Academic journal article Education

Sustainable Development and Values Education in the Jordanian Social Studies Curriculum

Academic journal article Education

Sustainable Development and Values Education in the Jordanian Social Studies Curriculum

Article excerpt

Introduction

Sustainability values belong in the curriculum in order to create the awareness of ecological balance among the general population, especially within the emerging generations. Sustainability is a non-destructive approach to the environment seeking long-term ecological balance without depleting natural resources. Sustainable development seeks to do business with natural resources without using them all up.

Support for this perspective comes from the United Nations (U.N.), which has promoted the concept and organizational structure for the last fifty years. This year comes in the middle of the U.N. contract for sustainable development (2005-2014) which calls for all the member states to take the necessary procedures and steps to merge sustainable development concepts into their educational programs (UNESCO, 2006).

Sustainable development has been included in the history of thinking, planning and actions of the United Nation's organizations, such as UNESCO. At the U.N.'s first governmental conference in 1968, it called for states to consider the environment and development together. From this conference emerged the program to consider the relationship between human beings and their environments. In Stockholm in 1972, the U.N. contract concerning the human environment resulted in the U.N. program for environment (UNEP) and formed a configuration of the previous conference program.

The land summit conference, which was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, requested UNESCO to manage the execution of the twenty-first conference topics to use the sciences for the sustainable development purposes, education, general awareness, and training.

In 2000, the UN issued the millennium announcement of commitment to developmental goals to gain support of the world community to sustainable development. The Johannesburg conference in 2002 witnessed the UNESCO translation of these goals into programs implemented through the rural inhabitants. It had international participation and covered higher education for sustainable development and the educational initiatives for the sustained future with the earth accord. (Alshibanet et al).

Sustainability will not occur unless it is implemented at the local level. Few contest the role of education in directing nations and communities in order to achieve sustainability goals in the short and long run using a standard curriculum, while allowing local options.

Based on this, the educational policies for any country can embody the sustainability goals and tactics into the teaching curriculum with all its contents. In other words, the school plays a significant role in directing sustainability development in order to achieve the current and future needs for its community.

The school alone cannot perform such a huge job without accommodating the social and natural economic environment, locally and internationally, while maintaining necessary flexibility. Currently, no nation can isolate itself from the international environment. The nation's interdependence with other nations forces the school to deal with all the new realities in a flexible manner to achieve the comprehensive development according to national goals within an international context. Ali of these factors form the spirit of the school's new task.

Sustainable development for any nation is not easy because this process requires continuous efforts and a willingness to change towards the common goal using team spirit which includes all of the nation's forces in collaborative efforts. A strong and clear system of values is the foundation for national collaboration. There is no proper social system for this purpose of creating unifying values better than the school in all its educational and instructional forms. There is no development without noble values that form a common reference among all the students. This values education for sustainability is more crucial now than in the past due to increasing globalization and the rapid changes in technology, communication and media. …

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