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Earth Science Education as a Key Component of Education for Sustainability

by 1,* and 2,*
1
Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR), Science Teaching Unit (UEC) & Department of Geosciences, Environment and Spatial Planning (DGAOT), Faculty of Sciences (FCUP), University of Porto, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal
2
Science Teaching Department, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 7610001, Israel
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1316; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031316
Received: 21 December 2020 / Revised: 14 January 2021 / Accepted: 20 January 2021 / Published: 27 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Geography and Sustainability)
Environmental insight has emerged as a new scientific concept which incorporates the understanding that the Earth is made up of interworking subsystems and the acceptance that humans must act in harmony with the Earth’s dynamic balanced cycle. This Earth system competency represents the highest level of knowing and understanding in the geosciences community. Humans have an important role as participative beings in the Earth’s subsystems, and they must therefore acknowledge that life on Earth depends on a geoethically responsible management of the Earth system. Yet, the world is far from achieving sustainable development, making the role of the Earth science education in promoting education for sustainability even more relevant. The Earth system approach to education is designed to be an effective learning tool for the development of the innovative concept of environmental insight. Through a holistic view of planet Earth, students realize that humans have the ability to enjoy a sustainable life on our planet while minimising detrimental environmental impacts. There is growing evidence that citizens value science and need to be informed about Earth system problems such as climate change, resource efficiency, pandemics, sustainable use of water resources, and how to protect bio-geodiversity. By moving away from both traditional practices and traditional perceptions, environmental insight and geoethics will lead towards an education for sustainability that provides the citizens of Earth with the tools they need to address the full complexity of its urgent environmental concerns. View Full-Text
Keywords: Anthropocene; COVID-19 pandemic; Earth system governance; education for sustainability; environment Anthropocene; COVID-19 pandemic; Earth system governance; education for sustainability; environment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vasconcelos, C.; Orion, N. Earth Science Education as a Key Component of Education for Sustainability. Sustainability 2021, 13, 1316. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031316

AMA Style

Vasconcelos C, Orion N. Earth Science Education as a Key Component of Education for Sustainability. Sustainability. 2021; 13(3):1316. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031316

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vasconcelos, Clara, and Nir Orion. 2021. "Earth Science Education as a Key Component of Education for Sustainability" Sustainability 13, no. 3: 1316. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031316

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