Education for Sustainable Development and Sustainability Science

Re-purposing higher education and research

Authored by: Yoko Mochizuki , Masaru Yarime

Routledge Handbook of Higher Education for Sustainable Development

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415727303
eBook ISBN: 9781315852249
Adobe ISBN: 9781317918110


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Normative discussions surrounding the role of higher education in contributing to sustainable development abound, from the perspectives of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), Sustainability Education, or more specifically Higher Education for Sustainable Development (HESD). Despite familiar calls for interdisciplinarity and more research to advance higher education to facilitate a global transition to sustainability, however, such discussions rarely involve natural scientists, engineers or technologists striving to establish ‘Sustainability Science’ as an academic field and are often silent on crucial relations between ESD and Sustainability Science in the context of re-purposing higher education and research. This can be partly explained by different ‘epistemic communities’ formed by ESD experts on the one hand, and scientists who promote Sustainability Science on the other. This chapter discusses potential synergies between ESD and Sustainability Science by 1) contextualising them in global ‘policyscapes’ (Carney 2009), and 2) exploring how ESD and Sustainability Science can reinforce each other.

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