Opportunities for Interpreting ESD Principles Through Argumentation in Pedagogic Practice

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


This chapter examines the transformative potential of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for pedagogic practice in Indian geography education. I analyze how the implementation of a democratizing teaching approach of ESD challenges power relations and cultural values reproduced in pedagogic practice in five diverse English-medium schools in Pune. To examine how ESD principles can be translated into pedagogic practice, I develop three ESD teaching modules “Visual Network”, “Position Bar”, and “Rainbow Discussion” in collaboration with teachers. I operationalize ESD objectives by designing teaching material and a teacher training which promotes students’ argumentation skills on water conflicts in Pune, instead of memorization. I analyzing how teachers perceive, develop, and implement these three ESD teaching modules and how students cope and perceive shifts toward an argumentative framing in classroom interaction. The activities cause a change in the use of classroom space and teaching resources beyond the textbook. Students actively participate in multi-directional classroom communication. However, underlying principles of pedagogic practice persist during the implementation, as the focus on presentation, sequence, and formal teacher–student interaction remains intact. The latter continues to shape how teachers and students bring ESD teaching modules into practice. This exercise reveals how ESD and the promotion of argumentation skills only partly intervene in prevalent principles of pedagogic practice. This underscores the need for contextualizing ESD through continuous collaboration with teachers, textbook authors, and syllabi designers.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CologneCologneGermany

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