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Sustainability Gap

A framework for teaching the world’s most important subject

You’d have thought governments would be rushing to get the issue of sustainability into the mainstream curriculum. Apparently not. Stephen Scoffham and Steve Rawlinson are looking to fill the gap.

The challenge of teaching sustainability issues

Sustainability and environmental issues are never far from the news these days. Bush fires, drought, extreme heat, flooding – these are all now acknowledged by scientists to be evidence of impending climate chaos. If a global temperature rise of less than one degree can bring about this level of disruption, what lies ahead? The dilemma for teachers is how best to address this and other sustainability issues with pupils in a way that is honest and without causing unnecessary anxiety. It’s a difficult balancing act.

Who’s taking the lead?

With so many international schools teaching one version or other of the National Curriculum for England and with Glasgow hosting COP26, there will be hopes of a lead from the UK,

However, in England, the national curriculum for primary schools still offers remarkably little guidance and even at secondary level “sustainability” is restricted to just a few subjects such as science, geography and citizenship. Similar concerns are mirrored in many other parts of the world from the United States to Australia.

Fortunately, international declarations are more encouraging. For example, UNESCO