IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


A school in Madagascar by Milijaona Randrianarivelojisoa


The role of education in sustainability and climate action

Education has a vital part to play in addressing the environmental crisis, yet a fundamental transformation is needed to orient schools and universities towards sustainability.

Coordinator: Professor Tristan Mccowan

Climate change and associated environmental factors pose a fundamental threat to human existence and well-being. Furthermore, there are significant global injustices, with the wealthiest communities having the highest rates of greenhouse gas emissions, but the poorest communities enduring the most severe impacts.

Education – both formal and non-formal – has a crucial role to play in raising awareness, building skills and fostering commitment to environmental justice. Yet many practices of schools and universities are reinforcing the root problems of excessive consumption and waste. A fundamental transformation of teaching, learning and knowledge production is needed.

This new area of the Centre for Education and International Development's work builds on a major Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) project focusing on universities and climate action in Brazil, Fiji, Kenya and Mozambique.

It brings together a range of empirical and theoretical work interrogating notions of sustainable development and their links with education. Connections are drawn out with other themes, for example the work of the gender strand on accountability for gender equality in the context of the climate crisis.

Research projects