Shaping the Future of Human Landspace – Pedagogics & Sustainability Education

Education for Sustainable Development “ESD” or Sustainability Education ( is about enabling every human being to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future. The Nordic countries have long traditions in meeting the needs for changing climates by being at high-latitudes where water change phase from being solid ice to liquid water. Also, where precipitation can be either snow or rain. The point here is the phase change of the water, as from the management point of view, has much technical requirements though the high abundance of water is a gift of nature to the Nordic countries. Though the temperatures at high-latitudes may have positive impacts on health, they are technically speaking not as friendly to live in as compared to lower latitudes. In terms of the sunshine and its seasonality the Nordic countries are not in same lucky situation as countries around the Mediterranean or even the equator. Another severe limitation for life at high-latitudes is temperature as the functioning and metabolism of life systems in particular for humans have their own conditions. The associated challenges in terms of water and energy, however, turned to be of great advantage for finding answers for confortable living for everyone where the baseline is long-term and large-scale survival. This is exactly the core of sustainability where its there pillars have to be in tact (economic, environment and social). To translate population challenges to individual solutions of complex problems under varying and shifting “economic, environment and social” conditions, instruments and tools for doing so have to be accessible and affordable for everyone but yet in communicative and structured manner. That is being defined in modern times as EDUCATION where its content, i.e. knowledge, is not static but now and then needs to be updated, structured or even improved. This dynamic part of education and knowledge “RESEARCH” is imperative and has to continuous and intensive. The world-wide recognition of sustainability as life-style promotes new global necessities in education and research. In this context, pedagogical issues at all stages and types of education and research have been recognized by being essential. 

The Handbook of Research on Pedagogical Innovations for Sustainable Development is the outcome of a major conference in Finland celebrating ten years of work promoting education, especially teacher education, for sustainable development or sustainability. “Reorientation of teacher education towards sustainability through theory and practice. Proceedings of the 10th international JTEFS/ BBCC conference Sustainable development, University of Eastern Finland Reports and Studies in Education, Humanities, and Theology No 7, University of Eastern Finland Joensuu, 2013. The work in this conference has been done in parallel with the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UN DESD: 2005– 2014). The Conference followed UNESCO’s rigorous and open definition of Education for Sustainable Development.

The main areas of discussion were: Sustainable early childhood education (ECE) and preschool education; towards systemic and integrative research methodology in ESD studies; pedagogy of sustainable future: museums, forests and culture environments as platforms for 21st century learning; sustainable education issues in science education; sustainable ICT in education; adult education for sustainable development, arts, design and skills; home, health and well-being, tourism research – connections on well-being, education and sustainability; teacher education for inclusion; social pedagogy as a dimen- sion of sustainable life; sustainability in community practices; and Earth Charter: values and multicultural approaches to education for sustainable development.

Uncovering the whys: what motivates teachers and researchers to conduct education and research in particular towards systemic and integrative methodology, application and promotion of Sustainable Developments is of major global interest.


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