Sustainability education - big picture thinking

Notes for the sustainability education group: Ideas that influence my thinking:

As I said at our last meeting, I am interested in sustainability as one of a family of networks/issues which are important in teacher education and much more broadly. I see such issues as being part of a person's world view.

I see a person's world view as being something that guides thinking and action - and I argue that teacher education is about supporting our students in develop world views that can handle the complexity of life today (and that teaching children is about helping them develop world views that enable them and their families to live effectively in this complex world).

Our world views are ways of thinking and acting that enable us to learn and adapt (or disable us). The language of complexity thinking is helpful in talking about adaptation and the emergence of new ideas and understandings.

The emergence of new ideas and fresh ways of thinking does not mean that old ideas are thrown out. Complexity thinking simply provides another way of looking at the physical world and worlds of ideas. Ideas can emerge collectively and have an impact on how we interact with our physical world - education for sustainability is closely linked to fostering fresh ways of thinking about our world.

Implications of these ideas:

(1) This all means that, for me, I care about sustainability education as part of a bigger whole, and not as a subject (curriculum area) taught by itself - but we need specialists in the area so that the focus on sustainability can be maintained. (You are specialists, not me!)

(2) What I want to do is to establish a network of networks (something that links groups like yours together in ways that open up communication without becoming an entity in its own right). I am calling the network BBF (Building Better Futures) and hosting it at my house and around me and others interested - at work or where-ever. BBF encapsulates my world view - I want to live in ways that BBF.

(3) Watch this space for links to other parts of BBF. I have to grapple with technologies that will allow these ideas to be shared across multiple groups and networks. This will be a hobby for me during January. If you are around and would like a chat about any of the above, make contact with me, come visit, have a cuppa.

(Elaine 332 5902; 6 Kiteroa Place, Cashmere)