Ministry of Education, Guyana

Tuesday, 01 November 2016 15:39

Education For Sustainable Development

Article Index:

13.0 Glossary of Definitions

Carbon Sequestration - Terrestrial, or biologic, carbon sequestration is the process by which trees and plants absorb carbon dioxide, release the oxygen, and store the carbon. An area with net carbon sequestration is considered a carbon sink.

Climate – the weather of a region or city averaged over many years, usually different for different seasons. (NASA - climate-change-58.html)

Climate Change - refers to a change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g. using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. It refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity (IPCC -

Curriculum - a reflection of the kind of society to which we aspire (core objectives, concepts); the pedagogical and administrative action plans of an education system (frameworks, structures, supports); an interactive, non-linear and dynamic tool and process of pedagogical development (pedagogy, disciplinary content, didactic strategies, assessment, learning outcomes, encompassing the design and management of the curricula (IBE-UNESCO, 2010).

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) – a learning process (or approach to teaching) based on the ideals and principles that underlie sustainability and is concerned with all levels and types of learning to provide quality education and foster sustainable human development – learning to know, learning to be, learning to live together, learning to do and learning to transform oneself and society (UNESCO,


Equity in education has two dimensions that are inter-linked:

- Fairness – making sure that personal and social circumstances, for example gender, socio- economic status or ethnic origin, do not present an obstacle to achieving educational potential. This aims to minimise divergence across social groups by bringing the achievements of the less advantaged to the same level as those of the more advantaged groups and ensure a basic common standard of education for all learners.
- Inclusion – meeting the needs of all individuals through differential treatment in order to take student diversity into account (Ainscow et al., 2006).

Life Long Learning - is the ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. Therefore, it not only enhances social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development, but also self-sustainability, rather than competitiveness and employability (Commission of the European Communities: Adult learning: It is never too late to learn". COM (2006) 614 final. Brussels, 23.10.2006).

Formal education - the hierarchically structured, chronologically graded 'education system', running from primary school through the university and including, in addition to general academic studies, a variety of specialised programmes and institutions for full-time technical and professional training. (Coombs and Ahmed, 1974)

Informal education - the truly lifelong process whereby every individual acquires attitudes, values, skills and knowledge from daily experience and the educative influences and resources in his or her environment - from family and neighbours, from work and play, from the market place, the library and the mass media. (Coombs and Ahmed, 1974)

Non-formal education - any organised educational activity outside the established formal system - whether operating separately or as an important feature of some broader activity - that is intended to serve identifiable learning clienteles and learning objectives. (Coombs and Ahmed, 1974)

Quality Education - There is no one definition, list of criteria, a definitive curriculum, or list of topics for a quality education. Quality education is a dynamic concept that changes and evolves with time and changes in the social, economic, and environmental contexts of place. Because quality education must be locally relevant and culturally appropriate, quality education will take many forms around the world. (UNESCO, 2005) Quality education is an effective means to fight poverty, build democracies and foster peaceful societies. Quality education empowers individuals, gives them voice, unlocks their potential, opens pathways to self- actualization and broadens perspectives to open minds to a pluralist world (

Sustainable Development - development which meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (the Brundtland report,1987)

Weather - short-term changes seen in temperature, clouds, precipitation, humidity and wind in a region or a city which can vary greatly from one day to the next, or even within the same day. (NASA – change-58.html)

Whole School Approach – an approach to education which involves all members of a school community (i.e. students, staff, parents and carers, community members) and seeks to include all areas of school life. It recognizes that real learning occurs both through the ‘formal’ curriculum and through the ‘hidden’ curriculum and learners’ experience of life in school and community (

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