The Natural Edge Project The Natural Advantage of Nations Whole System Design Factor 5 Cents and Sustainability Higher Education and Sustainable Development

"I have become increasingly interested in the development of a new relationship between the City and Nature in which man's relationship with Nature is changing. This has wide-ranging influence on my architecture."
Mick Pearce, architect

The Natural Advantage of Nations (Vol. I): Business Opportunities, Innovation and Governance in the 21st Century


Section 5: A National Collaborative Approach

Chapter 22 - Changing Hearts and Minds: The Role of Education
1 The need for critical literacies in sustainability
2 Sustainable development in schools  (Anna McKenzie)
2.1 Constructive environmental education
2.2 Adding value not load
3 Key role of higher education and the professions
2.2 Harnessing universities' research capacity
2.2 Partnering with professional bodies to build capacity
4 The power of individuals
5 Reference List from the Book
Sample of Resources to Support Chapter 22

Global Warming Materials for Educators


To date, in this book, we have talked largely about how business, government, civil society, research organizations, etc. can step up to make the most of the opportunities provided to those who lead. We have shown inspiring examples of the benefits for those who already have. Change in these organizations occurred because an individual or a group of people effectively catalysed and then facilitated change. In earlier sections, we discussed significant signs that attitudes and values about sustainability are changing.

What is lacking in many countries to achieve sustainable development is reliable information, and dissemination of that information to empower people, whatever their station in society, to act. But also importantly in this information age, we all need critical literacies to be able to most effectively and wisely use such information. David Orr, one of the world's leading environmental educators, has argued that the environmental crisis is actually a crisis of education: 'The crisis we face is first and foremost one of the mind, perceptions, and values; hence, it is a challenge to those institutions presuming to shape minds, perceptions, and values'.

This is now widely recognized. The recent major report from the New Zealand Parliamentary Commissioner for Environment, Sea Change: Learning and Education for Sustainability, showed that 'The need for education to play a key role in addressing the challenge of sustainable development was articulated at the Earth Summit in 1992. All 40 chapters of its action plan Agenda 21, called for education. Governments from around the world agreed that education for Sustainability is 'critical for achieving environmental and ethical awareness, values and attitudes, skills and behaviour consistent with sustainable development and for effective public participation in decision making'. Agenda 21 also called on all countries to develop a strategy to implement education for sustainability.' The United Nations has now declared that 2005-2015 will be the Decade of Education in Sustainable Development.



Global Warming Materials for Educators

Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) Global Environment Program

All of these materials are based on published, peer-reviewed science, and have themselves been peer-reviewed by scientific experts in the relevant fields.

View Website


References from the Book

1 Orr, D. (1994) Earth In Mind, Island Press, Washington, DC, p27.


2 PCENZ (Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment New Zealand) (2004) See Change: Learning and Education for Sustainability, PCENZ, Wellington.


3 The Sustainable Schools programme is the integration of existing and fragmented

approaches to sustainability education into a holistic programme with measurable

environmental, financial and curriculum outcomes. The programme does not seek to

replace other environmental education initiatives in schools, rather it links to and

complements existing resources such as Energy Smart Schools, WasteWise, Waterwatch, Waterwise and Landcare.


4 UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) (1997a) Educating For a Sustainable Future: A Trans-disciplinary Vision For Concerted Action, UNESCO, International Conference Tessaloniki, 8–12 December; UNESCO (1997b) Environment and Society: Education and Public Awareness for Sustainability, November, UNESCO, Paris.


5 Thomas, I. (2004) ‘Sustainability in Tertiary Curricula: What is Stopping it Happening?’, International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol 5, no 1, 23 January, pp33–47.


6 Hawken, P., Lovins, A. and Lovins, L. H. (1999) Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution, Earthscan, London.


7 Tilbury, D. (2003) ‘Environmental Education for Sustainability: A Force for Change in Higher Education’, in Wals, A. and Cocoran Blaze, P., Higher Education and the Challenge of Sustainability, Kluwer, London.


8 Jenni Goricanec and Roger Hadgraft of RMIT University provided this discussion to the Editors.


9 Refer to the RMIT Global Sustainability Institute.


10 Information about this curriculum project is available through the BELL section of the WRI website.


11 This curriculum work is available through the Natural Capitalism Inc website.


12 More information is available at the Presidio world college, San Francisco website.


13 See the Delft University of Technology website for information about the conference.


14 Sudan Virtual Engineering Library – Sustainability Knowledge Network (SudVEL-SKN), Pilot Project Report: 15 December 2003 to 15 February 2004, Charlie Hargroves, The Natural Edge Project.


15 The Green Chemistry Institute has affiliate organizations in over 20 countries (refer to their website for more details).


16 Contact John Fein through Griffith University, or refer to the UNESCO website.


17 More information about the Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy is available through Murdoch University’s website.


18 The ECOS magazine is published on CSIRO’s publishing website.


19 This e-newsletter is coordinated by Dr Elizabeth Heij of CSIRO.


20 The university is based in Canberra, Australia. More information can be found at ANU’s website.


21 Those involved with the ANU Green Guide project are keen to network with other local green/sustainability guide teams worldwide to build a central website. More information can be found online through ANU’s website.


22 Refer to the ANU website for information on the symposium.


23 ‘Tela’ refers to the Latin word for ‘integrated/web’ and has been used for the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) report. The report is available online, through the ACF website.