Research Prospects and Strategies for Translating ESD in Pedagogic Practice

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


This chapter synthesizes the key empirical findings of the book and outlines research prospects and policy implications for translating Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) into pedagogic practice. I argue that the educational discourse of ESD, if implemented, has the potential to fundamentally challenge the reproductive mode of pedagogic practice in the case of geography education in India over time, as it subverts cultural values, norms, and constructions of teaching and learning. Despite this, if ESD is framed as transformative pedagogic practice, it can contribute to gradually revising current geography teaching contents and methods toward promoting learner-centered teaching, critical thinking, and argumentation skill development. However, the discrepancy between institutional objectives, structural conditions and pedagogic practices needs to be addressed. Currently, there is little space for teachers’ agency to allow the recontextualization of ESD principles, for example, to adapt natural resource governance topics to students’ perspectives and to include an argumentative approach to local water conflicts. Syllabi, textbooks, and examinations need new selection and evaluation criteria that emphasize knowledge which promotes argumentation skills. This would allow to integrate ESD through critical thinking on natural resource use into existing forms of pedagogic practice. To encourage innovation in curriculum design, syllabi, and textbook development, cooperation between educational institutes, teaching methodology research, and, most of all, teachers’ agency need to be strengthened. Discretion, opportunities, and support are necessary so that teachers can respond to the unique needs of their students.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CologneCologneGermany

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