Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Education for Sustainable Development @ ISKL

Parents may or may not recognize how much time and energy are spent developing curriculum, ensuring that what we do at ISKL provides an exceptional education for our students and that all we do and say moves in unison with our school's mission statement. With regard to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) we focus on ensuring that what we are teaching our students is realistic, valuable and provides the understanding, skills, values and attitudes to embrace the future. In that light, last years Leadership Council for Sustainability spent a good deal of time working on a new foundation that would guide our ESD curriculum.

The new ESD diagram is based on the UNESCO dimensions of sustainable development. It identifies four main components - Ecological, Social, Economic and Political sustainability. - as the building blocks for sustainable communities.  But what really makes this an integrated educational platform is the dynamic interaction of the different dimensions, particularly as they relate to the global issues found encircling the four main dimensions. 

This diagram also provides a visual representation of our ESD curriculum. Standards have been developed and benchmarks are a priority for this year. The ESD Standards are the following:

Ecological Sustainability
Students recognize the importance of protecting the environment and the role of individuals, communities and governments in doing so.

Social Sustainability
Students understand that personal, social and cultural well-being are important elements of sustainable development.

Economic Sustainability
Students recognize the benefits and challenges of economic development (growth) as well as implications on ecological, social and political systems.

Political Sustainability
Students understand the function of individuals, governments and other organizations in promoting sustainable development. 

As students work toward these standards throughout our curriculum they will recognize the dynamic interaction between the different dimensions, the challenges and opportunities provided by this interconnectedness as well as the need to develop personal leadership capacity to ensure that sustainable development is at the forefront of our journey to the future.  Key in this is the fundamental recognition that balance is important, that things are connected and that each of us - children and adults alike - have a capacity to make a positive contribution to our community and the world.

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