2a. Provision, Quality of and Access to Education

Track Chairs

  • Marlen Gabriele Arnold, Chair of Corporate Environmental Management and Sustainability, TU Chemnitz, Germany, 
  • Anne Fischer, Corporate Environmental Management and Sustainability, TU Chemnitz, Germany, 
  • Alex Franklin, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University, UK. 

Objectives of the Track

UNESCO’s main goal is to strengthen Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) worldwide. Education is the most important foundation for the transition towards sustainability and local as well as global change. ESD enables all people to acquire the skills and live values necessary to save our planet. ESD empowers all of us to overcome the challenges of sustainability. These include, for example, global warming, loss of biodiversity, environmental and soil degradation, social injustice, poverty and irreversible tipping points caused by human actions. Thus, ESD is a precondition for the future of our existence and a fundamental element of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). SDG 4 Quality Education is an integral enabler for all other SDGs and sustainability activities.

UNESCO emphasizes several competencies for ESD practices to achieve the SDGs globally. These include, for example, systems thinking, anticipation, normative and strategic competence, collaboration, critical thinking, self-awareness and integrated problem solving (UNESCO, 2017: 10). All of these competencies are closely related to cognitive learning and socio-emotional behaviour objectives. The implementation of learning for ESD is linked to a whole-institution approach addressing all stakeholders, all units and all actors.

Key methods for learning for the SDGs are (UNESCO, 2017: 55):

  • Collaborative real-world projects, such as service-learning projects and campaigns for different SDGs
  • Vision-building exercises such as future workshops, scenario analyses, utopian/dystopian story-telling, science-fiction thinking, and forecasting and backcasting
  • Analyses of complex systems through community-based research projects, case studies, stakeholder analysis, actors’ analysis, modelling, systems games, etc.
  • Critical and reflective thinking through fish-bowl discussions, reflective journals, etc.

The main goal of this track is to discuss new approaches, methods and frameworks or case studies dealing with the overall topic of the Provision, Quality of and Access to ESD. Therefore, we invite contributions of theoretical and empirical papers, respectively.

Contributions related to the following areas are warmly welcomed:

  • Community Participation and Stakeholder engagement
  • Drivers and Barriers to ESD implementation
  • Education for all and lifelong learning
  • ESD efforts to change attitudes, behaviours, and lifestyles
  • Holistic integration
  • Innovative and Inclusive approaches
  • Knowledge transfer and partnerships
  • Organizational Learning and Change
  • New competencies and pedagogical
  • Rethinking ESD
  • Social and Cultural Issues in ESD
  • Sustainability Science
  • Systemic Change, System Dynamics, Systems Thinking
  • Resistance to sustainability implementation;

Extent and content of the proposed abstract to the track

Each proposed abstract (in connection to an area pointed out above) of between 300 and 500 words (including all aspects),

  1. shall be best organized (without headlines) along usual structure: introduction, methods, findings or results, and discussion/conclusions.
  2. should include references.
  3. shall provide a final section indicating
    1. how the proposed abstract relates to the sustainable development goals SDGs and SDG-targets (e.g. “SDG +Target: 4.1.”).
    2. briefly how the proposed contribution relates to the theme of the Conference – “Sustainable Development and Courage. Culture, Art and Human Rights”.

Potential publication channels

With regard to potential publications, depending on the number and quality of contributions the following publication opportunities have already been envisaged:

  1. Conference proceedings with own ISBN number (each abstract and – later – full paper)