Cambridge Education’s director of sustainable leadership releases book on education for sustainability
Cambridge Education’s director of sustainable leadership Dr. Paul Clarke is releasing a book on the significant role education has in establishing the conditions for eco-intelligence. Education for Sustainability: Becoming Naturally Smart (The New Critical Idiom) addresses how we are ignoring the fact that we are destroying our planet and that our existing models of education are contributing to the problem.
Drawing on innovative sustainable living programmes from around the world, such as Sweden’s Forest Schools, China’s Green Schools Programme, the US Green Ribbon Schools Programme and his own school-of-sustainability project, Dr. Clarke addresses various questions in his book, including:
- How do we rethink our relationship with the environment?
- Is education fit for purpose if the purpose is sustainable living?
- How can communities help schools to live with uncertainty?
- Open source living – when sustainability is the way of life.
- Can we create schools of sustainability?
- The urban fix: sustainable cities, sustainable minds.
Commenting on the issues raised in his book, Dr. Clarke said: “At present there are more people living in urban than rural environments, so we must learn to live and flourish in our urban landscape and manage our resources better with ecologically informed discretion. Education is perfectly placed to create the conditions for solutions and provide the formulas which ensure that everyone becomes naturally informed. To achieve this however, there needs to a total re-conceptualisation of schools and how they serve their communities.”
“The early part of the book explores some of the big picture problems we are beginning to witness around the world as a result of the accumulated effects of industrial development over the past two centuries. This background provides a context to then examine practical ways in which behaviour, which is defined through an industrialised vision of progress, might better be reconceptualised through an ecological lens if we are to make any real progress in responding to the catastrophic environmental circumstances we are beginning to see unfold,” added Dr. Clarke. “These arguments are put together in a way that provides a potential route for change at both policy and practice levels. It is a story that needs to be told, urgently.”
Dr. Clarke is a founding director of Incredible Edible, a community food programme which is designed to respond to the challenges of food security through local community food production. He is currently working with HRH Prince Charles' Charities on a Pop-Up-Farm concept which enables communities to establish localised responses to the challenges of climate change, urbanisation and the move towards more sustainable forms of living in cities. He is also Professor of Education at St Mary’s University in London and a visiting professor at the University of Southampton and in addition, runs the www.school-of-sustainability.com website, a leading website on sustainable living.
Education for Sustainability: Becoming Naturally Smart (The New Critical Idiom) is due to be released on 15 December 2011.