Reflections on sustainability: where to from here?

I’ve been thinking about the notion of sustainability, based on a post by Leigh Blackall (and subsequent comments). I’ve been reading some texts and other stuff to get my head around the notion of sustainability and its origins in order to develop a better understanding of the idea of a sustainable curriculum. Some questions going around in my head right now:

  • Can we tie sustainability to flexibility (as in flexible learning)?
  • How can we measure sustainability in education where we remain critically reflective of the ideological frameworks in which we operate (e.g. economic-rationalist and corporatism)?
  • Might Lincoln and Guba (1985) offer some other frameworks that bring in an emergent design, via naturalistic inquiry?

The work of Derek Ownes (1998) and others asks more questions about a sustainable curriculum, but where has this work taken us so far?
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Here are some links and texts that I’ve found useful in uncovering aspects of sustainability in education so far.

I’d also like to talk with our Curriculum services team and look at drawing together Sustainability and the Employability Skills Framework (ESF) (PDF is here), which embeds generic (work) attributes for learners within the competencies of a program, so that learners can demonstrate their ability to adapt to workplace forces and changes. It seems to me that the ESF needs to include aspects of sustainable practice for learners, regardless of what they are studying. More on this again soon.

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