ESD School can be adapted for all national curriculums. In Australia, a new National Curriculum for schools requires sustainability to be integrated into all curriculum areas. Schools are taking this up in ways suitable to culture, leadership and other contextual variations. It is the opinion of the authors that schools must have a sustainability purpose and a solid model for achievement if our students are to learn the skills and values for a sustainable and safe future.
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