January 13th, 2018

Editorial Overview: December 2017 General Issue: Curriculum and Change

By Clare Hintz

LINK: December 2017 General Issue: Curriculum and Change Table of Contents

This general issue of the Journal of Sustainability Education is chock-full of case examples infusing sustainability ethics and perspectives into a wide array of learning environments. Many benchmarks of success are open for discussion, and I am struck by the wider question of what progress towards fully-implemented sustainability education looks like around the world. In this issue we present reports from Malaysia, India, and a case study that crosses the globe from Bali to Hong Kong to Berkeley. As the agenda of the United States’ political establishment veers sharply away from sustainability on all levels, I am pleased to share deep examples of leadership from Canada, Australia, Costa Rica, and even teachers of immigrant youth in the United States.

Together, these papers show an increasing integration across academic disciplines, and between academia at large and the communities it is meant to serve. I find this trend hopeful, in the context of a deeply divided United States. Can these moments of learning teach a new generation how to work with ambiguity, complexity, and people of differing viewpoints? We are reminded in these times that environmental sustainability cannot be separated from social justice, nor from economic systems that structure inequality and ecosystem destruction. We as educators, are called to teach our students the skills of adaptation and resilience.

While we do not often receive papers dealing with the more technical side of sustainability education, this issue features a well-researched and thoroughly reported case example of changing public behavior in Aspen, Colorado, U.S.: “City of Aspen single use bag study,” by Laura Armstrong and Elizabeth O’Connell Chapman. I also review two excellent texts for sustainable agriculture educators.

Lastly, our two reports in this issue, that I mentioned above, highlight the global need and nature of sustainability education and have raised a lot of discussion in the staff. How can we share scholarly articles effectively where English is a second language? We value our global contributors’ perspectives and experience and are committed to sharing those. At the same time, we have a limited capacity to work on ESL issues or translations. If you are fluent in a language other than English and are interested in serving on our peer review team, please reach out to us.


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