Education

Our education list focuses on education policy and politics and the inequalities that are both built into education systems and perpetuated by them. It speaks to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education. 

Our titles, including Arun Verma’s Anti-Racism in Higher Education, address the challenges in education, including those around technology and the digital divide. The list offers students and researchers internationally sourced evidence-based solutions that challenge traditional neoliberal approaches to learning.

Education

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The book explores the links between politics, learning and sustainability. It seeks to answer a fundamental question: how do we move to a politics in which political leaders are honest with voters about the need to fly less, to use less energy, to use our cars less and to forsake the latest high-tech gadgets? This presents a real challenge for the world’s political leaders. Are they capable of making the necessary brave decisions? The book’s central focus is on the future of people and planet itself. The challenges that we face in combatting climate change and building a more sustainable world are complex, and the book argues that if we are to successfully meet these challenges we need a fundamental change to the way we do politics and economics, embedding a lifelong commitment to sustainability in all learning. We have no option but to make things work for the better. Planet earth is the only home we have. A central argument of the book is that the terms of the debate need to be shifted, so that responding to the challenges of climate change and shaping a more sustainable world is not seen in negative terms (simply giving up stuff!), but rather is viewed as an opportunity to build a more sustainable and fulfilling way of life.

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Linking Politics, Education and Learning
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This timely and accessible book explores the links between politics, learning and sustainability. Its central focus is the future of people and the planet itself. The challenges that we face in combatting climate change and building a more sustainable world are complex and the book argues that if we are to successfully meet these challenges we need a fundamental change in the way we do politics and economics, embedding a lifelong commitment to sustainability in all learning. We have no option but to make things work for the better. After all, planet earth is the only home we have! The book will be important reading for academics and students in a variety of related subjects, including politics, public policy, education, sustainable development, geography, media, international relations and development studies. It will also be a valuable resource for NGOs and policy makers.

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Chapter Seven presents a number of case studies on education and learning undertaken by postgraduate researchers in education for sustainable development (ESD). The case studies are drawn from Uganda, Rwanda and Malawi. They focus on examples of organisational, local and national change and provide an insight into the interrelationship between local and global issues. Reference is made to the importance of context and appropriacy and to the crucial relevance of local community and indigenous knowledge. The case studies are set within the framework of the politics of knowledge and the challenges that current dominant global knowledge systems pose for ESD.

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The book explores the links between politics, learning and sustainability. It seeks to answer a fundamental question: how do we move to a politics in which political leaders are honest with voters about the need to fly less, to use less energy, to use our cars less and to forsake the latest high-tech gadgets? This presents a real challenge for the world’s political leaders. Are they capable of making the necessary brave decisions? The book’s central focus is on the future of people and planet itself. The challenges that we face in combatting climate change and building a more sustainable world are complex, and the book argues that if we are to successfully meet these challenges we need a fundamental change to the way we do politics and economics, embedding a lifelong commitment to sustainability in all learning. We have no option but to make things work for the better. Planet earth is the only home we have. A central argument of the book is that the terms of the debate need to be shifted, so that responding to the challenges of climate change and shaping a more sustainable world is not seen in negative terms (simply giving up stuff!), but rather is viewed as an opportunity to build a more sustainable and fulfilling way of life.

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In Chapter Four, Hugh Atkinson analyses the role of the US in respect of the environment and sustainability. Over the last 15 years, there has been an understandable perception of a US with only a limited engagement in the fight against climate change and the broader sustainability agenda. At a federal level, the Bush presidency of 2000 to 2008 certainly lent credence to this view. However, the chapter argues that the actual picture is more nuanced and complex. Of course, there have been, and there will continue to be, obstacles along the way. Too often, the debate in the US is drowned out by the white noise of a divisive and increasingly hysterical political culture. Yet, despite this, there have been a range of initiatives at federal, state and local level that have sought to engage in a positive way with the sustainability agenda. Furthermore, the election of Barak Obama as president seemed to point to a new activism at the federal level of government. In a speech to the United Nations (UN) in September 2009, Obama spoke of the serious threat of climate change and of the pressing need to take action. The chapter examines whether such rhetoric has been matched by substantive policy action. The analysis in this chapter is set with the context of the constitutional doctrine of the separation of powers and a political culture that eschews active government.

