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Developing eco-agency through education : capacitating agency through learning
conference contributionposted on 2010-01-01, 00:00 authored by Athena Vongalis-Macrow
The paper is prompted by startling results from large scale international studies that show the dissonance between young people’s sustainability knowledge and the resistance of young people to put into practice. The studies suggest that while students are aware of what they should be doing, as a result of their education about sustainability, they are reluctant to change their behavior and action in their everyday life. These results raise important issues about current models of education and how sustainability is captured within education. The results suggest that no matter how powerful the ideas and how well intentioned the methods of education for sustainable development, translating those ideas into action, beyond classroom and beyond curriculum strategies remain elusive. In order to re-think some aspects of educational practice, the paper examines the notion of agency as a critical component in the understanding of how behavior and actions are organized and integrated by students. By developing a more refined understanding of agency, and incorporating this into educational practice around sustainability, it may be possible to better develop resonant sustainable actions, or eco-agency, supporting the maintenance our environment.