“Teachers are absolutely central to the goal of creating a just and safe space for humanity, now and forever.”
Indianapolis, IN (PRWEB) October 23, 2013
Kappa Delta Pi, along with the organizations that comprise the United States Teacher Education for Sustainable Development (USTESD) Network, has released a white paper on the importance of teaching sustainability in U.S. classrooms to enhance student learning and create global citizens. The paper, titled Reorienting Teacher Education to Address Sustainability: The U.S. Context, was developed from more than 10 years of research conducted by dozens of teacher education institutions.
The white paper details how countries around the world successfully incorporate education for sustainable development (ESD), the practice of engaging students in critical thinking to solve environmental, societal, and economic issues as they relate to sustainability. It also outlines existing international policies; current ESD use in the United States; strategies for moving forward; ESD pedagogies; student engagement and outcomes; and the potential cost of inaction.
“Education for sustainable development means being responsive to the reality of the world as it is today while, at the same time, working to bring about the world as we want it to be for future generations,” said Victor Nolet, professor in secondary education at Western Washington University. “Teachers are absolutely central to the goal of creating a just and safe space for humanity, now and forever. Our goal is to reorient teacher education in the United States and around the world to address ESD in the professional development of all teachers.”
The decade from 2005–2015 has been designated the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development by UNESCO. Great strides have been made globally to incorporate ESD in the formal education sector, but the United States lags far behind other countries.
“I recall attending the first consultation on ESD with teacher education institutions sponsored by UNESCO in 1997 in Thessaloniki, Greece. There were teacher educators and administrators from around the world, who were interested in implementing ESD in teacher education. They thought it was important—very important,” said Rosalyn McKeown, USTESD member and Secretariat to the UNESCO Chair on Reorienting Teacher Education to Address Sustainability. “Many countries moved ahead with implementation. I’ve been hoping since 1997 that something would happen in ESD and teacher education in the United States. Now, with the formation of the USTESD Network and the collaboration of KDP, I am happy to report great strides of progress.”
The white paper will be officially released at Kappa Delta Pi’s 49th Biennial Convocation in Dallas on Oct. 24. It can be accessed at http://www.kdp.org/initiatives/pdf/USTESD_WhitePaperOct13.pdf.
About Kappa Delta Pi
Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, is a 501 (c) (3) organization established in 1911 to recognize and promote excellence in education, provide a reasoned voice for significant issues, and link learning communities of educators. Through its programs, services, and strategic partnerships, KDP supports the professional growth and teaching practices of educators throughout all phases and levels of their careers. The organization currently has more than 600 chapters and an active membership that exceeds 40,000 worldwide.
The United States Teacher Education for Sustainable Development (USTESD) Network is a voluntary organization of teacher educators and teacher education institutions. This group focuses on the advancement of education for sustainable development in teacher education institutions in the United States. Members of the USTESD are affiliates with the following teacher education institutions: James Madison University, Maryville University, Montclair State University, North Carolina Central University, University of Idaho, University of Vermont, University of Wyoming, Webster University, Western Washington University, Whitworth University, and Wright State University. Members of the USTESD are affiliates with the following nonprofit organizations: The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) International Honor Society in Education, the National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER), and the International Beliefs and Values Institute (IBAVI).