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Economic Sustainability

It is often argued that an education that promotes thrift (or frugality) simultaneously supports the development of positive environmental values and pro-envirnmental behavior.

Rolf Jucker argues that that we need to "dematerialise" and recognise that every time we consume it has an impact on the social, economic and ecological environment.

Issues such as transport and recycling may be seen as both environmental and economic concerns. For example, from an economic perspective children may learn about (and actually promote) car sharing. The actual savings to each, and potential savings to all of the families can then be calculated. Similarly, an activity focused upon the collection of e.g. aluminium cans and foil for recycling can also provide the stimulus for children learning how funds may be generated to support the purchase of desirable school resources.

One of the biggest questions to be answered in the contexts of economics and sustainability is how you measure economic progress. Here are some of the alternatives:

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - International Ranking
Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) - International Ranking
Weighted Index of Social Progress - International Ranking
Happy Planet Index (HPI) - International Ranking

Also see: Journal of Happiness Studies

How does your country do in the rankings?
...Name this Country

From the perspective of cost-benefit analysis any new project or policy can only be considered progressive if the future effects and side-effects are fully accounted for. In 1997 James Robertson proposed the application of a new economics for sustainable development in Europe. In the UK efforts are just beginning to be made to shift the tax burden from economic practices that need to be encouraged (taxing work/wages) to economic practices that need to be discouraged (energy consumption/pollution).

Development Education and Educational Development  

From a global perspective a fundamental objective in the promotion of sustainable development in early childhood education should be to achieve universal provision. This is an economic issue largely associated with the work of national and international aid agencies but there are also implications for the schools and pre-school curriculum in the rich minority world. Everyone has a role to play in the global efforts to reduce poverty, and arguably, we all, from the oldest to the youngest among us, still have a good deal to learn about how this is to be achieved.
Responding to the Millennium Development Goal challenge to halve `extreme' poverty by 2015, it has been argued that we have a moral duty to ensure that economic growth benefits the world's poorest:

"We emphasize the critical role of both formal and informal education in the achievement of poverty eradication and other development goals as envisaged in the Millennium Declaration, in particular basic education and training for eradicating illiteracy, and strive for expanded secondary and higher education as well as vocational education and technical training, especially for girls and women, the creation of human resources and infrastructure capabilities and the empowerment of those living in poverty. In this context, we reaffirm the Dakar Framework for Action adopted at the World Education Forum in 2000 and recognize the importance of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization strategy for the eradication of poverty, especially extreme poverty, in supporting the Education for All programmes as a tool to achieve the millennium development goal of universal primary education by 2015". (2005 World Summit; 43)

A key concept frequently applied in the context of economic development and development education is Appropriate Technology. Appropriate Technology (AT) is technology that is designed with special consideration to the environmental, ethical, cultural, social and economical aspects of the community it is intended for. With these goals in mind, AT typically requires fewer resources, is easier to maintain, has a lower overall cost and less of an impact on the environment.



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