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Sustainability 2013, 5(6), 2327-2342; doi:10.3390/su5062327
Article

Reflecting on Education for Sustainable Development through Two Lenses: Ability Studies and Disability Studies

1,*  and 2
Received: 24 April 2013; in revised form: 6 May 2013 / Accepted: 15 May 2013 / Published: 24 May 2013
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Abstract: The call for papers asked to cast “a critical eye on the practice and purpose of sustainability-focused education, and its successes and failures, thus far”. We approach this task in this paper through two lenses that have not yet been very visible in the education for sustainable development (ESD) discourse. One is the lens of disability studies which is the inquiry around the lived reality of disabled people; the other is the lens of ability studies which among others investigates (a) which abilities are seen as essential in a given context; (b) the dynamic of how an ability expectation consensus is reached, if it is reached and (c) the impact of ability expectations. We conclude that (a) no consensus has been reached within ESD discourses as to the process of how to identify essential abilities and as to a list of abilities seen as important and (b) that disabled people are invisible in the formal and informal ESD discourse. We expect the paper to be of interest to disabled people, ESD scholars, teachers of ESD in different educational settings, students of ESD training, NGOs involved in ESD as well as policy makers involved in ESD.
Keywords: ableism; ability expectation; ability studies; disability studies; disabled people; people with disabilities; education for sustainable development; sustainability ableism; ability expectation; ability studies; disability studies; disabled people; people with disabilities; education for sustainable development; sustainability
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wolbring, G.; Burke, B. Reflecting on Education for Sustainable Development through Two Lenses: Ability Studies and Disability Studies. Sustainability 2013, 5, 2327-2342.

AMA Style

Wolbring G, Burke B. Reflecting on Education for Sustainable Development through Two Lenses: Ability Studies and Disability Studies. Sustainability. 2013; 5(6):2327-2342.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wolbring, Gregor; Burke, Brigid. 2013. "Reflecting on Education for Sustainable Development through Two Lenses: Ability Studies and Disability Studies." Sustainability 5, no. 6: 2327-2342.


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