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Getting to the heart of the matter: health, well - being & education for sustainability – introducing health promoting schools in Fiji

Koya, Cresantia F. (2014) Getting to the heart of the matter: health, well - being & education for sustainability – introducing health promoting schools in Fiji. Micronesian Educator, 19 (1). pp. 118-127. ISSN 1061-088X

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Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is based on a global vision of ‘sustainability’ as a goal; a value; and, a philosophy. It provides an overarching umbrella framework that is encompassing with opportunity for interconnectivity of all other mainstream educational instruments which have been ratified and which form the basis for educational development in Fiji. These include the Millennium Development Goals 2000 - 2015, United Nations Literacy Decade 2003 – 2012, and Education for All (Jomtein, 1990; Dakar, 2000). With the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development nearing its end (2005 – 2014), it is disheartening to find that for many ESD remains poorly defined and reserved for scholarly and developmental discourse. Others see ESD as separate and distinct from other educational instruments and in this view may be cumbersome – an additional instrument that needs to be mainstreamed or integrated. Still others believe that ESD has the potential to bring together diverse interests and agendas under one principle vision – of sustainability and education for the future. However one chooses to view ESD, it is undeniable that the movement has become a dominant discourse in education with focused international, regional and national debates on how best to devise curricula for mainstreaming sustainability in basic education both formally and non-formally. A case may be made for ESD as both a philosophy and a methodology. As a philosophy it guides vision-making and helps to set the broader goals of education. This is relatively easy to do. As a methodology however, there are real pedagogical implications– that is what and why teachers’ do what they do and how they do this. In the wider Pacific context, the challenge of curriculum-full and resource-empty realities pose a threat to realizing the vision of education for a sustainable future. A potential outcome of such a reality may very well be “Education about Sustainable Development” rather than “Educating for Sustainable Societies”. In the former, the emphasis is learning about what SD is, i.e. SD content curricula is identified, taught and assessed. In the latter, sustainability, including both SD and sustainable livelihoods are seen as long-term learning outcomes of the schooling experience. From the onset, it should be obvious that a “Healthy” society is at the heart of ESD. Healthy populations are essential to ensuring Sustainable Societies, Economies and Environments – the three pillars on which SD and ESD are constructed upon. This paper provides some insight into Health and Well-being as central to the broader ESD Mainstreaming effort within formal education. It also provides a theoretical framework for curriculum mapping of ESD within the Health Promoting Schools Program in Fiji.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2361 Curriculum
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Education
Depositing User: Cresantia Koya-Vaka'uta
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2014 02:49
Last Modified: 09 May 2016 23:52

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