Beyond sustainability: should we expect more from education?

  • Bob Jickling


This paper examines limitations of using the term "sustainability" as an organizing concept, or aim, of education. I do acknowledge that in particular contexts sustainability is an important term; many ecological processes are not sustained. However, I also identify three problems associated with a sustainability focussed agenda. First, I recognise the educational limitations of "education for sustainability," particularly the deterministic nature of this formulation. Second, I suggest that we should seek to avoid the intellectual exclusivity that a sustainability-oriented program brings. Finally, I discuss conceptual errors, reminiscent of Orwell's "doublethink," that are inherent in use of sustainability as an aim. Ultimately, I argue, sustainability cannot be an omnibus term. I conclude with a few suggestions about how we might nurture new directions in environmental education.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2411-5959
print ISSN: 1810-0333