The
Whole Student Approach
for ESD

The Future it Adult

Since the future is beyond the horizon of those ruling the present, it can eventually not be governed by powers presently in place. and loves his children” (W. Berry & Meatyard, 1991). Thereto we should take a positive vision of the future (Eckersley, 2002) and distance from negative images. Instead of problematic visions drenched in despair, ESD can be a beacon of hope and means of progress youngsters deserve.

Youth nr has 'a' Future

Youth can unite and bind us as it presents our most magnificent common value.
The saying ‘Youth has thegn.
Youngsters can be regarded initially good, have no reason to not live sustainable lives and might even be equipped by nature with the qualities needed thereto, respecting children as ‘gentle’ and indispensable to involve if we seek long-term societal changes.

The Future cannot be Taught

Students cannot be ‘taught’ a worldview from out an academic ivory tower, but they can be guided to develop one in their daily educational practice, a mission however which takes people with personality and understanding wrought in life’s practical reality, tried and assessed in the world themselves. Such qualities cannot be arranged by building further structures and the reshuffling of roles in institutions, not commanded by research strange to life itself.

We can only Support

“We're never going to have respectful and reverential relationships with the planet and sensible policies about what we put in the air, the soil, the water, if young children do not begin learning about these things in their houses, backyards, streets and schools. We need to have human beings who are oriented that way from their earliest memories”
(E. Boulding, 2000).

The Social Family

We are very much aligned Jinan, and most certainly the way forward is not one through i.e. within the present paradigm and system. The Western mind(-set), especially worrying where it regards the larger middle-tier of society (young and older) even has characteristics of decadency, fixed in believing a high level of development has been reached. Even when realising a level of discomfort, the pretention of light-hearted luck/fun/play appears a requirement in relationship with the self and others. Many of who (with too limited understanding) seek 'enlightenment' do so through superficial (again: outward driven, exposure-induced) activities and the expression of 'new beliefs and truths discovered'. There seems to be ever less room (and acceptance) of reflection, intellectual exchange.
I note that besides the written word as such, contemporary multi- and mass-media play a critical, disturbing, role here. One would wish young and old would turn to reading again and stay away from the swift, prefabricated 'fun' and easy consumerism. This also impoverished amongst others 'Environmental Education' where cuddly words and play pushed away true experience in the wild.  

Awakening Youngsters'
Transformative Potential

For a sustainable development it is strategic to awaken young minds, to challenge and motivate them to grow into a critical individual learner in search of meaning and resolve. ESD seen as from a pro-active rather than reactive nature, providing the (young) learner with a strong foothold to stand on, roots to feed from and wings to fly. The challenge to create a prosperous future invites to think, think again, even to dream, fantasize, re-consider, to create lines of thought towards it. We keep ESD away from the organisational or system-perspective, seeing an individuals’ understanding, decisions and actions in the congruent logic presented as the Dimensions of ESD.
The individual learning is furthermore seen as a continuous articulation of the ‘Why?’, the inquiry most natural to the younger minds, to constantly generate new and evolving understanding of what is, thus taking a continuously critical disposition.
We ask the question because we are human and we fail to be fully human whenever we fail to ask it (Ford, 2007). A critical understanding of the “Ist” underlies a growing insight and understanding of the “Soll” and the change towards it.
While scholars in the ESD-discourse propose education should prepare students for the unknown rather than learning what we already know (for example Perkins, 2014), such appears based on the presumption that, given the rate of knowledge creation in this ‘knowledge economy’, what is learned tends to be outdated rather fast. I principally opposed to that conviction since the past and present can be regarded to be construed of facts and rest on values with longer lasting quality. Although for example globalisation calls for more understanding of cultures, trade-mechanisms,
a better mastering of (more) languages and the interdependence of value-exchanges, there is a vast landscape of resistant knowledge to start out from. The appearance and behaviour of most phenomena did and will not change overnight. Youth is still in the position to first gain thorough understanding of what is, develop an informed opinion how it came about to then engage in the exploration and development of the future. An over-accentuation of continuous change, the relativity of knowledge and uncertainty can put that learning at risk and is not to be seen as a motivating factor. I reason in line with the Socratic view, expecting that ‘learning from the roots’ will eventually contribute to learners’ autonomous capacity (Kumaravadivelu, 2003).
As a later commentor on the OPEDUCA-concept worded it: “… to imagine a better world while standing deep in the science of the world they live in” (Smith, 2020).    

Constructivist Learning as a more-sided reality

Sarah Babie

In accordance with the theory of social constructivism, the experiences children bring to the school environment and to their classes play a role in constructing knowledge, skill, attitudes and beliefs. These experiences are the result of children’s interaction with the family, peer group and other environmental connections. According to the social constructivist theory in teaching and learning, consideration of the child’s environment, age, culture, language and life experience is important (Zeme, 2020). Vygotsky (1978) proposed the ZPD theory, which is a key concept in the theory of social
constructivism (i.e., scaffolding). This theory plays an important role in children’s education. Scaffolding helps children bridge the gap between what they have learned and what they are expected to do. The negative emotions of children may be mitigated by scaffolding. Vygotsky views both language and literacy as embedded in a social context and notes that children’s interaction with knowledgeable members of their social groups enables them to internalize
cultural tools such as language, literacy and mathematics which underpin higher psychological processes.

it is important to involve students in possible solutions as these examples are among the first and strongest influences on an individual’s behavior (Franco et al, 2019).

Awareness of consequences of our present behaviour is seen as key in future-literacy. 

However, with regard to (taking, feeling) responsibility .... 

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The Value Proposal

Jos Eussen

According to Stern (1999, p. 84), there are four kinds of causal variables that influence environmental behavior: New Ecological Paradigm (Altruistic Values, Egoistic Values, Traditional Values, Openness to Change Values), Awareness of Consequences, Ascription of Responsibility and Pro-environmental Personal
Norm.

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