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Chapter Ten starts with an analysis of some of the key themes that have emerged in the course of writing this book. These include: the importance of the link and the interrelationship between politics, education and learning in meeting the challenges of sustainability; the need to challenge the current educational paradigm and reshape education systems towards sustainable development; the realisation that traditional neoliberal growth models are proving increasingly dysfunctional for people and the planet; yet, despite this, neoliberalism remains robust in influential policy circles; the crucial importance of tackling climate change if we are to achieve environmental and social justice; and the need for a more honest engagement by politicians with the public about the challenges that creating a more sustainable world presents. It concludes by setting out two alternative scenarios for the future of people and the planet. The challenges that we face today in combating climate change and building a more sustainable world are complex and multifaceted. As such, they need to be approached in a holistic way by adopting joined-up solutions for joined-up problems. We all have a stake in this. Academics from all disciplines need to break out of their silos and work in a much more interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary manner. To this end, the book will combine both political science and ESD analysis of the challenges of sustainability and climate change.

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The book explores the links between politics, learning and sustainability. It seeks to answer a fundamental question: how do we move to a politics in which political leaders are honest with voters about the need to fly less, to use less energy, to use our cars less and to forsake the latest high-tech gadgets? This presents a real challenge for the world’s political leaders. Are they capable of making the necessary brave decisions? The book’s central focus is on the future of people and planet itself. The challenges that we face in combatting climate change and building a more sustainable world are complex, and the book argues that if we are to successfully meet these challenges we need a fundamental change to the way we do politics and economics, embedding a lifelong commitment to sustainability in all learning. We have no option but to make things work for the better. Planet earth is the only home we have. A central argument of the book is that the terms of the debate need to be shifted, so that responding to the challenges of climate change and shaping a more sustainable world is not seen in negative terms (simply giving up stuff!), but rather is viewed as an opportunity to build a more sustainable and fulfilling way of life.

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In Chapter Five, John O’Brennan argues that environmental problems are by their very nature potentially existential and traverse international border demarcations. In Europe, the consensus on collective action has grown over the last two decades as problems as diverse as substandard nuclear plants in Bulgaria and Slovakia and the lethal impact of toxic pollutants released into the River Danube have concentrated more and more attention on the need for a European-wide approach to multidimensional problems. The chapter examines the evolution of European Union (EU) policy in the areas of environment, energy and sustainable development through the lenses of path dependency and historical institutionalism. It argues that environmental policy has developed via a multitude of actors and through a sharing of competences within a multi-level system of governance. Although there remain some very significant challenges for Europe, the cumulative result has been an unprecedented pooling of sovereignty that has enabled the EU to learn and act collectively and forcefully in a vital area of global socio-economic activity.

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The book explores the links between politics, learning and sustainability. It seeks to answer a fundamental question: how do we move to a politics in which political leaders are honest with voters about the need to fly less, to use less energy, to use our cars less and to forsake the latest high-tech gadgets? This presents a real challenge for the world’s political leaders. Are they capable of making the necessary brave decisions? The book’s central focus is on the future of people and planet itself. The challenges that we face in combatting climate change and building a more sustainable world are complex, and the book argues that if we are to successfully meet these challenges we need a fundamental change to the way we do politics and economics, embedding a lifelong commitment to sustainability in all learning. We have no option but to make things work for the better. Planet earth is the only home we have. A central argument of the book is that the terms of the debate need to be shifted, so that responding to the challenges of climate change and shaping a more sustainable world is not seen in negative terms (simply giving up stuff!), but rather is viewed as an opportunity to build a more sustainable and fulfilling way of life.

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In Chapter Three, Ros Wade examines the international education commitments of the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit on environment and development in relation to trends in education policy and practice over the last 20 years. Agenda 21 emphasised the imperative to reorient education systems towards sustainable development and laid out a clear programme for governments. The chapter highlights the urgency of this initiative in turning round the oil tanker of overconsumption and unsustainable lifestyles in the wealthier parts of the world and addressing the challenges of poverty, social justice and environmental destruction in the developing world. However, an overview of current education practice across a range of countries indicates that although policy commitments have increased, practice lags rather far behind. There are clear reasons for this. The last 20 years have seen neoliberal perspectives provide the dominant overarching framework for policymaking. The chapter will argue that marketisation and privatisation trends have frequently skewed educational practice towards unsustainable development. Yet, without a sea change at international and national levels, educational policy will fail to address the huge challenges that the world is facing in the 21st century.

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