The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development is stimulating debate about learning and change. Most significant is the reminder to re-think learning in a changing world. What role does environmental education have to play in this process?
One of the most constant features of life today is change. Globalisation and internationalisation are among processes that have created a world context of uncertainty, flux and risk. Schools, community organisations, business and governments around the world are challenged to respond to unprecedented and complex economic, political, social and environmental changes. The direction of human development is in question. Traditional forms of teaching, learning and awareness raising are changing to incorporate new concepts and life-long learning approaches. Organisational and workplace learning is evolving. People everywhere are learning in a changing world.
Since the Tbilisi Principles on education and environment were released in 1977, environmental education has created many opportunities for critical and creative thinking, teaching, learning, awareness raising and taking action. Thirty years later, the 2007 World Environmental Education Congress hopes to extend creative opportunities for dialogue, reflection and evaluation in a growing and dynamically evolving field that is currently engaging with the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and the implications of the UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development.
Within the broader orientation of the WEEC 2007 theme 'Learning in a Changing World', the following sub-themes will guide the Congress Programme development:
- Environmental education in the UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development
- Globalisation, internationalisation and environmental education
- Environmental education, ethics and action
- Environmental education, training and life-long learning
- New learning theory and approaches
- Research, innovation and evaluation
- Cultural changes and environmental learning
- Sustainable schools and learning institutions
- Environmental education in contexts poverty, risk and vulnerability
- Environmental education and the WEHAB (Water, Energy, Health, Agriculture, Biodiversity) agenda
- Environmental education, social justice and socio-ecological change
- Environmental education, policy and curriculum transformations
- Ecological integrity, society and environmental education.
The Environmental Education Association of Southern Africa will publish a special edition of the Southern African Journal of Environmental Education to mark the hosting of the Congress in Southern Africa and Tbilisi+30. Other journals will be invited to publish papers produced for the Congress.