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Reflections Magazine : Reflections Issue 57 Summer 2014
6 Organic vs non-organic breakdown experiment Challenges for staff members In an era marked by concerns about the future of the planet, education for sustainability can be empowering and an antidote to a sense of helplessness (Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, 2012). One of the many challenges for educators lies in unpacking the vast issues of sustainability, where there is never one easy answer. From the approach of 'reduce, re-use and recycle', to serious issues of depleting natural resources, educators may find that they are not knowledgeable enough to have real conversations with children. This is why education for sustainability is not easy and often gets marginalised in educational settings. However, it is important that as educators we do not give up. It is certainly a pedagogy that is slow, and that requires us to critically reflect. As long as we have the image of the child who is competent and an active citizen of the world, issues of sustainability become more manageable to dissect and be engaged in. At the end of the day, what we hope to impart to our children is the ability to be socially responsible, to question things that seem unfair and unjust, and to feel courageous and empowered enough to make changes to things that are not right. We need to make sure that our children will live in a world where they can still have clean water in their creeks, be able to have a diverse range of animal species, where global warming is a thing of the past and to simply be able to enjoy the natural world. References: Davis, J. (2010). 'What is early childhood education for sustainability?' In J. Davis (Eds.), Young Children and the Environment: Early Education for Sustainability.21-42. New York: Cambridge University Press. Queensland Department of Education and Training (2009). Statement on Sustainability for all Queensland Schools. Retrieved from http://education.qld.gov.au/publication/ production/reports/pdfs/statement-on-sustainability-all-qld- schools-enough-for-all-forever.pdf Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (2010). Sustainability Curriculum Framework: A guide for curriculum developers and policy makers. Retrieved http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/9b2e74c a-c909-4d57-bae3-c515c20957de/files/curriculum-framework.pdf
Issue 56 Spring 2014
Reflections Issue 58 Autumn 2015