It’s never early: education for sustainable development

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Pavlova, M & Turner, S 2006, 'It’s never early: education for sustainable development', paper presented at the second international conference on environmental, cultural, economic & social sustainability, Hanoi and Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, 9-12 January.


This paper is based on research conducted at primary and tertiary levels in Queensland, Australia. The research was focused on examining learning about sustainable development that occurs at those levels through a particular activity: designing and making a board game related to sustainable development (SD). This research project was designed on the basis of conceptualisations of education for sustainable development that established that cognitive, moral and practical bases for learning activities should be considered during the planning process as well as the different aspects of SD (economic, cultural, social and ecological). The findings of this research demonstrated that learning about SD occurred on both levels (although the depth is different); students represented their understanding through the design activities. The artifacts created as a result of students’ learning were very impressive and illustrated the high level of understanding that occur as the result of the activity. Contextualised learning about SD (through the designing and making activity in this research) proved to be an effective way of learning about SD.