ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FROM A CURRICULAR PERSPECTIVE
AbstractEducation is one of the most effective tools to shape the world and solve its problems. Furthermore the earth and its well-being is heavily dependent upon the education and the number of educated inhabitants who are well aware of the fact that the resources are limited and the environmental protection is essential for the future of the human race. Taking this fact into consideration, the focal point of this paper will be environmental education and sustainable development. Admitting the fact that curricula of educational institutions and educational approaches cannot be the only cure to the environmental problems, they can be used as invaluable tools to develop environmental awareness and help sustainable development. By the help of instructors and educational administrators, educational programs could be developed in such a way that they not only include traditional school subjects like mathematics, science, and reading but also involve courses and/or projects aiming at developing environmental competence of the learners. Designing the programs interdisciplinary approaches rather than traditional ones would be of great contribution to provide the society with citizens respecting the natural resources as social assets. In this respect teachers play an important role and teacher education programs are expected to raise environmental awareness of the prospective teachers. Under the light of those facts, this paper will analyze both some of the teacher education programs of Turkish universities and some of the educational practices in Turkish secondary schoolsâ€™ programs with a critical approach to set the elements pertaining to environmental education. Furthermore some of the environmental education practices in various countries will also be discussed to illustrate good examples. Recommendations on curricular issues to improve environmental education and sustainable development will also be provided.
Environmental education, sustainable development, curriculum, teacher education