As we approach the end of the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) there are two identifiable kinds of ‘silences’ that are cause for alarm.
The first ‘silence’ was noticeable in two key 2013 documents produced by the High-Level Panel of the UN Secretary General which proposed a new set of post-2015 development goals. Neither report mentions ESD, despite the fact that the new development goals are meant to be called Sustainable Development Goals and that the lead agency for the Decade was itself a UN agency. Since May 2014, ESD has been included as a target in the Muscat Agreement adopted at the 2014 Global Education For All Meeting and in the proposal for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the Open Working Group of the UN General Assembly on SDGs.
While this paper considers the reasons for this first ‘silence’, and the successful advocacy to address this ‘silence’, the second ‘silence’ is in many respects the more threatening. It is about how education itself can continue to ‘silence’. To argue this, the growing emphasis on ESD that is focused on ‘Educating for Resilience’ will be discussed. I have argued that resilience itself is a valuable concept and essential in helping populations prepare and cope with increased frequency of natural disasters. However, unless this type of education addresses the fundamental link between vulnerability and power, is this kind of education merely assisting vulnerable communities to prepare and cope for the next disaster? Are we therefore educating for re-silence rather than resilience?
Speaker: Roberto Guevara
Wednesday 22 October: 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm
Industry Engagement Room, Building 37, Level 3, Room 18