Introduction: Education for Sustainable Development in India

  • Stephanie LederEmail author
Part of the Education for Sustainability book series (EDFSU)


The transnational policy Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) aims to facilitate the transformation of the pedagogic practice toward critical thinking and environmental action. I argue that the normative objectives of ESD have far-reaching consequences for formal educational systems as didactic approaches require transforming prevalent reproductive pedagogies which emphasize memorization. In this chapter, I outline how I develop a transformative approach to pedagogic practice which focuses on promoting argumentation skills on water resource conflicts. I explore the challenges and opportunities that exist for the translation of ESD principles into pedagogic practice in the newly industrializing country of India. As a highly stratified society with structural inequalities in the form of class, caste, age and gender, the implementation of ESD with a democratizing and Critical Pedagogy perspective requires engaging with cultural values and power relations in pedagogic discourse and practice in India. To achieve a transformative approach, and its democratizing potential, it is necessary to achieve a broader structural transformation of the educational system, with particular attention to the factors such as the structuring role of the textbook, the limited agency of the teacher, and the development of a broader normative vision across scales of what education is expected to achieve.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CologneCologneGermany

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