ESD starts where STEM stops : integrating the social sciences into STEM

Davis, Julie M. (2012) ESD starts where STEM stops : integrating the social sciences into STEM. In Lee, Kar-Tin (Ed.) 2nd International STEM in Education Conference, Beijing, China, pp. 177-183.

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The Earth and its peoples are facing great challenges. As a species, humans are over-consuming the Earth’s resources and compromising the capacity of both natural and social systems to function in healthy and sustainable ways. Education at all levels and in all contexts, has a key role in helping societies move to more sustainable ways of living. Two areas in need of catch-up in relation to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) are early childhood education and teacher education. Another area of challenge for ESD is the way it is currently oriented. To date, a great deal of emphasis has been placed on scientific and technological solutions to sustainability issues. This has led to an emphasis on STEM education as education’s main way of addressing sustainability. However, in this paper it is argued that sustainably is primarily a social issue that requires interdisciplinary education approaches. STEM approaches to ESD - emphasising knowledge construction and problem-solving - cannot, on their own, deal effectively with attitudes, values and actions towards more sustainable ways of living. In China and Australia, there are already policies, frameworks, guidelines and initiatives, such as Green Schools and Sustainable Schools that support such forms of ESD. STEM educators need to reach out to social scientists and social educators in order to more fully engage with activist and collaborative educational responses that equip learners with the knowledge, dispositions and capacities to ‘make a difference’.

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ID Code: 67370
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: education for sustainable development, STEM education, transformative education, green education, teacher education
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT (050200) > Environmental Education and Extension (050203)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Science Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy (130212)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators (130313)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Please consult the author
Deposited On: 13 Feb 2014 23:11
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2014 09:33

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