University of Oulu

Jeronen E. (2022) Sustainable Education. In: Idowu S., Schmidpeter R., Capaldi N., Zu L., Del Baldo M., Abreu R. (eds) Encyclopedia of Sustainable Management. Springer, Cham.

Sustainable education

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Author: Jeronen, Eila1,2,3
Organizations: 1Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
3Faculty of Education, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: embargoed
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2022
Publish Date: 2024-01-01


The concept of sustainable education is based on the terms sustainability and education. The term ‘sustainability’ is derived from the Latin sustinere and the term ‘education’ from the Latin word educatio. The former is a model of thinking in which the quality of life is improved through balancing the environment, society and the economy (Jeronen 2013). The latter refers to an activity or process for acquiring or sharing knowledge or skills, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and intellectually preparing oneself or others for life (Thesaurus 2021). Many of today’s challenges require a veritable shift in thought and behavior to support sustainable living. According to Stephen Sterling (2008), the necessary cultural change can be achieved through sustainable education (SE). He defines the concept as: “a change of educational culture, one which develops and embodies the theory and practice of sustainability in a way which is critically aware. It is therefore a transformative paradigm which values, sustains and realises human potential in relation to the need to attain and sustain social, economic and ecological well being, recognising that they must be part of the same dynamic.” (Sterling 2001, p. 22.). The concept of SE thus refers to finding sustainable solutions to environmental, social and economic problems through education (Prabakaran 2020). It is a concept that challenges both formal and non-formal educational sectors to actively participate in the creation of economic, social and environmental programs that improve quality of life, increase empowerment and respect interdependence (Abduganiev and Abdurakhmanov 2020).

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ISBN: 978-3-030-02006-4
Volume: In press
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-02006-4_237-1
Host publication: Encyclopedia of sustainable management
Host publication editor: Idowu, Samuel
Schmidpeter, René
Capaldi, Nicholas
Zu, Liangrong
Del Baldo, Mara
Abreu, Rute
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Copyright information: © Springer Nature. The final authenticated version is available online at