University of Oulu

Understanding the failure of education for sustainable development : an analysis of the content and pedagogy of education for sustainable development

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Author: Baudry, Gautier1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
Pages: 40
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : G. Baudry, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-09-22
Thesis type: Bachelor's thesis


Widespread changes to the social, economic, and natural environments caused by human activities threaten the increase in life quality achieved in the 21st century. This has led to the acknowledgement that a sustainable transition of our societies is required so that the basic human needs of current and future societies are met. The recognition of education as one of the main tools to achieve this transition has led to the creation of education for sustainable development (ESD), which aims at transmitting skills, values, and ethics of sustainability. Although there have been numerous declarations of intention from states and global governing bodies, evidences show a gap between the expressed ambitions and the effectiveness of ESD implementation. One of the main challenges is to switch from an environmental studies-centered approach to ESD, where sustainability competences are merely seen as a collection of learned knowledge and skills, to a holistic educational approach where the entire educational and social structure is devoted to transmitting sustainability skills and values and give opportunities to act sustainably. The aim of this thesis is to 1) understand what is ESD, its relation to sustainable development and to the educational process; 2) identify the obstacles to an efficient implementation of ESD; and 3) define the content and pedagogy of ESD. The intention is to build a content and pedagogical framework that can be used for the implementation of ESD in educational contexts.

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Copyright information: © Gautier Baudry, 2020. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.