What is Learning for Sustainability?

Learning for Sustainability is learning to live within the environmental limits of our planet and to build a just, equitable and peaceful society. It is essential for the well-being of all and is an international priority. (UNESCO, 2013)

The professional actions, values, skills and knowledge of Learning for Sustainability are embedded within the Standards for Registration, Career-Long Professional Learning and Leadership and Management, recognising that all teachers should be confident in their knowledge and understating of the challenges facing society locally and globally.

We live in a turbulent, interdependent and rapidly changing world, with a complex range of environmental, social, cultural, political and economic challenges shaping our future.

WWF's 2014 Living Planet Report shows that globally we are living as if we have more than one planet at our disposal. The data shows that for everyone to live as we currently do, consuming natural resources and generating carbon emissions at the rate we do in Scotland, we would need three planets, not just one, to sustain us. Across the world there is evidence of ecosystems that are exploited and damaged with threats to biodiversity; involuntary migration; conflict and widespread inequality and injustice.

There is international recognition that learning is fundamental in addressing these challenges.

Many of the teaching processes, values shown through teaching and learning, skills, knowledge and understanding associated with Learning for Sustainability are already in place in formal education, through the areas shown in the diagram below and in other ways.

Learning for Sustainability words