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Journal of Education and Development in the Caribbean

Education for Sustainable Development: Learning from Indigenous Peoples

Publication Date: 
December 2017

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) involves the enhancement of knowledge, development of skills, clarification of values and attitudes, and promotion of behaviour for the sustainability of the Earth’s social, economic, and natural systems. Ultimately, ESD is about values, with respect for self, others, and the natural world centralized to ensure equity within and between generations and care for the natural world upon which humankind depends. Whilst Western science has been the dominant way of knowing presented in formal schooling and the main way of shaping environmental problems and solutions, indigenous knowledge has much to offer ESD and environmentalism with respect to sustainability knowledge, attitudes, values, skills, and behaviours. This paper discusses the value of indigenous knowledge and underscores how its traditional knowledge and cultural systems contribute to a sustainability ethic and can be drawn upon to address environmental problems and issues.

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