The Pedagogy of Transition: Educating for the Future We Want

With the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development having just occurred (here you find the so-called Berlin Declaration that was adopted there, many educators are asking a key question: are we educating for the world we want?

Despite many valuable on-the-ground initiatives, the answer is a clear “no” in the wide-ranging forum The Pedagogy of Transition: Educating for the Future We Want, published earlier this month by the Great Transition Initiative (GTI):

The Great Transition Initiative is an online forum of ideas and an international network for the critical exploration of concepts, strategies, and visions for a transition to a future of enriched lives, human solidarity, and a resilient biosphere.

Following an opening paper by Stephen Sterling, Emeritus Professor at the University of Plymouth, twenty-eight panellists – including myself, David Orr, Vandana Singh, Guy Dauncey, Rajesh Tandon, Isabel Rimanoczy, Iveta Silova and Richard Falk – critique the dominant education models in practice today and reflect on what a “pedagogy of transition” aligned with the long transition to a just, ecological, and fulfilling civilization would look like—and what it already looks like in the classroom/lecture hall and beyond.

The forum contributes to growing international debate on the purposes and role of education by offering a powerful and challenging critique of conventional assumptions about education and learning. More importantly, it posits inspiring alternative visions and practicable steps to transformative change that point the way forward.