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Manchester Environmental Education Network

The seven key concepts of Education for Sustainability

There are seven key concepts for children's learning which come under the banner of Education for Sustainability). These seven concepts can appear throughout the curriculum: for example, Quality of life in a KS1 context could be, "Understanding the difference between needs and wants", or at KS3 "Understanding the difference between quality of life and standard of living".

Understanding how people, the environment and the economy are inextricably linked at all levels from local to global.

Citizenship and Stewardship
Recognising the importance of taking individual responsibility and individual action to ensure that the world is a better place.

Needs and rights of future generations
Understanding what our basic needs are, and that the actions we take today have implications for the basic needs and rights of people in the future.

Developing a respect for both human diversity – cultural, societal and economic – and the biodiversity of the natural environment.

Quality of Life
Understanding that global equity and justice are essential for sustainability, and that basic needs must be met universally.

Sustainable change
Understanding that resources are finite and that this has lasting implications for peoples' lifestyles, for commerce and for industry.

Uncertainty and precaution
Acknowledging that there is a range of possible approaches to sustainability, that there is much we still don't know and that we have to be constantly learning and willing to make necessary changes.

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