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lunes, 11 de junio de 2012

Gough (2006): Un largo, sinuoso (y duro) camino para la EA para la Sustentabilidad en 2006

A Long, Winding (and Rocky) Road to Environmental Education for Sustainability in 2006. Annette Gough.

The path that has led us to being in the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) has its origins in the 1960s, and there have been many hills, potholes and detours along the way. In this article I trace the international pathway from the 1960s to 2006 to provide a context for developments in Australia over the same period.
The Beginning 
In the 1960s scientists around the world were calling for recognition that there was an international environmental crisis caused by the growth in world population, the continuing depletion of natural resources and the increasing contamination of air, land and water. These environmental problems were often seen as scientific problems which science and technology could solve, but increasingly even the scientists themselves were arguing that science and technology were not enough. They wanted more information about the environment for the general public: for example, Rachel Carson (1962, p. 30) argued that “(t)he public must decide whether it wishes to continue on the present road, and it can do so only when in full possession of the facts”. Scientists also saw education as essential for providing students with an awareness of the threats to the human species and stimulating thinking and discussion on the social and biological problems of humankind (Boyden, 1970, cited in Gough, 1997, p. 4). 
The term “environmental education” was first used around 1965 in the United States and the United Kingdom. For example, in March 1965 at a conference at the University of Keele it was agreed that environmental education “should become an essential part of the education of all citizens, not only because of the importance of their understanding something of their environment but because of its immense educational potential in assisting the emergence of a scientifically literate nation” (Wheeler, 1975, p.8). The descriptions of the objectives of environmental education which emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s were concerned with introducing ecological (environmental) content into educational curricula at all levels, promoting technical training and stimulating general awareness of environmental problems. These statements were more exhortations than specifications which made environmental education seem vague, as Helgeson et al. (1971, quoted in Lucas, 1979, p. 6), in a review of environmental education for school administrators, commented: “The reluctance of persons concerned with environmental problems and environmental education to define the area of their concerns has led to a diffuseness in the discussion which is unlikely to lead to useful analysis of the problems or to the successful resolution of them”. Thirty-five years on similar discussions abound around the vagueness of education for sustainability/sustainable development!

Tomado de Gough, A. (2006): A Long, Winding (and Rocky) Road to Environmental Education for Sustainability in 2006. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, vol. 22(1), 2006.

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