Published Article DE-DE-19 [*] DEEEP-ARTICLE-2015-011

From the aims to the Achievements of Development Education. Stumbling Blocks on the Way to Political Transformation; 2015

Barbara Riek


Abstract: ‘Education for sustainable development cannot end in the transfer of information and insights around sustainability. Rather, this education aims for social change, it is an education in transformation...’ ‘When considering targets we pursued a decade ago, there is an increasing realization that we have not come any closer to a sustainable global development.’ Both quotes are taken from a 2014 VENRO paper titled ‘Global learning as transformative education for sustain- able development’. The paper is VENRO’s contribution to the debate surrounding the end of the UN-decade themed ‘Education for sustainable development’. There is, mildly put, a noteworthy discrepancy between the ambitious aims set by German stakeholders con- cerned with development policy, and the level to which these aims have been fulfilled. Analyses such as the VENRO paper are alarming and prompt a critical review of the supported projects. The fol- lowing reflections are based on Brot für die Welt’s1 experience of processing around 600 applications annually, submitted by various stakeholders in development education2, awareness raising and campaigning. The analyses have made use of very pointed conclusions and exaggerations. There will certainly be counterexamples that would put theses analyses into perspective. However, the pointed conclusions may help identify certain patterns from a wildly heterogeneous field of study. To be clear, those in charge at Brot für die Welt remain convinced that the commitment demonstrated by infor- mation centres, campaign groups, religious congregations, schools, fair trade shops and many others plays an im- portant role in social and political change. It is believed that a development organization concerned with global justice must support such commitment. Of course we do not support the assertion that the past decades have not shown progress toward a sustainable development. Many convictions and values in society have indeed been changed. We do however share the as- sessment of the authors of the VENRO paper that what has been achieved falls short of what would have been possible and what must be achieved for international development.

Keyword(s): Injustice ; Global Learning ; consumer citizen ; Social Change ; political change

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DEAR and Education

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 Record created 2015-12-08, last modified 2015-12-08

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